Life is a race every single person gets to run.
As children, all of us got into footraces on the playground. For some of us, those races turned
more competitive as we got older and began doing things such as running track.
For me, the 100-meter dash was the most exhilarating event. After my races, people would often
ask me, “Did you hear me cheering for you?” or “Did you see me in the stands?” I never did.
From the time the gun reported to the time I crossed the line was always a complete blur. While
sprinting I go full-on tunnel vision. All noise is tuned out and all that I can see is my lane in front
of me, awaiting my next stride.
That may sound bizarre, and slightly freaky, but it is one of the most freeing things I have ever
experienced. For the few fleeting seconds of my race, there wasn’t a care in the world and life
seemed to be absolutely perfect. It was just me and the track, paradise on earth. No problems, no
world, nothing, a true respite for the soul.
The crossing of the finish line also meant crossing back into this world. Sights and sounds
flooded back, and all was “normal” again.\
This little phenomenon is vastly underrated and can be applied and utilized to benefit day to day
life. That being said, here are my favorite three ways that this “sprinter’s sensation” (as I like to
call it) can be used in daily life.
1. Tuning out the noise
After high school graduation, you get to enter the frightening reality that is the “real world”. This
is often met with the bombardment of noise that comes with this world of ours. Get a job, make
money, start a family, pay taxes, get a raise, save for retirement, and don’t forget to do something
in your free time that you find enjoyable. It’s a cacophony of crap and a gust of groupthink.
This is not 1984; you are all your own individual. Your life will be whatever you make it. Do
you want a solid job? Then go get it. Want to be rich and famous? Start grinding. Would you like
to change the world? Don’t let up until you’ve done it. Or would you just like to start and raise a
family? For the love of Saint Nick, go for it.
No matter what kind of noise the world may be shouting your way, don’t pay it any mind. This
life belongs to you, and not to the world.
This life is your race. Tune out the noise, the crowd, and the distractions and get to work. Set our
sights and never let off the gas until you reach your destination.
The gun goes off. Life has begun. Everyone pushing to make it the best race possible. The
spectators don’t matter. The cheering doesn’t matter. All that matters is you. It’s just you and the
track. Run. Run like you never have before, and don’t let any obstacle get in the way of you
reaching your goal.
For when you cross that line and the noise returns, make sure you have nothing less than the gold
“This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it! Because you never know how far you
can run unless you run.” -Penny Chenery, Secretariat.
2. Tunnel vision: eyes dead ahead
“Did you see me in the stands?” (No, I was kind of busy running). Had I diverted my eyes at all,
in any direction, it would have completely thrown me off and slowed me down.
There will most definitely be times for everyone when the world will be doing all it can to
distract and divert you from your desired trajectory. It will put on every dancing poodle and
every juggling duck it can find (I just pulled that off the top of my head).
It is in these times when everyone has a choice to make. You can either succumb to the
compromise of a life that is being offered by the world, or you can push on and make sacrifices.
Make sacrifices in the here and now so that you may more than reap the reward in the long run.
No matter what it is you want to achieve, there will always be opportunities to settle for less.
Essentially the ‘cash in now’ option. But, stay focused. Once you have your sights set and your
preferred destination in mind, then never divert your eyes. Keep looking dead ahead. It may take
a little longer and be a little harder, but in the end, it will be worth it. When you emerge from the
field of runners victorious, you better believe that it will have been worth all of the blood, sweat,
and tears it took to get there.
3. Crossing the line: the reflection
Now comes the fun part. Crossing the finish line, having that “normalness” return, and getting to
reflect on the race you ran.
Everybody reaches a point where they reflect back over all they have done. Live in such a way
so you can look back with a smile and satisfaction.
Do you want to settle and cross the line with a participation trophy? Or do you want to be
standing with a gold medal in hand? (Stupid question, I know). Everyone wants the prize, duh.
But how many are actually willing to put in the work needed to reach that goal. Many fall short
and many more just quit. You need to equip yourself with the mindset that you will never settle.
No matter the cost, you won’t stop until your ultimate goal has been accomplished.
That being said, I would like to leave you with a quote Ray Bradbury wrote in Fahrenheit 451.
“I hate the Roman Status Quo! Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten
seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no
guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be
related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life
away. To hell with that, shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass!”
This is your life. But, what will you do with it?
This is a guest post written by Praxis participant Carson Westrich. Carson is a young, ambitious, hard worker who enjoys having challenges thrown his way. He has always been a very self-driven worker, which stems from his many years being homeschooled. Upon high school graduation, and having no desire to sit in a classroom again, he joined Praxis. He is currently working through their business bootcamp and looking forward to landing his apprenticeship in the coming months. Follow his work on his website: carsonwestrich.com