One of the co-founders of November Project, Brogan Graham, has this phrase that he often sings to people, both when they’re just goofing around doing dumb shit, and also when it really matters. It goes, “Believe in yoursellllllllf…”
It’s a fun little song. One that sticks with you. And one that you find yourself singing either to yourself or to someone else in one of those moments when it’s either goofy and fun, or it really matters. And as weird as it sounds, it doesn’t hurt the situation. Sometimes it even helps–maybe because it causes you to laugh a little bit or lighten the feeling of pressure–and maybe because it’s a powerful sentiment, if you actually listen to the words!
Today’s Sunrise 6k was just about perfect. The sun was coming up over the ocean out at Castle Island juuuuust as the 5:30am group was rounding up and getting ready to start racing. The temperature was (so thankfully) cooler than it’s been the last few days and made for warm, but not unbearable, racing. Both the 5:30 and 6:30 crews rolled deep and people showed up ready to race! Capozzi laser cut some brand new 6k stencils and I sprayed those onto people’s shirts while the racing went down.
But there was one thing different today than we’ve ever done before, and I have to say, I think it made a difference in the racing.
Before everyone started, we had you write down your name and the time you THOUGHT you would finish in. We wanted a projection. Could have been a total guess or an educated prediction based on all the math and analysis of your running you do (ahem…Joev!). But by asking you to project your time, we were basically asking you to set a goal that you BELIEVED you could accomplish.
“Believe in yoursellllllllllf…”
And something important happens in your mind when you set a time–even one that feels like it’s “slow” or “safe” or you’re pretty sure you can finish in, no matter what. It forces you to be aware of what you think you can do. And for most of us human beings, when we see the measuring stick in front of us, we start to think about how we can beat it.
But if we didn’t ask you that–you might have simply shown up to the starting line thinking, “I’ll see what I can do…” but you might not have pushed a little harder to get to–or past–that time you declared you could. We can look at the times and see that the vast majority of the racers ran faster than their projected times. So we either didn’t believe fully in ourselves when declaring how fast we could go–or simply by declaring how fast we could go, we created a mental hurdle that we were motivated to get ourselves over. And it worked.
Great job racers! Thanks for showing up and racing hard. More good times to be had on Wed at the Stadium, and Friday at the hills.
And if November Project teaches you nothing else, remember to always, always believe in yourselllllllllllf.