Changing Your Headline
Admit it, after every race, you go on MileSplit the next day just to see what the article will say about you. Will you be mentioned in the headline? Will they know that you were having an off day? Or will they simply write you out as quickly as they wrote you in?
As a freshmen, my name made it to the headlines only once. It read, "Tugman No. 1 Freshman in Maine," or something along those lines. But when anemia and multiple injuries set me back, I wasn't mentioned at all until junior year; to MileSplit, I was completely invisible. Once I made my comeback in the 2018 XC season, I was the headliner almost every week, "Tugman Wins Again," it would say. That was until, we raced Falmouth. Then it was and still is, "Matson Wins and Tugman Takes Runner-Up." I've gotten very much accustomed to seeing this, all throughout cross country and outdoor track.
I'm sure most of you feel the same way. Maybe you're tired of seeing your name second or third or way down in the article at tenth place. Some of you are probably just hoping to make it in the article, even if it is just for one brief sentence. Even if you're first, maybe you're tired of the "SMAA Preview" articles speculating about who may be able to beat you this year; it's exhausting, having a target on your back. Don't we all just want to change our headlines sometimes?
For me, I know that most of the races this season I will most likely take second place. After SMAA relays this past week, I called my boyfriend to tell him the results. When he asked how I did I replied with, "oh ya know, second place, per usual." Per usual. I went into the race knowing I would probably get second place. Per usual. This is what the headlines suspect, this is what the previews say, and this is what they said the next day. So why would I not think that I was going to come out second? Per usual.
Is this a good mind set to have? Probably not. But is this the mind set that most of us have? Most likely, yes. We all have that one person we think is unreachable. We all of that one place, one time, one goal, that we believe is unattainable. It's written in the headlines, in the articles, so therefore it's written in our brains.
We run as well as we think we can. So why not change it up? Instead of going off what the headlines think of your abilities, or the spectators, or even the other runners, go off of what you believe you can do. Change your headline. Tell yourself that you don't want to be just "runner-up," "third," "tenth" anymore. Tell yourself that you no longer want a "target on your back" like the media says you do. We all have the ability to achieve our goals, we just have to tell ourselves that we can make it happen. Then the new headlines will come.
Blog #1 - As Summer Running Ends, Preseason Begins