Monday, May 13, 2013

It's More Than Just a Sport

While many of my readers know that I'm focusing on triathlon right now, it wasn't always like that. The last six months or so have been intensely focused on one goal: Ironman 70.3 Kansas. And it was in a moment of that intense focus that I realized something. No matter what happens on June 9th between 6:30 am and 2:00 pm, whether I finish or not, regardless of where I place, it's really the journey that counts. It sounds cliche to say, but it really is a huge part of this transformation. Not just a physical transformation, although I am probably the fittest I have ever been without specificity of training ie, training for cross country 5ks. No, this has been a transformation in lifestyle.

I'll be honest, I was never one to pay attention to how I fueled myself. I ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty, and never payed attention to what it was I was eating or drinking. Yet as this journey has progressed, I've found an increasing engagement in the kitchen, paying attention to what goes in to my meals. It's a small comfort to be able to control things like that. While I can't necessarily control how my body feels during training sessions, I can control things like how I recover. I've discovered the little things, like the fact I perform best when I have my first two meals with a carb centered dish, and protein as the focus of the third.

Not only has it transformed the way I eat, I'm much more conscious of the activities I do during training. I've discovered that my body doesn't handle running six days a week as well as it did when I was training for cross country. That's fine, there are two other disciplines to train for if my body doesn't feel like running on a certain day. I've learned that as fun as hammering it on the bike is, I won't run nearly as well as if I hold back a little. Or that to be able to hammer, I should warm up at least 5 miles first.

But no matter the outcome on June 9th, I know that this is just the beginning. I can either switch my focus back to cycling, perhaps the activity I enjoy most, or I can keep pursuing triathlon. But I need to get a goal in front to motivate myself, which is the third part of my lifestyle that's changed. I've discovered that with a proper, motivating goal in front, I'm much less likely to abandon training sessions when I have that vision of crossing the line in my head.

No matter the activity of your choosing, sport is so much more than just an extracirricular. It becomes a lifestyle.

No comments:

Post a Comment