Off to Myles Standish State Park for a little camping trip, yet I cannot stop thinking about Pittsfield; especially today as the Summer Death Race kicks off. I started thinking of nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc that might sum up what the racers are going to encounter. Fear came to my mind most willingly as did pain, discomfort, frustration, confusion, failure, etc. I bounced these words around so much and tried to find one positive in them all and it came to me; grace. It was probably after I read the following quote from one of my all-time heroes:
“Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one’s actions, courage that could be described as “grace under pressure” — grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
You can define grace in so many ways. such as: (from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/grace)
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.
The racers must face their fears with grace. To stop the momentum of it would be giving in to failure, which is not even closet to what grace is defined as. Fluid and constant that is the type of grace needed.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.
They will doubt the measure of grace they embody. That is more of the race than anything, the doubt that is cast by the tasks and by the mental challenges. They must dig deep, extremely deep and dust this off, it is there
3. favor or goodwill.
There will be those on that mountain that define grace in this way, yet they may be unseen, or unheard from. The grace shown by the support teams is immense and so important to a Death Racer, they may seem benign at time. This is far from the case, 110% of the time. Crew has more grace in their tiny little pinky finger than most. They subject themselves to the same race and endure the same conditions. All to help back those who are taking on the challenge of their lives, that folks is grace!
4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior.
Especially important is to admire and inspire with grace. Whether that is manifested by a DR veteran or not, the grace is there and the noobs must be able to see it and follow it.
5. mercy; clemency; pardon.
There will be no grace in the hallowed stare and boisterous tone of the RD’s voices.
Said plainly: Joe, Andy and other’s are there to break you.
They pull no punches and have said it themselves, they expect you to quit.
They expect you to cry.
They expect you to find whatever excuse it is that you will use to get out of the race.
They expect from the moment they lock eyes with you that you will cower and not make it through the race.
Do you have enough to get through and not let their scorn deny you an experience?
Do it with dignity, integrity and modesty. Be humble and strong. Do not let other’s define your experience and what you will or will not be at the end. Channel grace in whatever form works for you, the world is watching and win or lose; grace is what truly defines you.