I am so proud of my athletes. There is nothing more satisfying than to watch them reach beyond themselves. Sometimes the result is a podium finish. Sometimes it’s a personal best. Sometimes… it’s not. Not every race is a personal best. What I love is what happens afterwards.
Some athletes let a disappointing result completely define them. You often see them throw in the towel of a program they have worked months at. They change coaches. Some quit altogether. Others….. look at the why. Are we comparing outcomes? Are we comparing processes? If the result from one year to the next on the same course is different, after you looks at the variable conditions…. do you judge your progress off that? Or do you have a look back through your log and look at where you have come through the winter months.
What I love is when I watch THAT process happen. When athletes can let go of a time… time is relative….. and work the process. How do they handle disappointment?
How do they handle success?
One of my athletes, Ericka won the overall title at the Keuka Lake Triathlon this weekend. I have known Ericka a long time. If you have met her this season you think “Wow, she’s pretty quick. Wish that was me!”. I personally know where she has come from. Same thing with Jennie Hansen. I first noticed her in 2009 when she finished a few minutes behind me at Musselman (last time THAT ever happened). She was a new triathlete. Stellar runner. I told Curt “Watch her. She will go far.”
My point: the athletes on the top of the podium were not born there. They worked hard to get there. They worked smart to get there. They recovered well to get there. They committed to get there.
Commitment to your sport does not equal neglecting your life. If something is important to you…. you will find a way to get it done. The athletes that fine the MOST improvement in my stable of athletes, are the ones who check the boxes. They check the boxes of train, eat, sleep, recover. They check the box of life balance.
They lack drama as it applies to training. They take their goals personally but they don’t make them personal goals. There are frustrating points in seasons. In January when it was zero and it was another blizzard, they got the work done.
A few weeks ago one of my athletes Jenelle needed to do her long ride and she had a wedding that day. She did not email me that she had a wedding. She asked for a Trainer Road four hour ride. She was on that bike before 4am and she was at the wedding by afternoon. Check. She got it done.
On the most beautiful day of the season thus far Wayne did his final long ride for Eagleman inside. He was on call for work and that’s how it worked. Boom. Got it done.
Commitment to your sport again, doesn’t mean neglecting your life. It means blending it in. Athletes often come to me with the desire of completing a half ironman or an ironman yet can’t commit to the work required to get there, or commit to managing expectations about results. It’s easy to sign up for these things but in the dead of winter that mood has long left. What happens then. Do you have that deep underlying commitment to your goal and to yourself when it’s far far away?
If an Ironman or half ironman isn’t for you, knowing that is important. That’s ok. It not for everyone. What I ask you then is…. what IS for you?
What are YOU willing to commit to to achieve your goals?
Are you willing to train at early o’clock so it doesn’t interfere with family?
Are you willing to pay attention to recovery and nutrition to get the most out of yourself?
Are you willing to pay attention to metrics, HR at the very least to track progress and improvement?
The above athletes ARE.
People see athletes on the podium and they see the end result. They don’t see what goes into it. I believe anyone can hit the podium. Anyone. If you commit, check the boxes and have patience, you can do it. For some athletes it comes quicker, for others it takes years. Are you willing to commit to something that may not happened for five years? That’s the question I want to know the answer to.
Don’t think sport is not important in the grand scheme of life. Sport bleeds into life and life bleeds into sport. I have been in this game for 20 years now and I am grateful it’s my lifestyle. Grateful is in fact, an understatement.
I get to be part of the journey of some really amazing athletes. Some you see on the podium right now. Some….. you will.
What is so important to you that you are willing to work at it for five years?
The definition of commitment is:
- a promise to do or give something
- a promise to be loyal to someone or something
- the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something