Did you watch Top Gun Maverick?
So many elements that relate to equestrians, right?
"It's not the plane, it's the pilot,' which is was pretty much the theme of the movie.
And then the part where Maverick is attempting to take off in an old F-14 on a taxi way in enemy territory.
Not far ahead of them is a large structure of building that they would have to be airborne in order not to hit it.
And the "backseater" co-pilot sees Maverick putting out the wings on the plane ... ready to take off ...
And he says, "Mav, why are the wings out? This is not a runway! This is a taxiway. A very SHORT taxiway!"
What a great metaphor for life, right?
Key to success is not necesarily the science of metrics, and the labels we give to runways ...
But the mindset! What are your beliefs?
Is the runway we are on short or long? Can we make it or not?
Answer; depends upon our pace going down the runway, right?
And then ... depends upon ...
How, exactly, we strategically go down the runway ...
So, mindset is THE key to this working!
Is the pilot's iIntention to make it happen no matter what or ...
Are we not sure, second guessing, and focused on the fear of not making it?
Is it about the plane or is it about piloting the plane?
And choosing to step into belief and courage ... even when all evidence would tell us otherwise.
Ever walked a course and thought you had a longer runway than you actually did?
Suddenly you realize, too late, that you have run out of runway ...
You needed to adjust your approach down the line to the jump, but it is now too late?
Happens sometimes when we ride down a line, right?
Lableing a runway as long or short is where our generalizations can get us into trouble when riding.
Depending upon the approach you are choosing ...
The best question is maybe NOT "is a long or short runway?"
But what is the meaning you are giving to it?
Because the truth is; it is a fluid situation!
Which means, runways are fluid! Yes, there is a metric for how short or long it actually is ...
But add how slow or fast a plane is traveling down the runway ... will take you to the end of the runway ... sooner or later.
Not staying aware of where we are "on the track", and our pace, may not acurately measure how much runway we have left until it is too late!
Happens also in life.
Suddenly animals, people, and "windows of opportunities" are gone.
And we are left with a cognitive dissonance ... "Wait, what just happened? Thought I had more time!"
No, we didn't have more time.
What we had was a "story" and a belief that, as it turns out, just wasnt true.
A miscalculation. The wrong metrics. The ineffective mindset. And therefore ...
The wrong decisions.
Either the plan we had for riding the course, and any particular line, wasn't the best one.
Or the plan was OK, but we didn't execute it with the correct approach.
Or as the runway became fluid (which happens when we add the object and speed), we didn't change to a new approach ...
WITH the right TIMING.
Why is that? Mindset!
Denial. Stuck in old ways.
Focusing on the wrong thing, inaccurate metrics, and the inability to quickly adjust your approach.
What is the solution?
In order to stay aware of where we are on the track ...
We have to not only "focus", but know exactly WHAT we need to focus on!
For every stride.
Note that in Top Gun, the "backseater" co-pilot was focused on the problems and lacked belief. Maverick was focused on the solution with an unshakeable belief!
Maveric focused on exactly what strategy needed to done and then deployed the wings and speed.
This is how we are then able to get out of our heads to become present in each stride ...
When we STOP focusing on the fears, what ifs, and problems.
And we are also then able to accurately see, feel, and calculate our pace ...
This will determine if that long runway is going to suddenly "ride" like a short one.
Or maybe even a longer one!
This is true in life as well, right?
But knowing this, that the metrics of runways are fluid, we can train ourselves to become more aware and resourceful with our strategies as well.
"I' have a long runway ..." is many times wishful thinking, an actual lie, that becomes a bad habit..
We may not say those exact words to ourselves, but we BEHAVE as if we have longer than we do.
Or that our current approaches won't change the distance, when in actuality, it does
Become aware of whether or not your "runway" is a story you are telling yourself.
For example, are you REALLY ready for the show?
Is your approach working for you or are you procrastinating ...
And telling yourself a story about "not needing" to do more?
Are you really doing ALL you can to achieve peak performance ...
Or are you doing the same old thing that isn't working, maybe a few tweaks here and there ... but with results that are mediocre at best?
(Great, you had a consistent and solid round ... again ... OK, so you are good at practicing that. But when are you going to start WINNING?)
Competition right around the corner?
What is your belief about what is working and what is not working?
Is it really true?
What is your belief about the time you have left to change your approach?
We run out of runway because we are not aware of where we are and what we are doing (that's not working),
And we are too rigid, and not fluid enough, to change our approach in a timely manner.
A lot of damage and missed opportunities happens in that window of time on the runway.
To horses, riders, relationships, careers ...
A lot of winning in those areas can ALSO happen then and there as well!
Breakthrough, Equestrian Mental Skills Coach
Emotional Strength & Resiliency Trainer