Grab a bowl of WeetBix and have a read.
Sport defined by the generally accurate Oxford Dictionary is ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment’.
Sport consists of competition. Competition in itself is something that needs to be prepared for. I believe we do not see a greater example of people who work hard, prepare and lay everything on the line than that of our Olympic athletes. Preparation for these athletes is much more than going for 30 minutes worth of recommended exercise per day. Preparation consists of hours, weeks, months and years of brutally hard work. Blood, sweat and tears are not even spoken of within the athlete circle… because they are simply inevitable.
10000 hours of work to reach your peak? Stuff that…. That’s some guesstimate that wouldn’t even scratch the elite level of competition. The amount of preparation required to make, compete and stay at the elite level is not something that can be put into hours, miles, years etc. To be present at the Olympics requires a great deal of work…. Full time.
Training is only one aspect of the work. The best athletes are constantly working on their game, visualizing everything to the simplest movements, planning what to eat next, preparing equipment, writing in the training journal, going to bed early, always beaming a positive outlook and high standard in public, speaking to coaches, managers and sponsors… even writing blogs 🙂 oh… Did I mention training? On top of this, some athletes work part-time, full-time, attend school and uni, maintain relationships and run errands.
The point I am trying to get at, is simply how hard athletes work to be at the top of their game, especially those who perform at a high level; Olympics, Commonwealth games, World Championships etc. Now let’s roll over to another pressure point that is constantly on an athlete’s back and that is the general public.
How many times over the last 16 days have you woken up to a negative Facebook post, newspaper article or status update stating that an Australian athlete has underperformed or they crumbled? Who put the initial “performance standards” in place for us to compare these athletes to – the public, the armchair critics and the people who haven’t run more than the distance to the bus stop down the street.
Yes, maybe the nation did underperform… but they didn’t work hard. People say the athletes worked 4 years for these games, no they didn’t! They worked many more. They worked something like 24/7. Sleeping, eating, training to schedule and convincing themselves they have what it takes to beat the standard of which is within their OWN head.
I certainly do agree that there needs to be some change… but please, before you say that a mistake was made by Bill or Bob or Sarah or Sharon, just take a minute to reflect on the 24/7effort that these inspirational people put into their sport. Think of the tears, the blood and sweat, the dedication and the sacrifice.
Sport is what the athletes do, the armchair critics are those who are entertained… It isn’t the other way around.
On another note..
We all gotta start somewhere 🙂
Paper to bling
Athletes are an extraordinarily driven bunch of people. Whether they be elite, amateur, age-grouper or junior they all have one thing in common and that is the will to succeed and the pure desire to constantly better themselves. This drive and desire is very important to use and is needed for better performances, results and PB’s. The only problem with this is that the constant slog and result orientated mindset can become addictive, almost like a drug.
I’ll flip this to a triathlete-perspective. About a year ago I woke up one morning with a scratch-like feeling in the depths of my throat and lungs, routinely, I headed to training all the while a little voice was in the back of my head saying “Lorcan, don’t do this!! This is obviously some little dirty bug you have picked up…. you will definitely get worse if you push through”. Me being me, I chose to do the dumb thing and ended up being bedridden for a whole week with a respiratory tract infection. This could have been avoided, to some extent, if I had been smart and made the “Instinct call”.
This is a small example as to why we all need to drop the DRIVE and DESIRE mindset every now and then. One thing in particular that my coaches have constantly told us short course and long course athletes is that “Great results and performances come from a constant and consistent slog over a number of YEARS, despite what people may say, there are NO shortcuts, only hard(and easy)work.” This is very important to remember and does not come from being in the DRIVE and DESIRE mindset all the time. To be consistent it is important to mix up the RELAXED and DRIVEN part of yourself every now and then.
Not every training session will be amazing, races are the time to shine, they are the days to put everything on the line. Race-day is the time to give 110% both mentally and physically.
Bringing this all down to one point:
- Despite what others may believe.. from MY point of view: Not every day, session or workout needs a goal or focus. Enjoyment is the key to longevity and that may come from simply being outside on your bike and rolling around the streets, cutting laps around an athletics track or swimming fluent laps in the pool. You don’t need to download and obsess over your times, splits, speed, heart rate and whatever other fumbly jumbly numbers there are after every session, at least not all the time.
I encourage you to get outside by yourself or with some mates… whichever YOU prefer. Swim, Ride or Run as fast or slow as you like. Forget technique, forget cadence, forget heart rate, forget power… just do it for the sole feeling of pure enjoyment.
The time will come when 110% is required.
Peace out and forget the science every now and then,
Pick up your watch,
Turn your watch OFF,
I have been lounging around all day today (As you do on a Sunday). I have had quite a bit of time to think…. so I started a blog.
I hope to entertain you with stories about myself, my family and life in general. I promise not to be boring, to always be completely honest (no matter how bad it makes me look) and hope to sell the sport of triathlon…. so that YOU and I might race each other one day 😉
So over the coming weeks, months and years I hope to give you an insight into the life of me, Lorcan Redmond…. the journey in pursuing my dreams, conquering teen pimples and fighting sharks.
Stay tuned and LIVE LOUD!
I know that’s pretty cheesy, but I need some sort of sign-off!!!
Any ideas would be much appreciated.