This theme has come up for me many times in the past week, and I think it applies to you as a triathlete, working to accomplish your goals.
The theme is, not wanting to be anywhere else than where you are.
I came over here to Hawaii to work and surf and do some yoga. The flight over was… less than fun. The flight attendants were angry with a couple of Dutch passengers who were sitting next to me, not sure why, but one of these guys made a comment and rolled his eyes “Americans!”
That didn’t bother me, but what did is, the flight attendants seemed unhappy to be there, and were visibly annoyed many times throughout the flight.
Why not accept where you are and make the absolute most of it?
There was also a screaming baby in the row next to me. And a 6 hour flight, no food was served, and only one time through with the drink cart.
Well, we’re on our way to paradise, but there was a lot of discontent on this flight!
Maybe you’re in shape enough to do a sprint triathlon, but you feel a sense of envy when watching people do longer distance races. “Why can’t I do that?” But this doesn’t help your situation!
Try switching the mental framing here. “I’m so happy to do sprint triathlons, they don’t take as long and I can be just as fit as everyone else, just more specialized in the shorter distances.”
What is it about your current situation that you can absolutely love, even if you aren’t overall satisfied with it?
What can it be with swimming? Maybe you struggled throughout your workout. But surely, there are things to really love about that workout! Like:
- You made your intervals
- You completed everything you set out to
- Your stroke felt smooth and strong for at least 1 lap
- You’ve got a few specific things to work on next time
- You made it to the pool and got in!
The idea is not to become complacent. That would be more like giving up.
Instead, it’s accepting the current situation in the context of the bigger picture.
As a kid growing up, I typically had swim meets every other weekend or so. With that much swimming, there is 0 chance that every single race is going to go well.
In fact, many races would go poorly or below expectations. And those were all learning lessons.
But there would always be a “big meet” that we were training for. All the racing along the way got us to focus on what we needed to improve to be ready for the big one.
The lessons really came down to accepting the present situation, positive or not!
I remember one time, at one of my big meets, I raced in the 100 yard backstroke. This was my race. However, I was not prepared for it, and I knew it. I had been missing workouts and not doing what I needed to do to have a great race.
I finished and looked at the clock. 2 seconds faster than my all time best! What? So I thought. But I made a mistake. I looked at the wrong time. I was actually way off my best time.
There was no free lunch! I didn’t do what I needed to do that time to have a good race.
Huge disappointment! But it was also exciting to know I had the capability to train the way I needed to get what I wanted.
There’s always a next time and a second chance.
But anyway, bringing it back to the theme here, wishing you were somewhere else will only bring you away from your goals, your purpose, or your enjoyment of life.
Maybe you aren’t currently in paradise (like I am 😉 ), but see if you can find the “paradise in the moment”, or in your present situation.
Befriend the water, even if it’s cold and choppy. 🙂