When it's important enough you'll make it happen
Legs churning, right left right left, over the peddles as I felt a drop of sweat form on my nose. The sun was glaring on my back and I could smell the chlorine weeping from my pores as I continued to push forward.
It was the summer of 2003 and I was home from college. I was juggling how to train and make an income. Working as a summer league swim coach was an easy gig; however I had to figure out where to get my training in.
I realized that I was missing a lot of valuable cardio by driving everywhere. I parked my car and decided to bike everywhere.
My schedule was:
4:45am - wake up and eat
5:00am - bike (3.5 miles) to practice #1
5:30-7:00am - practice #1 (swim 5,000-7,000m)
7:00am - biked to work (7 miles) and ate when I arrived.
7:30-10:00am - coached my summer swim team
10:00am - biked to a different pool (4 miles)
10:30-12:00pm - practice #2 (strength and conditioning or speed work)
12:00pm - biked home (6 miles)
12:30pm - lunch
1:00-4:00pm - worked for my dad
4.30- 9:30pm - coached at a swim meet
By modifying my schedule I was able to increase my cardio and ultimately my overall fitness was out of sight.
Biking 20 miles a day
Swimming 5,000-7,000m a day
And getting strength and conditioning in regularly was different than my competitors and gave me the added mental and physical edge.
Excuses are all around us. We can find a million reasons not to do something. The English language is made up of 80% negative words. That means only 20% is potentially positive. Our brains have been evolutionarily equipped to protect us from the bad. Somethings hurts? Go the other way!
You only need one reason to make a goal a reality. Not a million reason not to. People fail to acknowledge the conversation they have with themselves. What would happen if you actually listened to the conversation? What if you changed what you said? How you said it? And we're truly intentional about that conversation? I bet you'd see a difference.
I was going to title this post The Words We Use. But I realized that we needed to dive deeper than just the words. Everything we do as individuals, is really supported by a network. When I use the network I'm referring to the people we are around; those we chose and those we don't.
During this time of social distancing you need to reach deep and connect with the conversation you are having with yourself. My last article spoke about the stories we tell ourselves during both the good and the bad times. Understanding the language you use can give you a huge metaphysical advantage. Remember what we've spoken about so far body line, being smooth, using momentum, etc.
I want to encourage you to take this time and be intentional. Connect with your goal; it should be deeply personal. I recently watched a documentary about greatness. It had doctors and people talking about performance numbers. It had Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Rice and Pel to name a few. The conversation throughout the whole documentary was about how the numbers don't tell the whole story for success. Both doctors and athletes were in agreement that it were those who lived it, day and night that defined them as successful.
People often talk about work-life balance. The reality is if you are dealing with the concept of work-life balance you aren't connecting with your true purpose. If something is important enough to you it'll be a priority. It will be an obsession. It will be your constant companion.
I shared my schedule with you as a point of reference. Something to show you how I chose to find time to get what I needed as an adult athlete. As you are at home during this time you're being pulled in every direction.
I'm sure many of you are working from home and possibly home schooling your children. The world has changed. I encourage you to find small gaps in your day and fill them with something that will help you take the needed steps towards your goals.
Let's make a game of it. Swimming requires so much core strength. Give yourself a goal to get 300 reps of abs throughout the day. Whether it be sit ups, crunches, legs raises, etc. it doesn't matter what you do. What matters is that you've taken the time to connect with your goal in the tiny gaps during the day. You're gaining momentum and movement because you've made it important enough. You made it a priority.
The Swim Studio