Monday, May 3, 2010

Just Keep Learning

"Why are you talking on the phone and not petting me?" - Greta

"Life has less to do with what happens to you than it does with how you deal with what happens to you." - Anonymous

In Greta's case, she just wants to eat, play and love (not necessarily in that order depending on the day). She just wants, well, nothing (other than food, play and some love). While Greta can function just fine in the morning, she is very much an afternoon and evening dog; just like her owners. Daily, I open my eyes at 4:15 am to see two deep brown eyes staring back at me.

Yesterday, we took Greta on a long walk (for her). It was approximately 5k. We stopped for water and a brief rest about half way. Greta stepped on a dock for the first time in her life. That didn't phase her. It was this strange floating thing with people in it that blew her mind. Once we barked at the boat, sniffed it, and then licked it; the boat was determined to not be a threat and we moved on. Greta spotted some fish in the water and immediately pointed at them. Her tail straight out, one paw off the ground and ears listening for anything. I sat next to her and explained to Greta that "those are fish". She looked at them a little longer and then gave me a lick on the cheek as if to say, "I understand now."

Later on the walk we found a snake getting warm on the trail. It just sat there and Greta had no interest. (We are very into birds over anything else that flies; planes, helicopters, hot air balloons, Frisbees, birds. Several of the birds on the trail were chirping away and she never saw the snake. Thankfully.) We also saw a baby turtle. This turtle was you standard, freshwater painted turtle and slightly larger than a quarter - brand new! Greta sniffed him and the turtle didn't move. When Greta went to lick him - I stopped her - he tucked into his shell. Smart turtle. Greta sat down and watched him. He sat for 30 seconds or so and then ran as fast as I've seen any turtle ever move into the grass headed toward the river. Greta just sat and watched with the last 2" of her tail wagging slightly, as her last command from me was to sit and stay. Good girl.

Greta looks at everything. When she sees something new, she goes into super observation mode; ears out, tail puffed out, eyes peeled and not a muscle moving. Once she understands, she moves on to the next exciting thing to learn.

The lesson I got from this is to observe life and workouts closely. See if things pass a sniff and maybe a taste test. Then finally move to how I will integrate this knowledge into my life.

Greta made it back from her longest walk ever having drank about 16 oz of water on the trail (she is already an expert in using Fuel Belt bottles as well as any water bottle). This may be an issue if I bring her to a race as she currently assumes all water bottles, Fuel Belt bottles are for her and her alone. She was wiped out. Ready for the next adventure.

Good dog.

Several of my clients have learned new things over the last few weeks. One lesson we have all learned or reinforced, is have a vision of where you are going and have an idea of where the "next step" is AFTER you achieve what you once thought was impossible. Ironman's motto is, "Anything is possible." So what is possible BEYOND your dreams? One of the challenges people have is going beyond. This is why many coaches struggle with their athletes in Kona. The goal is to GET TO Kona and they never discuss what can happen in Kona. This is where I have had all of my athletes in Kona PR. We talk about what is possible.

Same goes for weight loss. I have three athletes I work with who used to be morbidly obese. Those same people will celebrate losing 100, 200 and 300 pounds THIS SUMMER. While these clients will achieve AMAZING things in their fitness, we still have places to go.

Where will you go next after you achieve YOUR goals?

Keep learning.

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