Updated: Jan 9, 2020
It’s New Year and though it’s hard to plan anything with four month old twins I’m in full fledged ambition mode.
Much of my spark has not been ignited by the turn of the decade but simply by a return to my roots - albeit in a vicarious role. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the kids, James and I head to the track to watch James train with his new running group.
Despite the chaos of going out with three kids and my acute jealousy of all the toned and tanned athletes bodies, they are my favourite days of the week. Track sessions were the salt in my training for twenty years. The smell of tartan still gets my adrenalin going.
Wednesday and Friday morning plods become more ambitious after these evening. When you race your sports focus is so unilateral and much is masked by your own perception and judgement of your shortfalls and fatigue. Being on the sidelines , which I truly am right now, you see the true development of athletes on the cloudy days ; how valuable that first track session of the year is despite being out of shape and heavy; how every single athlete has bad days and how in those moments the champion in them is constructed. If I could go back I would teach myself patience, perspective and steadiness. Those are the coaching prompts I use mostly now.
I have a choice to make now. To become depressed about loss of the athletic self I once was or to celebrate the coach these years and my past can help me to evolve into. I’ve always had experience, knowledge and intelligence but perspective provides genuine wiseness when it comes to strategic training.
I would urge all aspiring athletes to lay your short and long term goals out now. Write them out and look at them weekly. A goal can be made at any level - to finish a 5km or to race an Ironman. Think strategically. How you can climb to that level each week and then make a start. Make a start right there and then. However unfit you are, however ambitious your goal and however much you delay the group speed - start. If you are the slowest or the fattest the first week , you can be damned sure you won’t be for very long.
One day you might not be in the position to get out the door to the pool, of track or cycle loop. You might parent twins, then you’ll be sorry !.