March 3, 2009
Lance Armstrong once said, “motivation is nothing without the legs” and this was proved to me on the Eiger this year, were too much work and not enough climbing saw me grind myself to nothing. So this year I’ve tried to give more time to training and less to work, and so far I’m kind of enjoying it. Karen’s also training a lot, hoping to get on the paralympic handbike team, and she emailed some words of wisdom on training that I thought really struck a chord with alpinism. I hope they work for you:
- Eliminate self-limiting thoughts. More often than not, people have preconceived notions about what is possible for them to achieve. They sell themselves short. Abolish thoughts that hold you back from achieving your true potential.
- Optimize your skills. Everyone begins at a different place and each of us is dealt a different set of genetic cards. Use that to your advantage and optimize your assets.
- Be willing to spend the effort and energy to be successful. Anyone can succeed if they are willing to work at it. Too many people want to reap rewards without the sacrifice that is necessary to achieve any goal.
- Enjoy the journey. If you can enjoy the pursuit of excellence, you’ve got it made. Aiming to enjoy only the end result makes it impossible to endure the necessary sacrifices to achieve any goal really worth having.
- Be a student. The more you understand what it is you’re trying to do and how to do it, the easier it is to be successful. Be a student of your passion.
- Persevere. There are many things that can get in the way of successfully achieving any goal. You have to be willing to figure out how to get over, under, around or through those obstacles. Keep trying.
- Develop mental toughness. It is not the physical challenges that keep men/women from successfully surviving the training, it is mentally giving up. You need to start believing that you can do it, you can be successful. Others have been successful before you, you can do it too.
- Be prepared to suffer. When you are training for an event as large as a 140.6-mile triathlon, it is a long haul. There is going to be bad weather, aching body parts and times when you are just plain tired.
- Know that some stress, followed by rest, will make you stronger physically and mentally.
- Take strength from others. This tip is particularly valuable for race day. Right, when you are thinking things are really bad for you, look around. You’ll see that others are suffering too. Knowing you’re not the only one and that other person will suffer generates energy if you’re willing to accept it.
- You must want success. Doing something that is difficult requires that you want to be successful with every fibre of your core. The intense desire to succeed helps you overcome obstacles that crush other people.
- Avoid over-training. It is easy for highly motivated people to overtrain. Achievers are often rewarded for doing more and working harder. While you must work hard and do the prescribed work, you must also rest in order to reap the benefits.