Thursday, December 14, 2006

Interesting thread on FJ

Fitness Journal is an online training journal where I track my workouts, mileage, etc. The people using it vary from people just getting into a fitness routine and people purely trying to lose weight right up to psycho freaks who’re training for Ironman. One of the features of the program is a bulletin board where a fairly active core of members post regularly.

Yesterday someone who’s training for Ironman Arizona started a thread about how excited they were with a breakthrough they had on their long workout. It was an interesting post but what really grabbed my attention was the response someone had asking, essentially, how can she expect to live up to this standard and would she have to keep upping the ante on her workouts to keep getting results until she was putting in the same kind of hours/effort as the original poster?

The response was interesting to me because I’ve had the same experience of telling people what I’m up to for training and seeing them do the metal comparison between my 20 hour training week and whatever they’re doing and finding themselves lacking. I find it quite frustrating to have what I’m doing be discouraging to others, see them put themselves down because they’re don’t believe they’re living up to my standards. There is no real way I can think of to address this without being insulting. And I can’t not talk about my training because 1) I’m excited about it and 2) in my peak season it’s pretty much all I do. [And 3) I talk a lot!]

I’ve had friends and peers put down the fact that their big race was “only” a 10km/half marathon/etc. because they see what I’ve done as something bigger, and not seeing that their race is a huge accomplishment. It’s such a self-denying tactic, to accomplish something huge but denigrate it.

One of the things I’ve loved about the club I’m with is that I train with such incredibly good triathletes that, unless I want to dive into some extreme realm of illogic, I can’t expect myself to keep up with or beat them. Instead I’m forced to pay attention to my own training and my own improvement and only compare myself to myself. This is not about being self centered but, to wax new-age flakey for a moment, about being self aware. It’s about accepting where I’m at and working to get where I want to be, it’s amazing how much more positive my outlook is when I’m thinking “I am here and I am going to go there,” rather than “Why am I here? I shouldn’t be here! Why aren’t I over there?” It’s a refreshing change from how I’ve looked at things for the previous three decades of my life.

And I have to say, right now I like where I’m at, and the view ahead is pretty spectacular!

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Hey Alison,

This is a great post. A very insightful and motivating analysis. I think becoming self aware and self confident are essential keys to success. It's been exciting to see everyone progress in the club. It's a great group of individuals who train side by side. You're a big part of that great attitude.