Mile 5: Leave the “I Can’t” Attitude In The Mud

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Please don’t let this title make you skip this “mile.” I promise not to make this an inspirational post. There are motivational speakers and videos for that. I’d rather take this time to explain the importance of your mental state on race day. In order to complete an OCR you have to be in the right frame of mind. You might have the biggest guns, but if you haven’t worked out your attitude, then you might face some issues throughout the course.

It’s important to note that your attitude can make or break the whole race day for both you and your team. No one wants to be surrounded by bad attitudes unless that bad attitude is B.A. from The A-Team. I bet he could have manhandled those obstacles back in the day. Look at the money and time you will have invested into this already. Don’t you want to enjoy it as much as possible? You won’t be able to unless you have an “I can” attitude.

There is no doubt OCR is intimidating. Also, it’s not for everyone, but you already signed up, and here you are at the start line. You will be completing roughly 20 or more obstacles throughout the course. Each one presents a different challenge both physically and mentally. It is OK to skip an obstacle, but don’t go into the race thinking that skipping an obstacle is always the answer. Personally, I’m not a fan of any type of water obstacle that requires a lot of swimming or any obstacle involving tight spaces. Part of the reason is because I don’t swim too well. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ll admit it to you. Luckily, since I’m tall I normally can touch the bottom, but there are some obstacles that are 12’ deep. Those are the obstacles I skip. Call me lame, but I’d like to make it home to my girlfriend and two cats. On the other hand, I’ve never skipped a tight space obstacle and probably never will. This is where I let my “I can” attitude prevail over my fears. I tell myself “I can do this” over and over again while going through a tunnel or under a wall. Honestly it really helps. I feel more motivated for the next obstacle when I complete a challenging one.

At most of these OCR events you get one try to complete the obstacle. I wish this wasn’t the case, but I understand why since they want to keep traffic moving forward. But sometimes you just need another try if you don’t succeed the first time. This is especially true if it’s your first race. There isn’t a gym out there that has training for OCR, at least not around me. Keith really wants to build a training compound on his in-laws farm. This would be awesome! Maybe, in a later mile I’ll get to post about that.

I really hope at your first or next OCR you try at least every obstacle (unless you can’t for medical reasons or for fear of death). I don’t think anyone is allergic to monkey bars, nor do I think they can kill you. Those seem to be the most commonly skipped obstacle. You’ll want to tell all your friends, who didn’t race, “yeah, I tried that obstacle” or “yeah, I conquered that obstacle.” They will either look at you in awe or believe that you’re insane. You might even impress your crush after you tell your story. It worked for me at least! (Although my then-crush, now-girlfriend insists this isn’t true.)

See, I told you I wouldn’t make this overly inspirational. I know you can do this or you still wouldn’t be reading.  Don’t let your mind play tricks on you. Remember there are thousands of other people there with you going through the same thing. Band together and show that obstacle you can do it!

In the next mile I’ll talk about setting goals for success. Make sure you bring your “I can” attitude!

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