One of the many things I love about exercise and the great outdoors is the ability to shut off your conscious brain, quiet the constant stream of thinking and let things drift in and out of your head. One of the most ideal scenarios for this is a long trail run. And one of my favorite locations is Brown County State Park in Southern Indiana. The well-maintained trails go for miles and miles, winding, over creeks, down valleys, through sprawling hills and long rolling stretches; never so difficult you have to work too hard but enough of a challenge to keep you focused on your next step while still enjoying the views and solitude. Derick and I were out on our last run of 2015 when it hit me that the next day was a new year, the official start for 2016. I’ve never been one for resolutions; however, I’m a big fan of setting goals and always working towards something; ‘self-betterment’ you could call it. The idea popped into my head that perhaps as we enter into a new year, we should consider focusing less on ‘resolutions’ and more on ‘resolve’.
You would think that after 14 years of doing something, you’d have it pretty dialed. Yet somehow I still find myself reflecting on days, sessions and events, coming to realizations I’ve not yet stumbled upon. We never have it all figured out. None of us, ever. That is a part of life. It may be a frustrating part, but it’s a very important part and I believe an essential part to constant self-improvement.
Happiness in the present is shattered only by comparison with the past. (Douglas Horton)
With the opportunity to race in the Philippines in just 2 weeks, on a reputably tough course, a small fire has been lit under me to kick things into gear. I’ve found a bit of extra motivation to get back to the routine. Despite it being an early season race, I don’t want to go in underprepared and I’d prefer not to get it handed to me; just doesn’t seem like a fun way to start the season. After a short run focus over the holidays, I knew it was time to get back on the bike; suffice to say I took a good bit of time away from cycling in December. One thing that type A triathletes are good at is routine. ‘Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it, coach’. There isn’t a lot of thrill and excitement about going back and forth in a pool over a black line hundreds of times, or pedaling your legs in circles for hours on end. But we do it. We become creatures of habit and immune to boredom, or at the least, we become adept at refusing to admit to boredom when it inevitably seeps in. However, the past few weeks, I’ve found myself craving some change. I’ve acknowledged that you can get the work done but still retain a bit of flexibility, truly listening to yourself and respecting the instincts that may pull you in slightly different directions. [..]