Many years ago, I met Chris, who had come back to High School to finish his diploma.
At the time I thought he was pretty old to come back to school, almost 22.
( I say this ironically because I ended up going back to University at 35).
Anyway, the guy was pretty buff and was one of the first guys I knew to work out in what was a forerunner of the CrossFit “box”.
After one of his workouts, as he walked by me, he muttered something like “Glad that’s over” and I asked him what he meant.
Turns out that while he loved the results, he hated working out.
Capital H HATED!!!
I found this surprising as the guy would show up at this gym for to five days a week after school and put himself through what seemed like a pretty intense workout.
The thought that he was spending so much time and energy doing something he actively disliked seemed counter-intuitive to me.
But, he told me, as he told himself during every rep, that he liked looking like he did more than he hated going through what it took to look like that.
One of the first things I realised when I started seriously exercising is this:
Like Chris, I hate exercising.
I hate the discomfort.
During racing pieces, I just want it to be done.
However, I also know that it is by being continually uncomfortable that I am developing as a paddler.
And I think that is what is behind success in training….Accepting that it will be uncomfortable and that there is something at the end of the road as a reward.
Some things in training, like walking or cycling are going to be easier than others, simply because, even though we haven’t done them in a training capacity, we’ve grown up doing them.
The trick is to know the WHY of the training.
Figure out what you want to ultimately achieve through your training:
Is it the ability to run five kilometers?
Cycle twenty five kilometers?
Paddle a sub two minute 500 meter dragon boat race?
How to accomplish this?
Figure out what it will take to accomplish those things, then work on those things.
Figure out the sub-steps required.
Know that it won’t be easy.
In fact, the more you embrace the suck, the less easy it will be, because the more you embrace it, the farther into the process you’ll want to go.
You’ll crave that extra rep or extra thirty sends on the cardio station.
But know that you are doing this in the pursuit of something bigger.
Then dive in.