by Coach Jenn Stanton
As coaches, we often get asked the questions:What race should I do this year?What race would be best for me?What would be the most fun?Who, what, where, when, why, how…???Of course, we can answer a lot of these questions and help answer others, but there are some questions that athletes/people/humans have to look inside of themselves and answer.What are my short and long term goals?My biggest dreams?
What does my year look like with my job, relationships, commitments to family and to myself?What am I willing to sacrifice to reach my goals and what things are ‘non-negotiables’?There are many adjectives that can describe the journey of training for a race of any distance: exciting, hard, fun, ambitious, purposeful, unknown, fulfilling…One adjective that I would not use is…linear.Athletes, jobs, families, priorities, and goals are different. And we treat each as such. Every literal body is different. Even each year of our lives is different.We love celebrating and embracing those differences.
From the novice athlete to the BQ/KQ chasers. No one dream is bigger, better, or more important than another.
So, instead of looking around, let’s look within to answer these questions.
After I finished my high school senior year of track and before heading off to college, my big goal was to do a triathlon. I rode a 1970’s Pink Mangusta road bike around my neighborhood. Where your water bottle cages are? That’s where my shifters lived. I was a strong pool swimmer, but to prep for the ocean swim I would swim a quarter mile in the ocean along the shoreline and run back. I remember the house that I sighted, even though at the time I didn’t know what ‘sighting’ was. I raced in a Speedo with Nike track spandex on top. Bungees on my shoes for a faster transition? That would have been novel. I just wanted to do it. And when I did, I was filled with so much joy. It was the beginning of my going on 20 year journey in multisport. A journey that is still ever-evolving.
Instead of looking at others’ big dreams, let’s go into the New Year and truly consider our own.
What do we want to accomplish?
What fears do we want to overcome?
What can we start saying no to in the New Year? What will we say yes to?
Training for any race is a process. And being present in the process is important. Race day will come and go. One may or may not hit that PR or stand on the podium. But, if you take one day at a time, trust the process, and try to enjoy it, you will find purpose not only in training, but in each of your days and hopefully that will overflow into other aspects of your life. This is the one life you get to live!
I’ve heard it said that people might remember you for your accomplishments, but they will remember you more for how you make them feel. Let’s be ambitious and kind. Kind to others and to ourselves. Let’s set aside some time to reflect on 2018, and dream about 2019. Then, choose to live in the present each day as we chase those dreams!