A note from the coach...
First, congratulations to everyone who has raced over the last few weeks. In addition to racing well, we have had some great moments out at the races. There was no shortage of this yesterday when we spent about an hour joking around under our tent in the thunderstorms. In addition to coaching, the camaraderie and support is what helps us gain strength and confidence. Whether this comes from your triathlon team or your family team, it's a key component to success. There has been no shortage of this and I have seen amazing growth amongst all of you, both as a team and on individual levels. Whether you live in Madison or elsewhere, it has given me great satisfaction and reward to be a part of such great gains.
As we move into the heart of the season, it's important to remember to keep a bit of balance in our lives. The season is a long one and triathlon is lifestyle that will last for a long time...as long as we keep it at a level that fits our lives. It's easy to get wrapped up in results, and boy have we had some great ones, but remember that it's about more than winning for ALL of us. Whether it's about a healthy lifestyle, a distraction from work, finishing your first race, proving something to yourself, getting to Kona, or perhaps turning Professional down the road, it's an individual sport. Challenge yourself, measure yourself against YOU and remember that the number one goal, regardless of your reason for racing, is to enjoy it. Triathlon is a choice.
We all have setbacks and we all know that training and racing never go perfectly, yet many of us have a hard time remembering that perfection is not what it's about; perfection doesn't accomplish goals and is not what creates memorable performances in most people's minds.
Not all of you are sports fans, but many of you may know that the U.S. Open (major)golf tournament took place this last weekend. You may know that a 22 year old Irishman by the name of Rory McILROY won by a record 8 strokes and broke 12 separate records throughout the weekend. What many of you may not know is what happened back in April. He was leading the Master's golf tournament (another major) by 4 strokes going into the final round and had a meltdown. He lost 14 strokes to the eventual winner in that one round alone and went on to finish tied for 15th. He took a lot heat for it, people said he was too young and that he needed more maturity before he could handle the pressure that comes with leading AND winning a major golf tournament. What did he do? He lapped the field this last weekend and overcame what could have been a career changing blow to his confidence.
THIS was a great performance. Not because of what he did, but because of what he overcame. You can call it the bounce-back factor, you can call it overcoming a hurdle, keeping perspective, or rising to the occasion. Whatever you call it, remember it and keep it with you. Triathlon is no different. Those that accomplish their goals, those who finish and those who win are those who can accept the setbacks and stay focused on the bigger picture.
So take this to your next race. When those confidence demon's try to creep in, shut them out with perspective, with knowing that perfection is nothing more than a mirage on the horizon. Enjoy the process, enjoy the people, take in the environment and enjoy the opportunity to be doing something that you love.