This Bank Holiday weekend I was at Silverstone to enjoy the British round of the MotoGP. I was there last year enjoying the warmth of a few very hot days. This year was different.
It wasn’t sunny. At all. In fact it was very wet.
The format sees all the practice and qualifying taking place on the Friday and Saturday with the races on the Sunday. Nothing completes this experience like camping. It’s a part of it for me. We arrived very early Saturday morning, pitched the tent and headed off to the circuit. So far, so dry. Then during the day we experienced rain. It’s England, it’s August, it’s not unusual.
Then Sunday. Waking early and it’s dry. Checking the weather forecast informs me that there’s going to be rain. So an early decision to pack up the tent after breakfast so that we don’t have to do it in the rain, which I can promise you is considerably less fun.
This decision is in my control.
We wander to the circuit and take our place in the covered Grandstand (Abbey for those of you who are curious). They have brought the race forward to 11.30am from 1pm to minimise the chance of it being delayed because of the rain. Fine. And then it rained.
And rained. And rained. 11.30am came…and went. Track reviews every thirty minutes. Possibly racing at 1.30pm. Then a track review at 3pm. Then an announcement that if it had stopped raining by 4pm then they would commence racing at 4.30pm.
None of this was in my control.
All during this time it was raining, and it was windy and not lovely. Of course we were (to a point) dressed for this.
At about 3.15pm we decided to head home. This choice was in my control. At just after 4pm as we were driving home we heard that all racing had been cancelled due to safety.
As frustrating as the day could have been it wasn’t. It wasn’t ideal of course as we had gone there to see racing and there was none to see. It wasn’t frustrating because I knew that a lot of things were outside of my control and therefore I didn’t worry about them. I have no influence over the weather, no influence over the decisions taken by the circuit or the organisers, no control over many of the factors that influenced the decisions taken. So I didn’t worry about them.
I did have control over what I chose to do with that knowledge. I chose to wait, so waiting wasn’t an issue. I chose to walk around rather than sit in the grandstand so I didn’t get annoyed about getting wetter or colder. I didn’t complain about not being warm enough (which is not the same as not commenting on it) as I had chosen my clothes and if I was that cold I could have purchased more clothing as there was plenty available. And ultimately I had control over whether I stayed there or went home. So I didn’t ‘have’ to ‘endure’ anything. I could leave at any time.
So of course I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the racing, but there was no racing to be seen and it was entirely my decision to stay to see what happened. And it was an experience.
It’s easy to get annoyed at what’s happening ‘to’ us. It’s easy to get angry or frustrated at events. I invite you to consider what control you have in any situation. If you don’t have any then there isn’t much you can do about except how you choose to interpret what’s happened. And that is in your control. I couldn’t control the weather or the decisions – only how I reacted to them. So it was an adventure and we had enjoyed a day of seeing the riders and then the unusual circumstances of all races being cancelled. I know that very quickly it will become a case of “We were there! We were there when they cancelled all the races!”
So when life is happening ‘to’ you just take a moment to examine what’s in your control – perhaps the only aspect of control is how you choose to react and feel about it – and in that you have total control. Use your power helpfully.
And if you’d like to discuss MotoGP or anything else that you feel you would benefit from discussing with me then why not contact me?
(The image is a picture I took of Valentino Rossi, because of all the riders he is usually the only one most people have heard of. This is on the Saturday in the wet.)