Even before I became a triathlete, my philosophy on life was that when the going gets tough the tough TRI harder. As a business coach I get to see first-hand that when the going actually does gets tough, most people quit and bail out. I’ve learned that the only difference between tri and triumph is a little umph!
Swimming AND biking AND running - a triathlon may seem overwhelming at first. But, so is everything that can make you better, stronger, and more confident. Real life is overwhelming like starting a new business, leaving a job you hate, divorcing a spouse, or speaking in front of thousands of people. That's why people stay in their comfortable boxes, and wake up one day hating the life they created for themselves.
I have a very simple training plan that you can utilize to attack any project. I hope you can see how easy it is to follow if you just get out of your own way. This training plan can be used for any big day - whether it be an actual race, a launch of a new product, grand opening of a business, or achieving any goal you put in front of yourself. Haven’t you wasted enough time? Besides the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel, this training plan will get you into the best shape of your life, physically and mentally (win-win!).
Step #1: Put A Date On The Calendar and START NOW
I know this sounds really simple - it is! My friend asked me to be his swimmer in the biggest US triathlon, where I would have to swim a mile in open water. I love a good challenge and wouldn't dare say no, so I agreed to swim with over 10,000 other swimmers in the race. I hadn't swum a mile since high school – 25 years ago. I circled the date on my calendar and worked backward from there – building up my training day by day and week by week. On race day, I took a deep breath, forgot about the clock, and just focused on finishing—and I did.
Step #2: Do What You Can Do and Forget About Other People
Here's where it gets a little harder - comparing yourself to others and getting sucked into the competitive game of not measuring up. I have four jobs (radio talk show host, motivational speaker, author, and business coach) - six if you include being a mother and a wife. Most of my triathlete friends don't work as much and are single so they are constantly texting me asking me to join in on their morning runs, noon swims, and dinner bike rides. I couldn’t attend many of these and thus didn’t train as hard as some others - on race day I had to quit competing with others, even though it was a race, and focus on competing with myself. I dove into that water knowing I did all that I could.
Step #3: Your Body Won’t Go Where Your Mind Doesn’t Push It
Your thoughts are so powerful. If you know you deserve a better life or wish you were fitter you can achieve those wishes. If you think you are being punished for something you've done in your past or you're destined to be overweight or obese, then you will never reach your goals. You have to know what you think about, you bring about. I don't expect any of you to jump into a lake today and swim a mile. If that's a goal of yours then jump into a pool today and swim a lap. Just take it from where you are today to what date you have, or should have, circled on your calendar and work back from there. You don't always get what you wish for, but you do get what you work for!
Step #4: Realize That Fear Is Optional
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't entertain nervousness or anxiety; but I say recognize those emotions and put them to work for you. Yes, you will be faced with what seem like insurmountable obstacles, but you can't lose heart because the path to success is filled with adversity. It is the strong who will survive. Stay strong, be humble, and learn to lean on others for support. Most importantly get rid of negative, jealous people who want to kill your dreams and goals. They are toxic and will try to break your will and spirit. Never let them win.
I'll be cheering for you at the finish line.