One thing I read a lot about as I peruse the blogosphere is the amount of disappointment that I see about paces, distances, and results. I like to call it the “Humbling Quality of Patience”
This is the quality that we don’t seem to want to allow into our lives. I certainly fall into that camp. Every now and then, though, I have an experience that reminds me that sometimes I just need to allow patience to run it’s course. One of those experiences happened yesterday…
I may have let it slip a time or two that I’m a bit of a poker fanatic. If you want me to DNS a race, all you need to do is tell me about a nearby poker game (well, I’m not quite *that* bad). Poker is not so much a game of cards as it is a game of position and cunning. It’s about convincing others at a table that you have better cards than they do. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don’t. That doesn’t matter as long as they *think* you do. The problem comes when those at the table either (a) don’t believe you because you’ve given them an opportunity to see that they *would have* beat you, or (b) don’t understand the object of the game. With the increasing popularity of poker, more and more of (b) happens everyday. People betting recklessly and irresponsibly. Which is good if you’re holding good cards, bad otherwise. Yesterday the tables were filled with beginners (“donks” as we lovingly call them). I was smacking my lips, because this can be the lead to a very profitable day. If I have good cards and good draws, I can generally increase my bets and increase my winnings. The last time I had this opportunity a few weeks back, I made a wage equivalent to about $60 per hour.
There was only one problem. No one told the statistical guru to be kind to me. I started at Noon. By 5PM when I quit, I had seen four quality starting hands all day (it’s normal to see somewhere around 20 to 30 hands and to win 2 or 3 of those – per hour). And two of those got beat by folks who drew better hands. The rest of the day was spent folding hands and minimizing damage. That makes for a pretty boring and disappointing day. Folks were losing money hand over fist. I couldn’t be part of the collection mechanism. Grrrrrrrr.
So the next time you are ready to play with the donks (line up at the start of an easy 5K or 10K, a flat HM, or a marathon in ideal weather conditions), have a real understanding of how to play the game (followed your training plan to a tee), and watch those hands being dealt to you (pass each mile marker), remember that statistics (the way you feel, the fact you didn’t sleep well, nursing an injury, stressing out) are random. Everything may not all line up for you on that particular day. Time to be dejected and hang your head low? Nope. Just remember the Humbling Quality of Patience. And get ready to do it all over again.
Speaking of patience – 223.0 on the scale this morning. Arrrrgh! Back to my start point! Too much at the buffet yesterday maybe?