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  • Writer's picturerganderson915

Advice from a Friend: Be the Constant

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

Renae here,

Today’s blog is based on some advice I got from my good friend, Owen Hoeft. Owen is a professional runner and coach, but he is also one of the most thoughtful and passionate athletes I know - any advice I get from him feels like gold, the kind of stuff that I know has been crafted from careful thought and love for the process.

That said, I wanted to pass it on:

“Be the constant”

Owen told me this just about a month ago, the night before the first race of my professional ski season. He left it mostly up for interpretation and just said “...eventually the race or hill or hard part will give up.”

One way to look at it could be in the context of a race - I can’t control the terrain, but I can control the way I move through it. Maybe that means keeping a constant effort whether it is a hill or flat section, or maybe it means maintaining consistent mental energy from start to finish.

But, I mostly love this advice because I think it can apply to any area of life. I like to interpret it as a mental strategy more than anything, and I’ve found it to be very grounding when things feel chaotic. In skiing and beyond, I can make goals and do my best to make them happen - and that’s all I can do. I can’t control the weather, I can’t control how other people choose to live their lives, and I can’t really control if I get sick over Christmas (pooor me). I can only control how I allow any given thing to affect me. No matter what comes my way, my mindset can be the constant.

Obviously that’s easier said than done, and sometimes the last thing I want to admit in the moment. I also don’t want to strive toward neutrality, or suggest eliminating negative emotions altogether. I see this advice more as a way to move forward through the hard parts, because the hard parts will always be there.

A few hard part examples, and how I stay “constant” by putting them into larger perspective:

1. Pushing through a long, solo training session

Eventually it will be over, training will benefit my skiing long term

2. Sitting through a flight or travel days

I have to do this to get where I want to be, wait it out

3. Repeatedly failing at baking bread

“Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty” -Teddy Roosevelt. Thanks Teddy.

Thanks for checking in this Tuesday, and thanks to Owen for inspiring today’s topic. I hope some of this can resonate with you, too.


Pictured: “That sucked” - my teammate Erin Bianco and I after a sub-zero 10k race in Canada. Erin was deliriously mumbling and my eyes were frozen.

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1 Comment

Aura Carlson
Aura Carlson
Dec 27, 2022

I love this and you.

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