Thursday, April 30, 2009

Training is the opposite of Hoping

Apparently, this is a new slogan that Nike is using in their marketing. I saw it on a t-shirt and LOVED it. This is my new theme for life. I think it can pertain to any challenge that you face – not just an athletic event.

First, I’ll discuss this in the realm of events, specifically the Half Ironman that Trevor and I are training for. I don’t want to stand on the banks of Lake Stevens at 6:30 am August 16th and think “I hope I’m ready for this”. I want to stand there and know that I have trained for it and that makes me ready. I want to know that I have trained for the 1.2 mile swim, the 56 mile bike ride and the 13.1 mile run. I don’t want to just hope I’ve done enough.

Sure, we could spend the next few months working out a little more, swimming a few times, riding the bike when the weather is nice and running some longer runs. We could eat a little more chicken and a little less ice cream. We could sleep in and skip workouts – go out drinking on a Saturday night and miss our Sunday run. We could eat big breakfasts at Biscuits cafĂ©. We could do all this and hope it was enough.


We could come up with a plan. We could spend the next few months executing that plan. It could include sport specific workouts for swimming, cycling and running….weight and core workouts. We could practice transitions from the water to the bike and the bike to the run. We could develop a week by week nutrition plan to fuel our workouts and try out different supplements and fuel for long workouts and recovery. We could read up on what to expect, other participants’ experiences and advice. We could get good sleep and solid rest on days off. And then we could show up and KNOW that we had trained and that we are as ready as we could possibly be. We can hope the weather is nice, but KNOW that we are ready even if its not.

Just writing that makes me want to be even more diligent in my training. It makes me feel like I am in complete control of my future and that is empowering.

Now let’s talk about how this theme can transfer to the rest of our lives. Are there things that you hope? I don’t mean hope in terms of “hopes and dreams”, I mean home as in “I hope I don’t lose my job,”, “I hope these pants still fit”, “I hope I have enough money to retire”.

In the examples above, the word training can be replaced with preparing. Let’s say “preparing is the opposite of hoping”. Let’s prepare for losing our job, so that if we do, we will be okay – look at what it would mean for you and what you need to do in order to be prepared. Do you need to cut back on your month expenses? Start saving into an emergency fund? Start looking for a new job now? And those pants…you know if they are going to fit. Stop hoping – either be okay with the fact that they don’t fit, or do something to make them fit – alter them or alter yourself. Either way is fine, just don’t hope about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can train and prepare and it may still not be enough. You may have a bad day at an event, you may be hit with something in life that is totally unexpected – that you didn’t even think you would ever have to prepare for. You can do all the right things and still not be ready. But wouldn’t you rather look at an event/challenge/experience and say “I did all I could do, I gave the best I had, I respected the challenge. I’ll learn from this and grow”. That is so much better than “I should have been more prepared”, “I should have seen this coming”, “I should have trained for this”.

So many people go through life in the passenger seat – they let everyone and everything control their path. Sometimes its okay to go along for the ride, but for the most part you should be the driver. Take charge of your life. Decide what you want, come up with a plan and GO GET IT. Stop telling yourself all the reasons why you can’t have what you want.

Training is the opposite of hoping. Start training for your life.

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