by Cherie Gruenfeld January 17, 2018 3 min read
If you’re reading this, it means that you’ve survived the holidays, with all its temptations, and are looking ahead to the new year.
This is a risky time for competing athletes who frequently live on the “Type A” end of the spectrum. We look at the year ahead as twelve months that we must fill with daily training and frequent racing. This may not necessarily be a problem, but early January affords us the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we might best approach the upcoming year – what can we do to make it a breakthrough year full of accomplishment and personal fulfillment.
Let me suggest some ideas you might want to consider during this start-of-the-new-year reflection:
How often do we hear someone lament the fact that they set a resolution on January 1and gave up on it by January 30? A resolution seems to be an “all or nothing” sort of directive, whereas goals give you the opportunity to focus your efforts, over time, towards major accomplishment.
Goals can be short-term, leading to a long-term goal. A resolution is more of a “Do it now or fuhgeddaboudit” sort of thing.
I’m fully aware that I’m playing with semantics here, but I believe we all have a better shot at having the year we want if we lay out a path to follow rather than wrestling with an imposing decision we may be making without enough data and then tossing it aside when we discover it was the wrong decision.
This is certainly not an “either/or” decision – both group and solo riding are beneficial. I recommend you look at which you’re more comfortable with…and go do more of the opposite.
If you’re primarily a solo rider, you may lack bike handling skills, or you may lack the self-confidence necessary to get in the middle of a hard-charging pack.
If pack riding is your cup o’ tea, you may lack the self-motivation to push yourself hard enough, or you may be leery of finding yourself alone when a flat tire or mechanical problem occurs.
Get out of your comfort zone more often and become a strong all-around rider. It’ll pay off in many, many ways.
If you’re a triathlete, you’re probably looking at doing some running races as part of your training. You’ve done a lot of them, maybe even won a few. So you feel right at home in that arena. But are you thinking of signing up for a swim meet or a bike race? Probably not.
One of the best ways to improve in a discipline is to race with experts in that discipline. Racing against pure swimmers or bikers will be humbling, I promise you. You may be outclassed, but you’ll get stronger, smarter and more confident – all of which you can put to good use in your training and racing.
Remember the day when you did your first race, got your first bike or went to your first Masters swim session? Kind of a scary time, right?
You now have a wealth of knowledge about the sport of triathlon. Why not share that and, in doing so, give someone else the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits and camaraderie that we find so special about the sport?
I can tell you from experience, there are few things in life more gratifying than to see someone cross his first triathlon finish line when, some time prior, he didn’t think it was possible. Remember, we were looking for accomplishment and personal fulfillment in the coming year. Personal fulfillment doesn’t get much better than this!
There are plenty more areas you’ll want to think through when considering where you want to go in 2018 and how you want to get there. Time invested up front in this cerebral exercise will pay big dividends throughout the year.
Have a great new year!
by Dr. David Minkoff
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