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In Michael Hutchinson’s book, the Hour, he describes how Graeme Obree failed at his first Norwegian attempt at the record, went back to the hotel, slept, got up and did it again the following day.  The second time he broke the record.

Hutchinson describes his state of mind thus:

He spoke to no one in case they punctured the fragile self-belief he’d managed to build after the previous day’s failed attempt.  When the starter began to ask Graeme if he was ready, he was interrupted by Graeme spitting back, “Are you ready?”  It came over as arrogance.  It was terror that he was going to fail and go home the same person as when he left.  He was more afraid of failure than of death.

I find this insight very interesting but I’m not sure what to infer from it. 

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