Honestly, I never know where to begin with these things. Today it’ll be simple: Ironman training started in May 2021. This included MANY freezing cold early morning (like… 4:30am) rides with my Coach, Louise Strydom from Infinitude Coaching. See very blurry but important photo:
Reason: Character & Skill Development for Long-Term Goals
Typically, when we suck at something we tend not to actively participate in it because it’s not fun. I’ve had a few falls off a bicycle and even though I LOVE triathlon, I have had a negative attitude towards bicycles. Obviously, this needed to change.
I had weeks of 4-6 cycle sessions per week. This was tough and was met with saddle-sores, neck stiffness, lack of focus during the day, etc. BUT I have come out a much stronger (and happier) cyclist. Sometimes we have to spend time on the things we don’t like just to see the other side of the coin.
We had faith that having Ironman set for November would most probably increase the chances of it happening due to the Covid trends of last year and all. This meant doing ‘the right training right’ throughout winter without complaining so I would be prepared.
The ironic thing about my brain (perhaps yours is a little different?) is that despite knowing I need to prepare for something BIG, I have to often convince myself that what I’m doing now is actually going to help me when I get there.
I had this issue in university and school as well – I would get excited about a big project due for 3 months’ time, work on it for a couple of hours, then forget about it until a week before the due date. Surely not the wisest of decisions! Perhaps this played a role in getting my character to where I’m at today?
With everything I’m planning to do over the next 12 months under the Trimaster Corp. banner (click to learn more), I had to come to the realization that everything I do now in preparation will benefit me in the future. Before I carry on, here is some snaps from October 2021:
These are some pics from the month of October! I wish I could jump into everything but very importantly:
- If it weren’t for my amazing, supportive & loving wife, San-Marí – NONE of this would be possible! So for anyone embarking on a massive adventure, albeit Ironman training, Comrades, Ultra Trails, etc. – keep your spouse or significant other in the loop. Plus you have to decide together even if it takes a little longer.
- Family is key! I’ve added a pic with my gran from the trip we did to Mpumalanga early October, as well as with my mom from a friend’s wedding reception we celebrated later in October. Sometimes they don’t understand the why’s or how’s of these things but they appreciate knowing where I’m at, even if I’m dead tired… chuckle.
- My Coach Louise has made many sacrifices and organized conversations I would never be able to do by myself. In addition, she decided to let me borrow her Time-Trial Bike (as long as I don’t break it… haha) for race day on 21 November. This should save me at least 30 minutes on the bike… If you’re spending 5+ hours on it, every 30 minutes will be hugely appreciated!
- Group training sessions with athletes I coach and friends that get together have been invaluable for motivation. Hearing about what goals everyone has keeps me driven to keep striving towards mine.
- Good nutrition management courtesy of Sarah Jacobsz has been a game-changer. I’m currently eating so much I usually struggle to enjoy the food but recovering like a pro for whatever the next day has to offer has been AMAZING! Thank you.
Reckoning: Time is Eternally Elusive & Priorities Never Seem to Stick
The last pearls I’d like to share with you is broken into 2 portions:
Time is Eternally Elusive
The last 6 months of preparation for Ironman South Africa have seen massive highs and lows. Thankfully and by the grace of God, I escaped any acute signs of depression during these winter months. Mental health is so important and living in a world of instant everything, it’s really tough to persevere during trying times.
Managing a stringent training program is tough when you have to consistently market your business, follow-up on leads, ensure clients are taken care of, and strategically look for new opportunities on the horizon. It’s mentally taxing and nobody likes paying taxes, right?
I wish I could document the 24 hours of my day for you but if I did it would be eternally late. This would stress me out, so I add what I can to the Instragram page for this adventure and I guess you’ll have to be happy with that so I don’t have an anxiety attack… haha
But jokes aside, if we can appropriately manage our time: spend it having constructive meetings, problem-solving without disruption, doing the training/preparation for whatever goals we have; wouldn’t we all be in better mental headspaces?
A favorite presentation from Jim Rohn: One of the key’s he suggests is ‘be careful what you say “Yes.” to’. Perhaps I haven’t arrived but I reckon being consistent in my preparation for future goals has helped me say “No.” more often than me from 3 years ago would have liked.
PS. Always say yes to Time Trials if you’re training. These will be game-changers on race day!
What are your experiences with both time and mental health management?
Priorities Never Seem to Stick
Despite feeling like I prioritize pretty well, I think I made some mistakes this week. It was exhausting to keep shifting my priority list over too the next day. Next thing I realized, it’s Sunday and my list is the same as Wednesday’s.
Here comes the emotional-bids we experience daily. I ask you to lend me your ear and I don’t just share some pearls but I end up chewing both off! (Hopefully not… but you see my point.)
Becoming cognizant of bids I make to those around me leads to more effective energy spent both by myself and others, as well as the bids made by others.
Unfortunately, when I don’t monitor this due to being exhausted or pre-occupied in my mind with all my ‘priorities’, I lose track. I say things I’d prefer not to and make decisions that adversely affect my or others’ health.
The hard thing here is to be both honest and vulnerable. I need to let people know where I’m at without being a victim of my decision to be on the path I’m on.
Here’s 3 things I’ve found to work well:
- Seek and listen to wise counsel from those that I trust.
- Consider where I’m at and where I’d like to be.
- Clarify the direction with those it in-/directly affects.
Where are your priorities at? What are you doing to make them ‘stick’?
Last but not least… everyone needs sleep while other people think it’s an opportune moment to take funny pictures. Hopefully there will be less of these for my sake (courtesy of the wife):