Training | Obligation or Opportunity?
Hello athlete, When you are training for anything it usually starts out with a fair bit of excitement. At a certain point the excitement can wear off and the monotonous nature of endurance sports can feel like a grind. Something that you once looked to as an outlet becomes an obligation. You “have to” get up early, “have to” do a long run, “have to” eat healthy. Sure, these actions might all be suggested in your plan and approach to sport, but you don’t “have to” do any of them. You get to. It’s a choice, it’s always a choice. But I get it. The choice can seem unfair; you're trading present satisfaction for potential long term gratification. It's hard to compare those extra drinks or extra dessert now to the objective or subjective performance in your event months from now. Delaying gratification can't possibly be worth it. But if you spend any time at the finish line of an Ironman event or Marathon and you’ll see how much more rewarding it truly is. Unfortunately, even those of us who know that finish line feeling might succumb to the fear of missing out. It’s incredibly challenging not to join our friends and family when they indulge in certain activities. Maybe it’s as detrimental as shutting down the clubs at 2am, or as simple as staying up 30 minutes later to watch Netflix. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is being in alignment with your ultimate goals as a person. Not all of us are aiming for our elite qualification in Triathlon or trying to get a Boston Qualifier. Therefore, not all of us have to dedicate ever fiber of our being towards our goals. Live your life! However, while you're living life, take notice. Notice your choices. Your choice of actions. Your choice of words. If training feels like an obligation or you find yourself saying "have to", how can you make it feel more like an opportunity, just like it did when you first signed up? We should notice what the qualities are that we want to gain from training for our event. That’s what your choosing, not the training or the event specifically, but the opportunity to develop yourself using sport as a tool. This can be hard to remember because it’s paradoxical. Living a more disciplined life actually allows us to be more free. When you wake up and do an early long run you get to make time later in the day for friends and family. When you eat healthy you get to feel lighter and more energized. When you bike for four hours on Saturday morning you get to laugh with (and at) your training partners for most of it and explore the world in a whole new way. When you sign up for a race that you get to train for you put yourself on a path to improvement, a continual process of investing in yourself. Training shouldn't be an chore, but rather a chance to live life to the fullest. I hope this gave you some food for thought and challenge you as you go throughout your week to notice where you say or feel “have to” and maybe even replace it with a “get to”. Happy training, Coach Griffin