Sunday, November 29, 2009

Excellence is Never an Accident

It's Thanksgiving. Can't you just eat this this weekend? No. Can't you skip workout just for today? No.

"There is always an excuse for losers" according to my brother. Watch a losing team and you'll hear excuses. Pro football players are getting better at hiding them but you will hear them if you listen closely. Pro triathletes generally will draft and then blame the marshals, the course or "Call it in as a mechanical mate." Excuses are like anuses. Everyone has 'em and they all stink. (credit a former boss for that one)

I agree. This week I started following a strict eating program as my sloth and injuries over the last two years is now around my waist. In spite of an "eating holiday" I have lost 4.5 lbs. and the weigh in is tomorrow. Trust me, I wasn't cutting back or counting calories. I was eating the right foods and hitting all my workouts and magically I have lost weight.

Take personal accountability for your actions. If you're fat. You ate too much in relation to your activity and you made poor food choices. Admit it, we can all see it. I respect a person more if they can admit their short comings (after all... we are human) and then work to erase them. I value work ethic very much.

Excellence is never an accident.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Goals: SMART Goals

Smart is a great way of creating a meaningful goal.

S = Strategic and Specific - This must answer the question of who and what?

M = Measurable - How can progress be measured? This method needs to be consistent.

A = Attainable - Realistic... if you want to lose weight, planning a weight loss of more than 2 lbs. per week is unrealistic, unsafe and unfair. Plan it right. Make it incremental.

R = Results Oriented / Relevant / Rigorous - The goal have to MEAN SOMETHING to you. Emotionally. If you are not moved to launch out of bed when tired or keep moving when exhausted it may not be the right goal for you. Fatigue makes things very difficult.

T = Time Bound - Tony Robbins once said, "A goal without a deadline is a dream." This is the stuff of goal vs target. When?

Smart goals take time to think through. Isn't that the point? I work with a lot of clients who tell me they want to lose weight. "OK, you lost 2 lbs. Are we done?" Of course not! A specific goal is needed. I want to lose 40 lbs. over the course of the next 25 weeks in order to (fill in the blank). You get the idea.

Ask your coach to help you through these goals. If he or she doesn't know how to help you plan an individual goal and season plan based on your background and athletic experience you may want to look to Kokua Multisports for help.

Sleep fast!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Goal vs. Target Part I

A brief update from Saturday's public speaking engagement. It was an honor to be considered for the book Second Acts That Change Lives: Making a Difference in the World. To be asked to speak with the author about the book and ALS was a highlight of my year. Barnes and Noble SOLD OUT of two Mary Beth Sammons books Saturday. A crowd of about 40 people listened intently as we discussed what we had lived. This may be deserving of a full blog entry later this week. I was even asked to autograph a few books!

This November I have asked my athletes to begin "deep thinking" their goals. I do this as well. What I've asked for is a set of goals and targets. It is a concept I learned from Bobby McGee this summer. For example, one client in the past had a goal of "lose 100 pounds". I've asked her to change that to a target. Her goals are much more "simple" than that. They are 1) Get to bed at a consistent time daily 2) Eat according to her nutrition plan (built by her registered dietitian), and 3) Do her workouts to the best of her ability within the parameters her coach sets for her (me).

Did you notice the difference?

The target is something we are working toward, but often don't control enough of the variables. A metric. A "SMART goal" by other people's definition of goals. The goal is a daily habit that we do in order to get to that target. Often, we control most, if not all of the variables that impact our achievement of the goal.

Understanding that difference is the first step to success.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Public Appearance & I am Asked to Talk

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” - Bob Hope

I have been teaching Spinning and indoor cycling classes for 11 years. I have been coaching athletes since 2001 back when I knew everything there was to know about how to have a great Ironman experience. (tongue firmly in my cheek) The thing that really gets me moving is motivating others. I love it.

One of the people I encouraged to try new things was a woman named Mary Beth (MB) Sammons. She was kind of nervous about going to spinning. Didn't know much about cycling (indoor or outdoor) and like a lot of people is extremely busy in life. In one of my classes she had one of those "break through" moments. Little did I know (but actually could have guessed) that my friend Andrew (also an instructor) was encouraging MB as well. MB got the idea for a book about people helping others and making a difference in the world. One of those people she selected is me.

I'm honored to be in the book. When we started to work on the ALS spin-a-thon (now called "Cycle for ALS") it was because my friends and I felt compelled to do something where so many had done nothing. My coaching philosophy is the same. Many coaches will train you, but they fail to give you critical information to have a good experience and mentally enjoy the fruits of your labor regardless of outcome. This may be the reason I like working with "Biggest Loser" type athletes a great deal. Once you get past all the unique challenges they face you talk about the joy of being in the race. I think that gets lost in the top age group level of racing. What a terrible shame.

Tomorrow at 3:30 pm at the Oak Brook Barnes & Noble store you can meet MB and I and we will talk a little about what we learned and how it can help you in your pursuit of triathlon, business and personal excellence.

I hope you can enjoy it with us.