“Just Go For It”
Analyzing “what ifs” or the likely outcomes in certain instances are crucial. Doing so allows you to make astute decisions that make sense for yourself in the long term as well as the short term, and eliminates impulsive, reckless decision making.
However, overthinking is possibly even more harmful than just going for it and here’s why:
Going for ‘it’ requires a certain level of ambition, excitement and care free nature that is rather admirable, more now than ever, due to the ability to obtain content, research and hear the opinions of more people than you need to. ‘Doers’ are those who don’t let external self-doubt and noise hold them back from trying something new.
The internal conversation with these “just go for it” personalities is, “what’s the worst that could happen?” And a lot of the time, they’re right to think like this.
The simple fact of the matter is more people will regret not pursuing an idea compared to pursuing it, and not having it totally work out the way they imagined in.
90% of the time I sign up for something, and figure out the details after. The reason being, If I don’t capitalize on my excitement, or motivation in the moment, there is a high likely hood I will be talked out of my pursuit by either someone, something, or even myself. Most of what we hear or research is negative, so it’s critical to combat this by “going for it”.
The MOAB 240
This brings me to my most recent challenge. Month 11 day 316 of my 365daychallenge. I officially took part in the MOAB 240, a race 1 year to the date I heard about in amazement on the Joe Rogan Podcast – where I remember vividly telling my friend Ben, “I need to do this!” – and very shortly after, signed up with no previous long distance running experience (nothing over 100m).
Although the result 1 year later was far from what I hoped for, I don’t regret attempting the challenge. My purpose with my 365daychallenge was so put myself in situations that would be extremely uncomfortable, and push me to the point where the challenge could potentially get the best of me. It was at mile 40, where I popped and tore my left calf. Initially, the tear felt minor, almost like a cramp. 7 hours later however, I started a ritual of lying on the ground below the Moab Stars after every mile, drilling a lacrosse ball behind my knee for a minute at a time, trying to loosen the tightness and pain up. But after 40 more miles, 14 hours more of running and a 90 minute rest at an aid station, the muscle tear was realized in its full glory.
I begrudgingly dropped out at Mile 80, 6 miles down the road after I woke from my sleep. 160 more miles, over 3 more days on a torn calf muscle was not going to happen.
As I hobbled in great pain from my car to hotel room later that evening, I felt disappointed. But I also accepted what had happened, and didn’t beat myself up over it. Pain we should always fight through. Even Injuries, I try to push through to an extent, but at the end of the day I’m human, and only so much can be done.
The totality of the race was monstrous. 6 months of a mix of long distance cycling, triathlon prep and ultra marathon training to then run 240 miles isn’t necessarily smart, ideal or safe, but life on the couch isn’t either.
But the result is only part of the journey. The majority of what I will look back on is the process, the training leading up to my races, the 314 days of consecutive training going into the MOAB 240, and the 30 hours and 80 miles of magnificent, unmatched views provided by the Moab terrain. This will never be something I regret.
When we tell ourselves a challenge is too big, we limit ourselves from experiencing and shaping oneself stronger for the next challenge we come across.
I have done far more than I ever thought I would do this year. This is to be expected when we just go for it. We afford ourselves the opportunity to see and do things we never thought we would experience. If it matters to you, if your aspirations line up with who you are and what you want to do, go for it.
Don’t worry about failing, the pain, injuries or anything outside your control. Just prepare as best you can, keep your vision clear and enjoy the process.
My challenge this year, as I stated earlier was designed to push me outside my comfort zone and current mental and physical ability. I expected to fail. I realized running 240 miles was an extreme task for somebody who just started running 6 months ago to complete. But I went for it. I put the training in and that’s all we can ask ourselves to do. Injuries and setbacks are sometimes uncontrollable, so why beat yourself up over it?
One thing is a guarantee though, I will never look back on 2018 and say to myself, “Brandon, you really should have at least tried.”
I tried. It wasn’t the most efficient or intelligent way of training for an ultra mind you, but I had to juggle training for the Moab 240 while dealing with a fresh new challenge each month. I promised myself I would commit to this schedule, regardless of how taxing it was and I followed through.
I hope this particular “loss” can inspire others to ignore the potential failures they might come across on their pursuit of a new challenge, and instead focus their attention on the process and attempting whatever their mind is set on achieving.
Attempting, and training for a purpose, in whatever realm that may be, is where fulfillment truly lies. It’s important to no thy self and approach the life you desire with the intensity you see fit, and don’t be the person who regret’s not going for it.