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Walk a narrow path

19 July 2011 One Comment

There’s an imaginery path between where you stand right now and your ultimate goal. It’s a narrow path and it’s not straight. It has a few twists and turns along the way. It has some uphill sections and some easy downhills. There are lots of pot holes and dangerous deep holes you can drop into. 

Along that path, the weather is not always going to be sunny and warm. If you only move forward when the weather is good, you won’t make the progress you would if you accepted the weather as it is and did what you can. You may have to slow down, maybe take a different approach, but you’re still moving ahead.

The committed athlete rarely wanders too far off that narrow path. There’ll be lots of temptations, lots of things that appear more attractive than sticking to the boring old path. Those long boring bits seem like they never end, you feel as though you’re making no progress at all, then all of a sudden you break through to a new brighter view. It’s during those long boring sections of the path where the less committed athletes drop off, maybe to be waylaid by some temptation. A sleep in, drinks with the boys/girls on friday night. Maybe later nights, shorter sleeps.

Sometimes we come up against what appears to be a blank wall, with no way through. Like a recurring injury, maybe recurring because it hasn’t been treated well in the first place.  Sometimes along that path there are going to be scheduled maintenence stops, massage, acupuncture, rest. These pauses are going to ensure that the progress is ongoing, scheduled maintenence, prevents un-scheduled breakdowns.

Sometimes staying on the path is as simple as what you order for lunch. Lunch is most likely the meal where the the poorest choices are often made. Unless you pack your own, the choices are often too high in sugar or fat and too low in nutrition. You might say what difference does one lunch in a year make? Not much, but it’s a little scar on the psychological champion you’re building. One bad choice can lead to more, it can become a weekly “treat”? If you reward yourself with bad food, aren’t you supporting a negative habit? If you go off course once a week, that deviation has to have some cost at the end of the journey. 

Why not reward yourself with an extra effort in the pool. Maybe an extra interval on the bike. Why don’t we introduce a reward system where we actually look forward to doing more than our competitors, rather than taking shortcuts. Maybe the reward to reaching a milestone in our journey can be a day at the beach where we only eat great fresh food and drink filtered water or fresh juices. Maybe a whole weekend of running in the forest and eating great home cooked food. How kinky is that.

Most of our competitors are rewarding themselves with a deviation off the path, drinks with work mates, a greasy pizza or a big parcel of fish and chips cooked in super heated fat that’s virtually undigestable. The right choices move you further ahead of them.

Your own path can be planned with progress markers long the way, PBs recorded along the way. A plan in place to reach each milestone, there doesn’t have to be a strict timeline. Reaching each milestone happens faster if there are fewer deviations from the path.

Draw out your own path – list the steps you want to achieve along the way – make a list of steps which will help you progress along that path – maybe a list of pitfalls to avoid – have a plan in place to help dodge the pitfalls, and a list of rewards for achievements gained along the way. Use the rewards as carrots to chase.

One Comment »

  • charity challenge said:

    It’s an amazing post for all the online viewers; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

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