Flashback/Speedgolf Record Commentary (Breather Episode with Brad)
By Brad Kearns
As a follow up to my detailed account of breaking the Guinness world Speedgolf record, I discuss how, on the day of my record attempt, I experienced a flashback to my high school track days. Relaxing in my childhood bedroom before heading to the golf course, for the evening attempt, I reflected on doing the same thing—killing time relaxing after school and before heading to track and cross country meets. Well, “after school” often came at midday, as I would ditch afternoon classes on account of pre-race nervousness. Indeed, back then I would feel a profound sense of dread and negativity, fearful of the pain involved in distance racing and anxious about the outcome. Speaking of pain, when I raced in high school I didn’t realize the severe burning of the lungs and coughing for hours afterward was not due to the effort, but due to the terrible smog in Los Angeles at the time. This only became clear after my first collegiate meet on the oceanfront course and pristine air at UCSB! As a young runner, my self-esteem and sense of belonging was tied to my athletic success. While this serves as a significant source of external motivation, it’s not as effective as cultivating a process-oriented approach. A results-oriented mentality can easily be shaken by failure to the extent that competitors in any area of life get discouraged and give up instead of persevere. I relate how I felt those same nervous butterflies before my Speedgolf effort, but only in the positive sense of striving for a fun peak performance goal, with a light-hearted approach. I had trained very hard and was highly interested in breaking the world record, but without the unhealthy dynamics of having self-esteem tied to outcome. This represents the ideal peak performance mentality, best captured by a beautiful quote from the late Sir Roger Bannister (first man to break the four-minute mile): “The essence of sports is that while you're doing it, nothing else matters, but after you stop, there is a place, generally not very important, where you would put it.” While I’m committed to getting over myself per show mission statement, I also strive to keep the competitive fire burning and have ambitious peak performance goals that hopefully inspire you too. Consequently, the place generally not very important where I put my Speedgolf World Record performance is on YouTube, baby! Hit the link and make it viral!