I’m excited to see how 2018 will finish! I’m ready to embrace all the great things about this year coming my way.
But first….December. The kids are out for just over 4 weeks in December. It’s a very, VERY long time for them to be out anyway – but throw in some Christmas chaos and it makes for a very long break. They have done lots of different things such as… swimming, bowling, 5 days at a trackout/camp, rocket launching, learning new card games, used a new Wii from Santa, made cookies, hiked, and played with their favorite toys…..boxes & recycle stuff from all the gifts. I’ve also been in PT for a rotator cuff injury that I’m hopeful will be better soon so I can get back in the water!! Kinda’ pissed about that. Really miss swimming right now but it’s not forever. And my PT said that it would be totally ready for the season next summer.
So my word for 2018 is STRONG. I was looking at my Garmin data from 2017 and the thing I was the most consistent in tracking was swimming. From Jan 31 through Oct 7 I documented nearly all my pool swims, minus a few here & there. I swam 39 miles based on what I recorded. HOLY CRAP, THAT’S A LOT OF SWIMMING! And then I started seeing other similar posts about swimming 100, 120 miles, etc. which makes my 39 miles pale in comparison. But wait, it’s so true that comparison is the thief of joy. Those other miles are from people training for full Ironman(s), probably with swim experience, and probably with the natural gift of athletic ability. Part of being STRONG is putting that type of nonsense and comparison to the side and focusing on how F cool it is that I swam 39 miles!
So here are the official goals for 2018:
- Continue to represent Velocity Sportswear for the third year in a row!
- Possible team tri for Raleigh Half Ironman again (?)
- June 24th Smile Train Tri
- September 16 OBX sprint tri
- October 13 Wilmington HIM with my hubby (swim & run….so that means I’m committing to my first 13.1 mile run!)
To get ready this winter I needed to have a space for the treadmill & bike trainer so I set up a commitment space. No excuses if it’s down the hall! It’s hard to see but on the front/top of the treadmill my youngest made a sign that says “strong”…and The Hulk is pictured below as well. He will be my inspiration while I’m building back up on the trainer this winter. I’m excited for some new endurance challenges this year!
In addition to bringing people together through a rare scientific phenomenon, the eclipse highlighted something else. I heard so many people say something like this…”if I had been thinking ahead I would have X, Y, Z. I would have planned a trip around the totality zone..I would have got glasses for my kids….I would have taken the kids to the beach/mountains….I would have…”
I heard about this eclipse coming for a very long time. Kinda’ like Christmas. It wasn’t a surprise to me. How was this a surprise to anyone?? Especially to anyone fairly close to the totality zone. Here in Raleigh we were at 94%, but we could easily drive to the 99% zone – which is what my husband did and took this picture. Now, I get that it was weather dependent. If there had been rain or storm clouds, it would have been pointless and a total bust. So there’s risk with planning a big trip for something that might not happen. I get it. But isn’t that true with most anything? a beach trip, a camping trip, a trip where it could snow, a trip in hurricane season, a trip when the kids could get sick, on & on.
But that’s not really the point, the weather. The point is that so many people were in the “if I had known” mindset. Planning is so intuitive to me, it’s hard to imagine that I wouldn’t see this coming! Which brings me to the connection between triathlon & the eclipse. Knowing a big event is coming – like a triathlon or eclipse – requires planning, even if it’s just a little bit. Even with news & media shouting about it – IT’S COMING, IT’S COMING – we still dismiss it and say “meh…whatever, no big deal” ……………until it’s over.
Then we feel like this: crap, we should have made a plan to see it! we should have made a plan to finish the triathlon! we should have ridden that bike, committed to swimming, practice, leaned into the discomfort, embraced the burn in my legs…because the pain of regret really sucks. The rub of not sticking to the commitment is embarrassing. The depression of giving up on yourself is no joke. My oly distance is only a few weeks away and I’m feeling weary and really hoping I can finish without a DNF. I keep hearing that voice that says just drop back to the sprint distance, it’s ok! But I keep pushing that away. It’s loud and fierce in my head, but I will NOT step back. Only forward. And for me that means not saying the same version of “crap, I wish I had made a plan to see the eclipse.”
Athletes make excellent employees
Here are my personal reasons for why you should hire an athlete! Granted, I’m a little biased. I realize that, and I’m OK with that. Read on & see what you think…
- Goal setting. Goal setting is natural for athletes. Whether it’s a run or any type of athletic event there’s always a goal in mind, even if it’s just to finish the event. Being able to see something big, even just in concept, and committing to it is part of being an endurance athlete.
- Being OK with being messy. Life is messy, and exercising is *very* messy. Hard work usually requires sweat – maybe literal, maybe not, but athletes understand that working hard and sweat are tied together.
- Understanding consequences. One of the unintended consequences of signing up for events such as triathlons is the huge (did I say huuuuuge) amount of laundry! You have to be willing to have both, and there are many parallels in life & work. Creating things can be messy and can have unintended consequences.
- Setbacks. Anyone who has any athletic experience can understand the power of a setback. Race day can take a sharp turn quickly. Being able to adjust for factors that are out of your hand – like weather, pot holes, choppy water – is a great skill that’s developed over time and with athletic performance.
- Endurance. Long term planning at work requires the ability to pace yourself, especially through a complex project or one with multiple people/layers. Employers want people who are able to endure and be persistent over time.
- Planning. Planning is different than goal setting. Seeing something in the distance is one thing; being able to plan backwards from that goal with smaller steps and milestones along the way is a concept that resonates very well with athletes who enjoy triathlon or other long distance sports.
- Tools. Having good equipment (tools) makes a really big difference in performance. Being able to quantify your distance, pace…having solid running shoes…a good timing sports watch… a good support system in place…goggles that don’t leak…all those things make a huge difference. It’s best to invest in good quality rather than cut corners and suffer long term injuries. That’s true about people, technology, and just about everything!
- Commitment. Sticking to a goal is a great skill and ability to have. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do a big event in 10 months. It’s quite another to consistently get long bike rides in, wake up at 5am, and swim miles every week over a period of time. Sacrifice & commitment are tied together in working for something that’s important.
If you were to Google this question – “why you should hire an athlete” you will get tons of hits… see here for more …I’m just sayin’….. people with an athletic mindset will set goals, crush them, and do it all over again – for fun! Why not put that energy to work at the office. Makes sense to me!
Did I mention that I’m available?