Another Wednesday, and with it comes another Wednesday Word! This week’s work is complacent.
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Complacent means being satisfied with yourself or your achievements, smug, and often unconcerned with improving. Usually, when people talk about being complacent, it’s with a negative connotation. But I don’t think it necessarily has to be so.
When I first started running, it was all about running further and getting faster. Every race was for a PR. And that worked pretty well initially, because I was new to running and saw a lot of improvement over a short period of time. But then it slowed down a bit, which is the norm for most people, I think. Then, beginning last year and continuing into this year, I had a bit of a shift. I started running races more for the experience than for the PR. Does this mean I’ve become complacent about my running and racing? Maybe. But for me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Running a race for fun isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy. I like to have a couple of key races a year, where I am going for a best time. But for me, not every race has to be run for a PR. It’s okay for some of them to be run for the experience, where I get to have fun and enjoy the experience. Not that running a best time isn’t fun, because it definitely is. But if I’m aiming to run a PR every single time, I’m probably going to have more failures than successes. For me, that would suck the fun out of everything. It’s exciting to go for a PR, but life is stressful enough without making my exercise activities part of that stress.
That being said, I don’t think chasing PR’s is the only determinant of whether or not you’ve become complacent. There are lots of other adventures you pursue within your sport. And if it makes you happy to stick with the “same old, same old” then I say ignore the naysayers and let your freak flag fly.
What does complacency mean to you?
Do you feel that the word ‘complacent’ often has a negative connotation?