Looking outside yourself for any form of happiness is almost entirely pointless. It’s the same as getting high from drugs or alcohol. Yes, someone or something can make you temporarily happy or at least entertained for a period of time, but in the end, you’re only making it worse for yourself. When you come down, the low will be lower, and you’ll have known the whole time that it was coming.
That sounds like a pretty dismal outlook on things, huh? Well, I’d argue that it’s not. I’m not saying that FINDING happiness outside yourself is pointless or that it doesn’t happen. I’m saying that LOOKING for it is pointless. If you happen across it, just enjoy it and don’t try to keep it. Never invest yourself in anything other than yourself without a careful, honest, and extensive vetting process. Definitely don’t put any stock in anyone else. Again, I’m saying don’t PUT it there, but if it builds on its own, that’s fine. When you link any sort of satisfaction to the actions or feelings of any other person, you will almost always end up flat on your face. And in doing so, you will also end up overlooking the very valuable and meaningful things that are going on around you.
I have a feeling this will be a lesson that translates to triathlon really well. Selling out for any one phase or one PART of one phase will only put you in a hole later on. Linking your satisfaction to how you do in one phase or on a certain hill or for a certain split will leave you empty and distract you from what’s going on around you. Hammering for that certain time split is pointless if you aren’t enjoying the ride along the way. I’m not saying goals are pointless, and i’m definitely not saying don’t push yourself (that IS the point of endurance sport, right?), I’m just saying, let the killer splits come to you. If you smash a section, GREAT, but don’t be too invested in smashing it. Run YOUR race and do what feels right rather than TRYING to hit certain benchmarks.
It’s a sort of zen concept. Exist and be active within, and enjoy your pursuits, but do not be governed by or beholden to them.