I have been training steadily for the past couple of months mostly alone. As I am out there grinding miles away I come to more and more conclusions between life and endurance training.
The first is to stay steadily moving forward! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are moving forward the only thing that matters is that you are not standing still or regressing. In life most of our problems come when we look backwards and try to revisit those areas of life instead of looking forward to the next thing life has to offer. The second problem area is when we lose all ambition and stagnate in life. This would be like starting a race and getting to the first aid station and sitting down there for the rest of the race because they have cookies and Gatorade and saying “welp that’s good enough.” When the finish (your goal) is where the celebration happens, people cheer, there’s food and beer, and you pushed yourself to complete something difficult to reap the rewards. In life we must not stagnate into a position where we lose sight of our goals, dreams, and ambition. No matter if you’re rock’n and roll’n through life or if you are struggling but are still taking one step at a time you will eventually reach your destination.
Imagine getting inside your vehicle and driving forward to your destination only utilizing your rear view mirror looking at where you came from. How would you ever make it to where you are going without wrecking or falling off the path?? You have a giant windshield in front of you! Use it! You have to see where you are going in order to make it to your destination. We focus too much attention on our past then use that as an excuse of why were aren’t where we want to be yet! Instead focus forward, visualize your goals, visualize/write out a plan, then get working toward it. Use your life rear view mirror to check your progression but don’t let that be your main focus.
In ultra endurance events there are many opportunities for past choices to come back and bite you. Did I take in enough calories the last hour? I only drank 12oz of water instead of 24oz. I should have gone out less with friends and focused more on training. I wasn’t paying attention and now I am doing bonus miles. All of which are valid excuses but an excuse won’t restore your electrolytes or fluids. Excuses won’t increase your fitness. Take your problems and flip them to bring future success as you move forward. I didn’t eat enough last hour so now I will slow it down and focus on getting enough nutrients to ensure I stay on track from here on out. I didn’t train enough for this event to complete my goal time (giving up is not an option) going forward I will adjust my schedule so I can still enjoy friends but also give myself the allotted amount of training. Getting turned down from a job because you didn’t have the skills or qualifications doesn’t mean you give up work all together, no you continue to develop yourself so next time there is an opportunity you are ready and qualified. The past has already happened it doesn’t matter anymore, the only thing that matters is what are you doing NOW.
We live in a fast world… Next day delivery, instant streaming movies, 2-hour grocery delivery, lightening fast downloads, 2 minute meals. Well unfortunately there are no fast tracks for athletics. No matter if you are a gym rat, cyclist, runner, crossfitter, or just trying to lose weight there are no fast tracks to the mastery level or your sports. Talk to any pro about how many hours they really train and it begins to make that 10,000 hour rule look small scale. It takes dedication, patience, grind, and focus to get to that top level of your desired athletic event. Yes there are PED and other ways to cheat nature but that is like the con-artist who sells snake oil. Eventually you will be figured out and outcast. To build the life you want there will be no fast track or get rich quick gimmick that will get you to truly where you want to go. Life is long, You have time. Stop buying into the skinny teas, GNC supplements, deer antler, B.S. diets and hormone boosters. Have the discipline to look at your choices throughout the day and question each one with “Is this getting me closer or further from my goals?” Nothing of gratification comes quick and easy. You will work, sweat, hurt, break down, build back up, and eventually earn it!
Lastly I would like to close with this challenging yourself. What are you going to do this year that is our of your comfort zone? How will it cause you to grow? What do you want to gain from it? Will you help others to challenge themselves?
Always remember celebrate the victories and accomplishments in life. Take in the experience and the emotions behind.