There was a new option for watching the NCAA Basketball Final Four this year. You could watch the normal broadcast, or you could watch your team’s broadcast with announcers who had been following your team all year (and who were “allowed” to be partial to your team). Being a staunch supporter of UK (Kentucky–the only option in my family), I watched their team broadcast. One of their announcers, Rex Chapman, quickly became my favorite. The hint of Kentucky drawl in his voice reminded me of my dad and my uncles, and he was so genuinely excited to be broadcasting for his team. He had some great phrases, too. I especially remember one in particular. When Kentucky hit a rough patch, he explained that in order to move on and focus on the remainder of the game, Kentucky needed to put whatever had happened “in the rearview.”
I love this phrase, “Put it in the rearview.” It’s quick, and it says what it needs to: It happened, it’s over, it doesn’t have to negatively affect the present, and there are other things to focus on right now.
This phrase has come to mind this weekend as I psych myself up to run my third half-marathon tomorrow. I started this training thinking I would run my fastest time. After all, the other two half-marathon courses I ran were hilly and somewhat difficult, and this course would be the easiest of the three. Surely I would beat my time without any problem.
What I failed to take into account is that I trained very well for my first two half-marathons–especially the first, which was the most difficult course. The past 14-ish weeks, well… have not been my best. I’m prepared to run 13.1 miles, sure; I’m not worried about that. But I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to getting enough sleep, haven’t eaten particularly well, and missed some non-crucial but possibly helpful training days. So, even though this is my third half-marathon, and even though I have run a full marathon… I’m not that hopeful about getting my “dream time,” much less beating my previous times.
But, I like running and I love running long distances. A few years ago I never would have thought I would have finished one long distance race, much less four. This is a new race course for me, and I love running in new areas. My mom and my sister are coming to cheer me on. So, I need to put all that inconsistent training and the less-than-stellar long runs in the rearview. I’m going to run a half-marathon tomorrow. Period.
There are times when putting an event in the rearview isn’t as concrete as a basketball game or a race. Nevertheless, the “put it in the rearview” phrase can still be helpful. Is it beginning (or renewing) a relationship or friendship, putting past hurts and mistakes in the rearview? Is it gaining a new perspective on your job or career, putting a difficult season in the rearview? Is it just starting a new day, letting yourself put yesterday in the rearview?
Something I love about the “rearview” analogy is that in a rearview mirror, you can still see what’s behind you. You’re not throwing the past out the window (ignoring it). You’re not putting it in the backseat or in the trunk (dragging it along with you). You can still see it; you can still learn from it. But your focus in on the road right in front of you.