As an athlete, this is a time of uncertainty with regard to what to do and where to go with all of your racing event goals that you had on your calendar for this summer. Let’s sprinkle in a bit of disappointment and a touch hope into the mix. I’m a coach so I too, am working through the navigation process.
You may have had an injury that set you back in the past, or perhaps other obligations that may have thrown a loop in a neatly packaged training and racing plan. Never have we experienced a pandemic experience that has thrown us into, what I imagine, feels like outer space. The process of training and having events to “go for” often serves as a means for providing focus and a grounding point. Now what?
Here’s advice that I can offer to you.
Avoid fighting what’s not going to happen and focus on what you can do during this time. Instead of saying “What a waste, I may not race at all this season” ask yourself, “What can I do to step up my game during this time?” Which of those questions brings about better feelings, direction and energy?
Become a champ at those skills or disciplines you’ve let slide in the past. If your weak link has been cycling, become the best that you’ve ever been! Bump up the volume, work on your skills, set a new FTP record. If your weak link has been running or swimming, get on those skills and drills. Just because you can’t swim, doesn’t mean you can’t commit to working with so many great form drills on land. I can PROMISE YOU that it will all pay off down the road. More confidence breeds more success. Set a goal. This is your time.
3. Stay “relaxed focused”
What the does that mean? It means, continue to have a plan to help you feel better about yourself and allow you to stay fit, perhaps with a focus noted in #2, however, give yourself a break. It’s okay if you opt out of a run for a hike. Don’t beat yourself up if your motivation has low points from time to time. Roll with it and remind yourself that those feelings may change in a day or two …. or an hour or two.
4. Accept living in a state of ambiguity
This is our true test – learning to live in a state where we don’t have total control nor can we plan far ahead. So many of us like being in control. This means being more present and focusing on what we can do now, in the moment or simply day to day. Isn’t this how we should be living our lives? Perhaps we’ll become better listeners, appreciate those we love, discover joy in our workouts, be grateful for a good sweat and the release of endorphins that help keep us emotionally strong.
5. Stay safe
Let’s all keep doing our part. Keeping up with the virtual racing or training opportunities is the safest way to go right now. I have been offering ZOOM cycling workouts and we’re having fun and getting really fit! Although keeping an ample 6-10 feet distance (the harder your breath rate, the further apart you want to be) is recommended, if you opt to get out with a friend or two play it extra safe by wearing a mask. Sure it’s going to take some getting used to, however you’ll be keeping others and their loved ones safe.
Let’s do our part. Let’s be patient. Let’s stay connected. Let’s look for the opportunity and the lesson. Finally, let’s be compassionate and of service to those who are struggling.