So its 2018...and I told myself this would be the year I write again. That I would (re)start telling stories. Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm fond of a good yarn..and writing those stories meant I got to share them with more than the 2 adults I often have face to face engagement with these days (yes that's another story in itself right there). Anyway I digress. As I opened up my laptop, put my fingers on the keyboard all ready to go - I realised I had no idea what I was going to write about. Do I just go find someone else's post and see what everyone else is talking about- or do I try and pick a theme, what do people want to know? Then it kind of hit me that I had lost my inspiration for writing - that I was more caught up in worrying about what people would think about what I wrote - instead of writing truly for me (seriously I'm like vegemite anyways - you either love me or you hate me). I remember my first few years of blogging I had so much to say about all the things that excited me, and inspired me. I realised today - that maybe I have become a little jaded about things - they don't seem so interesting or exciting anymore - and that sucks.
So I wanted to write a post about being and staying "inspired" with your life.
1. of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse.
"they had to thank the goalie for some inspired saves"
So to be inspired is an inside job - and you can find it from external sources - but its your reaction and choices you then make that keep you inspired and motivated towards big goals.
When I first started Triathlon I was inspired by every single other person I knew, saw or watched do triathlon. I was just in awe of these people who seemed to have super powers, I remember at my very first sprint - seeing the small group of women line up for the Olympic distance and thinking "I want to do that some day - those ladies are badass". It was the catalyst (inspiration) for me coming back the next year and doing that same race - a year wiser and stronger - and doing that Olympic Distance - and wondering if anyone was thinking the same thing about me? It was a wonderful exciting time for me in the sport - I was so naive, I didn't have any perceived limits to my ability, training was fun, racing was fun, I didn't know what was a good time or a bad time - every time I swam, biked or ran - I felt great, proud of myself, I was constantly hitting new distances, beating old times, finding new places to train.. But...then overtime that started to slow down, the training got more repetitious, I didn't see PR's all the time, I started to develop niggles, injuries, I trained a lot more alone and that feeling of being inspired didn't come so easily or often. Don't get me wrong I still love triathlon, but those "inspired" moments were dwindling. This can happen in anything in life right? Hobbies, work, friendships - marriages? A loss of inspiration for moving forward, being better doing better - I guess you could call it settling - which for most of us is unsettling.
So I try to keep an eye on this loss of inspiration in my life these days - I kind of feel it coming - when I start to loose interest in my training (or even some element of it), or loose interest in other peoples training, or when someone else is doing something great - I don't feel motivated by it - but rather jealous or even envious (shocking emotions by the way - avoid them at all costs).
I have implemented a few strategies to help work through these moments (and if you're human I'm sure you have been there at some point with something in your life).
TIPS to staying Inspired in Triathlon Training & Racing
1. Write down your goals: - can be for the year, or the month, whatever - but set yourself a realistic goal and a stretch goal to keep you reaching.
2. Keep check of progress: - Training Peaks is an awesome tool for that - don't focus on the how much or how fast though - focus on how each session felt - if you see more comments that say things like - "hard but good, fun with friends, cold but gorgeous day, slow but felt good" then you are on the right track - finding enjoyment in the process and trusting that its all moving you towards your bigger goal.
3. Take breaks: - its ok to take a break and do other things, you should schedule breaks from your routine every few weeks to do something different. Its definitely important to have a break from structured training for 2-6 weeks depending on the season you've had at least once year to re-charge your mind and body!
4. Don't be too hard on yourself - If you have a couple of bad sessions or a bad week juggling training and work or you fall ill - know that this is all part of the journey, and don't beat yourself up over it, just know that you are doing your best and you will get back to things as soon as you can.
5. Find people who inspire you: This can be people in your community, training partners, inspirational speakers, sports people breaking barriers, people who have overcome hardship. Whatever makes you feel like going out and chasing your own goals, or even makes you set a new goal and be the best version of yourself.
Watching motivational videos on youtube and Tedx are also really great ways to keep that internal inspiration! There are just so many amazing inspiring people and stores out there!
Inspirational Speakers - Hillary Biscay & Rich Roll
Inspirational Triathlon Videos to get the blood pumping
Here's to you setting goals and being inspired to reach new heights in 2018!