I watch the above clip before every race that I do as for me it encapsulates my goal for every race: to be perfect.
I have little impact on the eventual outcome of the race – my position often depends on who shows up on the day and who has a good race (or not) – by I can have a significant impact on my process of racing. I can often choose not to let things get me down, or to continue to keep going when things seem impossible and I know that the races of which I am proudest are the races in which I have tried hardest, regardless of the outcome. When I’ve felt like sitting down under a tree but instead I chased down the next person, when I’ve conquered self-doubt to believe that I can do a time I’ve never done before. I’ll take those memories with me forever.
For many of us our training can be compromised by life’s other demands: work, family and other commitments so realistically our potential outcomes do not include coming first, but they can include being perfect. Making the most of our limited resources and doing our best. The winner of your last race may not win their next race and so their version of perfection may fade, but you can do your best, you can strive to be perfect in every race, no matter what the situation or what has compromised your preparation and in so doing you can achieve perfection again and again.
Now go be perfect!