I was trawling through Socail Media a few days ago and I came across a gem of a blog post from the guys over at lifebuzz.com. They actually have some really great content – simple things that we can all do to make life, well more fun.
So the post list 30 things that we should STOP doing so we can enjoy life.
And it got me thinking: there are some things here that correlate directly with triathlon. I have tweaked these into my own interpretations and created a little list of things that triathletes should STOP doing immediately.
1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. You know those guys who complain about EVERYTHING. Nothing is ever good enough for them. I fully believe that you are a product of your environment: if you are surrounded by negativity, you will absorb and become negative in your mind set. That negativity will ruine your ability to overcome the mental hurdles that endurance sport throws at you. Sow ditch the sand-bags.
2. Stop running (figuratively) from your problems. It is naive to think that you can float though this sport without challenges. A huge mistake is ignoring the things that, when left un-attended, become serious problems. That little niggle in your calf? It doesn’t just vanish. Hate swimming? Get good at it, becuase ignoring or slacking during swim sets is definately NOT going to help your racing. Face whatever limitations you have. Own them and take responsibility for yourself.
3. Stop lying to yourself. Ironman hurts (so does 70.3). It demands respect and honesty. Don’t sit there in your bubble of comfort and think it’s all rosey. It ain’t. It’s tough. It is also extremely rewarding and stasifying. But don’t kid yourselff: you are going to have to lose some skin (hopefully only figuratively) as you prepare for racing. If you don’ accept this, you will be in for a rude shock. The pasth of least resistance is easy and comfortable, but it won’t make you a better athlete.
4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. Sleep, nutrition. Recovery. Time and time again we see athletes break down because they ignore these things. Make time for them – they are just as important as training. In fact they are part of who you are as an athlete. Pay attention to yourself.
5. Stop trying to hold onto the past. So you have had some bad sessions or crap races. So what? We all have. That’s part of life. Like I said, you can’t get through this without leaving some skin behind. When things go bad, take some time to reflect on why. Become a jedi master at critically assesing your sessions. Take note of the things you need to work on. And credit yourself for the little wins (important). Positve reinforcemnet builds confidence but only if it is based on true reflections.
6. Stop being scared to make a mistake. Kristian and I always say that if you get to the finsih line feleing like you had more to give, then you didn’t push yourself enough. Why do people do that? Sure self-preservation is an ingrained response, but you have to let go of the fear surrounded by making errors. Chase that lead group on the bike. Drop the hammer in the last 10km of the run. Learn the lessons that mistakes teach. Making errors leads to success. Holding back doesn’t.
7. Stop searching for perfection. It’s a fallacy. You can either waste your time trying to perfect everything in your training (and life) or you can just get out there and start gettin shit done. Don’t wait for the perfrct moment. No more excuses about how you will start training when you are fit enough (this is Pete’s Pet Hate #5). Get out there and just get it done. Show yourself you can do it by turning up and applying yourself.
8. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. Time and time again we hear “I hope it’s not windy”, “I don’t want to get kicked in the swim”, or similar worries of things that may or may not happen in racing. If you continue to focus on bad things, then eventaully you will create those situations for yourself. It’s called self-sabotage. Instead, you should focus on what you WANT to happen; the way you want to race, how you want to feel.
9. Stop being ungrateful. This is a sport that attracts some very high-level ego-centric personalities. That’s ok – a bit of ego can be a useful weapon. But that does not excuse bad behaviour. Say hello to your fellow athletes as you ride past. Show support even when you are suffering. Smile. Thank the volunteers that help you get arounf the race course, Don’t be a douche and abuse the very poeople that are trying to help you. Be grateful for the fact that you have the opportunity to race in this awesome sport.
You can apply these 9 Rules immeduately. There is no need to wait. And they apply to all facets of your life (seriously, read the blog!)
Long course triathlon is a rewarding sport. You learn so much about yourself.
It’s a journey that should be enjoyed.
Enjoy what you do.