I had an epiphany this week.
Turns out I hate doing anything half-arsed. Something I've always known, but it was only recently that it became really apparent to me. When I made a commitment to myself and my coach to train hard through one more season of my sport, that commitment was whole-hearted. No "try". Just do.
So when a potential injury threatened to derail my chances of racing at my best this season, it annoyed me so much that I couldn't handle it. Even more than the nerves I usually experience when racing. The disappointment was palpable and I couldn't work out why.
Never once have I considered myself an athlete, just a mum doing her best. The "Athletes" are those Olympic types, the ones that live, breathe, eat and sleep training and racing. That's not me, not even close. Don't get me wrong, I'm as competitive as the next person, but when said injury threatens my preparation, then I'm as much an athlete as the rest of those Olympic types. Rather than see the potential injury as a chance to ease off on the training, it made me even more determined. Rather than use it as an excuse, it stirred a panic in me. As it turns out, my injury concern was nothing serious, but the threat of it was so cleansing for me and gave me so much clarity in my purpose for 'doing', that it was groundbreaking on a personal level.
My own personal mantra is "You Get What you Deserve." Not only have I found that a key motivational driver in my training, it also helps me to deal with the outcome in my races. If I've put in the hard work, first or last, I'll be happy knowing i gave it my all. If I haven't done the work, the result is unsatisfying. I think it's best summed up by the great Muhammad Ali when he said "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
Turns out I pretty much feel like that about most things in my life.
Work - be accountable, don't cut corners. Reap the rewards.
Family - give them time and the support they need for growth and development, but cut yourself some slack.
Me - eat right, train hard, lead by example. Except for pain au chocolat. Then eat as much as you want.
I can't begin to tell you how this clarity of thought has helped free up space in my brain from the overthinking, the assumptions, the doubt.
The moral to this story: do your thing with purpose. With your absolute all. And with clarity.
Do the work and you'll get what you deserve.