There is one thing you can count on when training for endurance sports: it will never go exactly as planned. There will be interruptions and snags along the way. Sometimes this is devastating, and sometimes it opens the door for a breakthrough.
Let's face it. Along any fitness journey, we will encounter the inevitable family life or work event that thwarts our training schedule. Sure, we would rather be out on a three hour hammerfest, but duty calls, and we have no choice but to miss and reschedule our workout. And then there is the nagging injury that rears its ugly head out of nowhere. You plead, "Didn't I stretch that yesterday? What did I do different for that to happen?" But the injury doesn't respond, and has no consideration for your plans. It is there to frustrate, and make things more interesting. Maybe a plateau in our training leaves us confused and at a standstill. Regardless of what we eat, our sleeping patterns, or the time of day we train, the needle doesn't seem to move, and progress seems frozen. And finally, there is the unwanted bout with the flu that knocks you out of normal functioning life for a week. You'd like to be out running your scheduled tempo run... oh wait, no you wouldn't. You feel like you just got slammed over the head with a 2x4. Maybe tomorrow...
The good news is, these temporary pauses in our training offer time to refocus, evaluate our progress, and reenergize for the challenges still ahead. This is also a time where our support system becomes a difference maker. Will our training circumstances drag us down and leave us short of our goals? Or will it fuel us with a new head of steam towards pushing through and leaving the speed bumps in the dust?
Personally, I appreciate family and friends who remember my goals and encourage me along the way. Specifically, they consider my time commitments and efforts towards the Ironman in November. They remind me of my purpose. They know my timeline and ask about my training. A thoughtful word or question can always spark my motivation towards making tomorrow's workout the best it can be.
I am grateful for friends on a similar journey. These are the ones who motivate me without knowing. Their Strava posts and social media celebrations of success spur me on. They anxiously await an opportunity to relate to my struggles and celebrate my triumphs.
Furthermore, I am indebted to the professionals. Namely, I am thankful for the wise folks of Schlegel Bicycles who set me up for success and are readily available to advise, suggest, or tweak any part of my training or equipment. They understand that having the right equipment and knowledge at the right place and time is a game changer.
Having the forward progress of our training halted is never fun, but it happens to all of us. We have a choice. It can leave us feeling discouraged and unmotivated, or with the help of our strongest supporters, it can leave us compelled and anxious to return steadfast and finish strong.