Thursday, December 9, 2010

IF You Want To

I've had several conversations with different friends about "desire".  (Perhaps desire should be capitalized.)

When you HAD TO have something... what stopped you?  Probably not much.  As an example, at my second Ironman race (Ironman Canada) I needed water badly around mile 15 in the 95 F heat and at the aid station ran through sucking water from the sponges.  It's amazing I didn't get sick as God only knows how many pro and amateur athletes put those sponges God knows where.  I still remember getting sand in my mouth.  (Those sponges get re-used and tossed on the ground.)  Moving on...

If you WANT TO... you do it.  NOTHING stops you.  In Ironman training and racing this MUST be your drive.  If you want to be exceptional at anything, doing everything required is a "must do" and not a "should do".

Before I go over the top, let's break this down.  Think of times when you have had no money.  "Luxury" and the amount of work you are willing to do probably changed.  20 hour work days don't seem so bad.  Obese people often start to understand this when their health goes south, if they choose to see the signs of disease in their daily life.  Often too late, but occasionally not.  It's the classic underdog movie, like Rocky, situation.  The protagonist has nothing to lose.  Most important things would be housing and feeding your family.  The rest is icing on the cake.

Lately, I've had several conversations with people who are planning their 2011 season.  They are already planning to fail.  Why?  In their conversations with me they are defining what they are "willing to do" to meet their goals.  Twice, I've told people they should reconsider their goal and make it a dream.  Doing a sub-11 Ironman is extraordinarily difficult on less than 10 hours a week of training.  One guy hopes to qualify for Kona and break 11 while training only 10 hours a week.  Good luck with that.

I hear a lot of excuses on why people cannot do x or y in their preparation.  What I RARELY hear is personal accountability for the choices they made.

1) You choose to sleep in.
2) You choose to eat bad food.
3) You choose to not record your workouts and eating habits.


a) You choose to get up at 4 am and get that workout in.
b) You choose to eat a salad at Portillo's with work buddies.
c) You choose to record and review your workouts and diet.
d) You choose to make time and speak with your coach weekly.

IF you truly want to do something set up the smaller "mile markers" and knock them down one after another.  Nobody goes into an Ironman and thinks about the marathon in the swim.  (Well... not my athletes anyway.) During the swim, we go buoy to buoy.  The bike?  Aid station to aid station.  The run?  mile by mile (also, aid station to aid station).  Before you know it, you're done.

Stop talking about it and do it.  My friend Dan challenged me to change something recently.  The first thing I did when I came home was apply for jobs in a different industry - coaching.

Don't whine to people about being fat or out of shape.  If you want to, you'll make the change and it will be permanent.  Everyone struggles to be exceptional in their life.  At being a great family person.  Being athletic.  Eating right.  Balance is the key.  In the end, no one ever regrets their efforts.  People never wish they would have just stayed home.

Make the change.

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