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May 28, 2012

The complete amateur athlete

The Giro d’Italia once again served up the best racing of the year. Ridiculous roads, incredible racing, etc.

As I start the 2nd half of my year today, it got me thinking of what being a complete athlete represents. The complete athlete is not necessarily the guy standing on top of the podium. I am not talking about the fastest overall rider, in this case, Ryder. I wanted to take a step back and start with analysing myself over the last 5 months in terms of being a complete athlete.

If I have to be honest, here is what it would require to be a complete athlete, for myself.

– Sleep 8 hours per night.
– Eat food which complements my lifestyle completely.
– Nail the balance between being tired and motivated.
– Have normal relationships and time to nurture them.
– Have goals which are mildly unattainable.

I am managing 8 hours per night. That is one thing I am unwilling to compromise on, much to the disappointment of others around me. I have eaten better this year than ever, moving to ethical food and eating correctly almost all the time. At times, I may have run a little lean, but I never got sick, even when my entire office was riddled with head colds.

I was pretty tired. I was motivated to train. Looking back, I was lucky to have the support system I had. I was more tired than I admitted to at the time. It was a helluva season. I raced hard from November through April 22nd.

My relationships this year suffered a little. Work hours this year, on average, are probably around 50 hours per week. That is not sit around and wait for work. That’s flat out at work. I have not seen enough of certain people. People that matter to me. Throughout the next 6 months, I have made it a priority to show them how valuable they are to me. I have to say though, in the same breath, that I have realised who I didn’t miss. People I initially felt bad for not seeing, but realised that I was giving only in that relationship after a while. That list of people is important to me too, because I want to spend time with people who build each other up, not discuss each others problems.

I achieved almost all my sporting goals this year. Triple World Championship qualification. Top 10 at IMSA 70.3. I didn’t go sub 9, but hey, on a day like we had on April 22nd, I’ll take the 9:30 with pride. My mountain bike skills have improved, but not yet to the point where I am not losing considerable time on the bike leg at Xterra races. I am signed up for a skills course this weekend. I am hoping to keep improving over winter.

I believe that from an overall perspective it would be tough to better my season. I performed perfectly at the half and full Ironman distance. Xterra I was average at. One DNF with a calf issue, one average result due to a lack of technical riding. How to balance these two still eludes me, as the on road stuff really requires such specific preparation. The off-road stuff requires a very unique approach too and I am not sure I will ever nail both in the same season.

What is left for me to achieve?

I have made the decision to not race another Ironman-distance race this year. Work is too busy for me to put in the required effort right now. So sadly, Roth is out the window. But gladly, I have amazing projects to deliver and new ideas to implement. I could totally wear myself out trying to get to Roth in perfect shape, but at the expense of what?

I believe the complete amateur athlete has to succeed in every arena in his/her life. I have huge potential success to deliver on in the next 8 weeks at work and this is a critical success factor to my year as well. Watch this space.

Make a list of what you feel you would consider to be the achievements to be a complete athlete? As a professional, this means something totally different. You have to include family time, work time and success factors in those arenas as well. We are the ninjas of juggling, far more likely to make mistakes as we juggle so many balls.

That is why it’s so very important to not be juggling balls that waste your time, drain your energy and hinder your goals.

Trim the junk, clear the clutter and pave the way to being the complete amateur athlete.

pics from here

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