During winter I usually allow myself a couple of month for reflection and goal setting for the next season. The foundation is the same: I want to create happiness for others and myself. If I have a mission in my life, that’s it. When it comes to my training and racing, I’d say my own happiness is the primary focus. That’s bit different from my work as coach, consultant and inspirational speaker. In that situation the focus lies on creating happiness and success for other people. Luckily I’m able to combine these two arenas. I’m aware that my training and racing also works as inspiration for others, just as I get inspired from watching and listening to other athletes, and I’m also well aware that an underlying driver for my urge to support other people in their strive for happiness and success is the fact that it fills me with contentment when I sense that I’m able to contribute.
I.e. it’s not either or. It’s rather a symbiosis.
I’m also aware that putting in print that my main driver often is my own happiness could be perceived as selfish, but I prefer to be honest. Claiming that my main goal was solely other peoples happiness and success might sound nicer, but I’d lie if I didn’t admit that I’m quite occupied with my own well-being. And when it comes to triathlon it took me a while do conclude where I was mentally after the season 2016. Taken into account how age affect our physical conditions in combination with my sense of some kind of disappointment over last year – see last post Sept 4th (!) I realize that I want to change my approach to training for 2017.
With this in mind I want to handle my own expectations. I want to find a path back to a situation where my expectations are inspiring and nourishing for my training and racing.
Another challenge I face is to separate what actually is happening (reality) from imaginations and assumptions (fantasy) regarding e.g. what other people expect or think of my (race) performances. NB perceived – logically I understand that other people aren’t very concerned regarding my results. I also realize that they wouldn’t be disappointed if I don’t achieve a certain finishing time or if I miss the podium. But the challenge isn’t the logic reality. You see – I want people to bother. Otherwise I wouldn’t have posted pictures and posts on social media. And I certainly wouldn’t have pulled myself together and composed this text.
Once again – it’s a symbiosis: I share my thoughts, pictures, goals and achievements etc. By doing that I hope to inspire other people and at the same time I seek affirmation and fuel for my self worth.
When this works it’s simply awesome. But, I know I can’t achieve happiness based on my athletic results – rather I need happiness to achieve athletic results. Most likely it’s once again a symbiosis.
I want to enjoy my training and racing. Actually all my training and racing should be joyful, but it’s easier said than done to avoid the situation in which expectations and pressure from myself and others is perceived. Thus I’ve come to the conclusion that joy should be my main goal for 2017. I want to give myself the possibility to fully connect to my mission statement: Create happiness. Away from pressure and expectations.
This is why my guiding phrase for the season 2017 has become “Just for fun”.
With fun as my goal, I want to have Vansbro Triathlon and Kalmar Ironman as my main objectives. I need clear objectives to know how to plan and execute my training. For Vansbro it would be awesome if I could make it to the top-10 in the Swedish Championship, and in Kalmar I want to have a well-paced race and reach the finish line among top 5 in my age group. This gives me inspiration for training hard, but during the whole season I’ll frequently ask myself: Am I having fun?!
This approach has already had great impact on my season so far. During the last five weeks I’ve ran two ½ marathons, a local 12 k charity race and participated in my first road bike race ever (140 k). I even participated in a relay team and ran 3,7 k @95% effort three days before last Saturdays ½ marathon. All this would not have happened had not “just for fun” been my guiding phase for 2017. With fun as the main compass I can allow myself to race without focusing on the results and fully enjoy the present. And I’ve really had great times during all these races, not to mention the relaxed mind-set in preparing for these just-for-fun-
races. No special food restrictions, no carbo load, no beet juice, no big no no’s and (almost) no nervousness
But, there is more to it;
Next year I’ll turn 50 (ouch, I just realised that this was the first time I wrote that…). By letting joy be the key for this season, I want to build physical and mental strengths with the aim of being able to become an even stronger triathlete. This way I hope to move into base training in November with a solid foundation on which it’s possible to continue evolving during the year I turn 50. That’s why I say to my self: Just for fun – with a purpose.
I haven’t decided how I want to celebrate turning 50, but going abroad to a sunny not to small (maybe even Big) island sounds nice and maybe it’s possible to combine that with some kind of racing :-).
I wish you all a year full fun training and racing!