I have this thing that I say to myself in times of difficulty...
Do, because knowing is not enough.
I think we always know what we should do. It's the doing part that catches us. People know they should exercise, eat well, watch less TV or skip the drive-thru. Executing that knowledge is the real challenge.
There's actually a name for this phenomenon: The Knowing-Doing Gap. If you study business or health administration, you know all about it. Companies hire consultants, dump all kinds of money and resources into studying ways to improve, line up employees at mind-numbing seminars and then?
Then do nothing. Implementation is hard, and so it's easier to dream without direction than to make something happen.
I had a crappy week. It started with my husband requiring a second surgery to fix some lingering nerve damage from his bicycle crash last June. Sedated Dennis is a recipe for disaster. The man is an anesthesia sponge, and so I spent a full day tending to a babbling fool doped up on pain meds. Again.
Then we got word that a friend had suffered the unimaginable loss of her 18 year old son. I cannot describe the heartache this family is enduring at the present time. I can tell you that, as a mother, there is a pull when you hear of the loss of a child. You feel drawn to cradle your own children until you can't inhale another breath.
In the middle of it all, though, I have to carve out time to train and do the work I need to accomplish. I've been getting good returns on my training thus far, and I refuse to cede any ground at this point. Plus, I have a fancy new Colnogo CLX3.0 hanging out in the house, which is motivation enough! (Never mind that it is currently 4 degrees Fahrenheit in Boulder, meaning I am riding said bike on rollers in my kitchen. It's actually kind of cruel.)
So, I'm doing the work. At the same time, I have to push aside the fears in my head that tell me I am not doing enough. I have the tendency to go back and re-examine my training plans, look at different tracks and wonder if they are better, worry and talk about worrying and worry some more, and then let that doubt compromise my efforts. Then, I come back to it: Reading isn't doing. Talking isn't doing. Get on the bike and focus on quality, not quantity.
Fear is probably what puts an end to most doing.
On a brighter note, I had begun to feel like I was hitting a plateau in terms of pushing my functional power and my endurance. This morning, however, I saw an awesome increase in my sprint speeds and cadence. A hopeful sign since my sprinting has always been a point of weakness. I am anxious to see how my indoor training is going to translate to time in the saddle once things thaw out and warm up a bit.
And, you know, when you are working hard enough, you really are only able to do. One of the things I have always liked about exercise is that I reach a point where I can only focus on the task in front of me. I push myself to a limit where the only this one thing can fill the space of my mind. Today was that kind of day. I was alternating between sprints and climbs, pushing myself to my threshold on every sprint set and then using the climb as a working recovery. It was misery. All I could do was watch my watts, focus on sucking in air, and trying to keep my legs moving. My only thought was to ask, Is this your 100%?
There's something kind of peaceful about being in the moment, and executing.