As I embarked upon on my journey from office potato to triathlete almost two years ago, I never dreamed of how awesome the journey was going to be. Looking back, I wonder why I waited so long to do it.
I thought I would take a moment to share a few things I learned along the way. These items apply to everyone, whether you are a triathlete, a customer service agent, or a stay-at-home mom.
Here is what I learned:
1) Baby Steps Lead to Big Goals
Nothing happens overnight. Set a goal and begin working toward that goal, doing something everyday until you reach that goal. Then set a bigger, higher goal and do it all over again.
2) Enduring Pain is Part of the Fun
Pain is not enjoyable, but it is a necessary aspect of the journey. Enduring pain makes us better by helping us grow.
3) Seize the Opportunity When It Presents Itself
Tomorrow is never a better time to do anything than the present. If you want to connect with someone, do it. If you have the chance to race, do it. If you need something from someone, get it.
4) Stay Focused On The Big Picture
Deviating too far from the plan is like stabbing yourself in the back. Realize why you set the goal and focus on that. Constantly deviating does not bring coordinated progress.
5) Share Your Experience and Learn From Others
Sharing your experience with others is not only a fabulous way to hold yourself accountable, but to use your experience to inspire others; hopefully making the world a slightly better place. Through sharing, you will also find others that will help you and you will get to know some very cool people.
6) Document, Document, Document
Keeping some sort of a log of your experiences to document changes, thoughts, and methodology is a relatively simple way to find motivation. I keep multiple logs of my workouts, nutrition, and experiences. I also use Excel to slice and dice the progress so I can visually see how far I've come. This will also keep you focused on your goal.
7) Find the Tools that Work
Not everyone likes a Palm and yet others find the iPhone frustrating. Finding the tools that work for you is the key to your success. From documenting your experiences and data with paper and pencil to purchasing an online training log like Training Peaks, experiment and figure out what works.
8) Keeping an Open Mind
Along your journey, listen to the experts, experience new things without judgement and do not let yourself project your own bias. Experience the moment as openly as possible and then begin to form your own judgment. Looking back over the journey, you will see your perception change as you develop along the way.
Needless to say, my journey is full of ups and downs. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I hop you come away from this with a sense of inspiration and one or two concepts that will make your life that much more enjoyable.