At the end of the year, I always find myself quite reflective. This usually seeps into the first month or so of the next year. So much happens over the course of a year; from races won to races lost, myriad hours of training, events, birthdays, meeting new people, embarking on new endeavors – the list could go on forever.
Each year, some blemishes creep into our days, weeks, months – as well as thoughts and behaviors. When the clock strikes 12 on January 1st of the new year, the objective should not be to completely rid oneself of these missteps and to never err again; it should be to grow, learn and progress from previous errors.
This can be directly applied to the triathlon world. Whether it be figuring out new goals after accomplishing previous ones (such as winning a race or completing an Ironman), rethinking things after a failed race or training plan or otherwise, thinking about the upcoming year is an important part of growing as an athlete.
I think the biggest thing to remember is to breathe and know that things will be okay.Like one of my favorite quote states, “Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.”
At the time, it may not seem like a disappointing race finish, workout, or failed plan has no good in it… for it can appear as if the situation is merely a disappointing point in your ever-growing and developing triathlon career. However, with disappointments can come growth.
This past summer, did not competing in Ironman and only being able to race a couple of times eem like a positive? No. But after months of reflecting on this shaky race season, I have come to accept it. I needed to focus on rowing, tend to my sprain and stress fracture in my foot, and prepare myself to be a part of a Division 1 rowing program over the summer. This summer provided me with many learning experiences and means through which I can grow and develop as an athlete. Going forward, I’m happy that I focused on rowing over the summer (I needed to learn how to row before I went to college!) and stayed healthy. I’ve transferred this energy for planning for the upcoming year – and I couldn’t be more excited. I can use my strength from rowing to have an awesome tri season this summer.
The same can be said for you. Yes, you. Take a moment to think. What was your biggest triathlon related success last year? Disappointment? How can you reflect, grow and learn from this?
Things are not always perfect. And as much as the inner control freak in me hates to admit it, things often do not go as planned. Sometimes the best way to deal with this inevitable part of life is to go with it. Roll with the punches. Go with the flow. You get the idea. Plan a race calendar, set goals, and adjust and align your expectations along the way. Take each day in stride, and make 2013 the year of innumerable tri beginnings.
Chilling on the IMNYC course… haha (notice the sneakers… I never wear sneakers outside of workouts unless my foot is injured… it took a lot. haha)