This weekend I did my second Spartan race. It was lots of fun and great exercise, with many similar obstacles to my first. While almost finished with the race, I slipped on a very simple wooden step-ladder that was 4 feet tall, and I still have a big bump on my leg. The interesting thing here is that I did so many challenging obstacles, I lifted 115 pounds up a flagpole by a rope, I climbed a 30 foot rope to ring a cowbell at the top, I successfully crawled through mud under barbed wire, and a simple wooden step-ladder proved to be the only thing that gave me any trouble.
The lesson here is that we always need to stay in the moment. Before I approached the step-ladder, I already had an idea of how it was going to go. I "knew" that it would be easy, I "knew" that it was completely trivial and I would go right past it, continuing to move. I made this decision as soon as I saw it, and by making this decision I paid the price. Staying in the moment means not deciding how things are going to go before they happen. Staying in the moment means that I am open to anything which happens, and I am fully present here.
When on an obstacle course, being out of the moment means failing and/or injury. When in life in general, being out of the moment means missing out. When you already have made a decision of exactly how something is going to happen before it even starts, you have made the decision to not be fully present. This is not how to relate to other people, this is not how to enjoy your latest adventure, and this is not how to live the life of your dreams.
Stay in the moment. It is enjoyable, and it is truly living.