Monday, September 1, 2008

Learning from some of the best

It has been awhile since my last post. I just seem to never find the time to do these.

I came back from Boulder a few weeks ago. I was lucky enough to train for a week with Macca, Paul Ambrose, Brent Sheldrake, Simon Thompson, Cam Widoff, Bryan Rhodes, Wes Hosbson, Gordo and others. Well, Wes and I didn’t technically “train” unless you count watching the Olympics and sharing some great laughs.

I was able to do all of this because this year I have been getting some help from Macca and he was kind enough to let me tag along for a bit. These guys are simply on a different level. They are amazing to watch train. It has been a tremendous learning process to be able to train with the guidance of a current World Champion and get his insight into success.

What is interesting to me is their mental willingness to have fun, laugh at each other, encourage each other and train hard. We all know they train hard, but what I was most impressed with is the mental approach all these athletes have.

I am getting ready to go to Hawaii in just over a month. I know I’m prepared; I’m racing the best I ever have. I was totally honest with Macca about my being excited, but also nervous. He had some great insight into how he approaches his race there, and shared tips with me he has learned from others, as well as his own experiences.

I have spent so many years racing “scared”. I have been criticized by people who want to see me fail, people I thought were my friends, and the worst yet- myself. In so many races I have raced to “not do bad” versus “the best I think I can do”. These guys simply do not think this way. All of these guys have had amazing races as well as very poor races and even DNF’s. I used to think that they would DNF because they had to race again to earn a different paycheck. While I am sure this is true, I would guess now it is because they just lay it out on the line. They are willing with the consequences of their effort. They are willing to laugh at themselves, learn, and move on to the next race almost immediately.

I had some insight into this mental aspect while training with all of these guys in Boulder. It is hard work as an age grouper. We invest so much time energy and emotion yet still have to balance the “daily grind”. I have found myself a long the way forgetting to have fun. Macca told me specifically to not get so caught up in analyzing that I forget to execute.

My promise to myself going into Hawaii, and the thing I have been talking to all of my athletes about is to not forget to enjoy the moment. As Macca told me, make sure you do not over complicate something that is supposed to be very simple: Swim, Bike, Run.

1 comment:

Paul said...


Great post. now let's go and get them. Having a great time while taking them down :)