Finishing last is never a part of our mindsets, but that is exactly what I did last year at a local Stand Up Paddleboard race. When you are a seasoned racer this is unheard of; but when you have finished in first place the past two identical races, finishing last is absolutely mind boggling. Why the loss? A complete breakdown in my Spiritual Resilience right before the race. Let me explain.
Spiritual Resilience goes beyond the things that we do every day. It is a state of mind where we are constantly striving towards a higher goal that is much higher than ourselves. It is the moral compass from which we seek direction. When you are not on your Spiritual Resilience “game,” other resiliences are affected. And last Saturday at a Stand Up Paddleboard race, my physical and emotional resiliences fell short because my Spiritual Resilience was not firing on all cylinders; let me explain...
We have a six series Stand Up Paddleboard race to raise money for kids with Autism. The first two races, I came in first place in my division, the 14 foot elite racing division. Now I am not telling you this to brag; only to set you up for the epic breakdown in resilience that I witnessed on Saturday within myself. The race began just like the other races, only my thoughts were not on my Spiritual Resilience Mission, they were simply focused on beating my two arch rivals that had shown up for the race (they had not been present at the other two races.) Instead of focusing on what was truly important (raising money for Autism research and having fun), I let my emotional and physical resiliences run wild in trying to go as fast as humanly possible. Because of this chemical reaction, my heart rate (unmonitored) went through the roof and I went into exercise induced atrial fibrilation (a condition that I have had for 13 years now and is caused by heart rates that go too high during exercise). I directly attribute my fall from first place (I was leading the pack for almost 2 miles of a 4 mile race) to last place on my inability to keep my Spiritual Resilience coupled and aligned with my Emotional Resilience (the activation of the fight or flight response) and Physical Resilience (the release of norepinephrine into the blood stream) in check.
The moral of the story is this: you must have Spiritual Resilience coupled into everything that you do if you want to perform at a very high level. The fact that my Spiritual Resilience was not at the top of my list caused me to lose focus (Mental Resilience) which caused my emotions to run wild (Emotional Resilience) causing my adrenaline to run free (Physical Resilience) and elevate my heart rate to uncontrollable levels during the race. Developing a Spiritual Resilience Mission Plan involves self-reflection, patience, time, and energy. But in the end it is truly worth it. What race, job, family, life are you attempting to perform better in? You don’t want to finish last.