Not the snappiest blog title I'll ever write but then I wasn't expecting to write this post as early as I am! After a very early drop just 41 miles into the 184 miles of the Thames Path I thought I should throw a quick explanation of what happened on virtual paper to give you an idea of why I am sitting here now and not somewhere near Swindon as my plan suggested I would/should be along with some thoughts I had on the way.
The first 30 or so miles were on cement through London, dodging the tourists and breathing in the smoggy air. I got some great support from friends and family who were working in the city and for this I am eternally grateful. I stuck with the pace I had planned too but the heavy backpack and cement really played havoc with my legs and I was absolutely spent 35 miles in. I knew then I wasn't going to finish and the prospect of pushing on left me with a feeling of dread.
I dropped out somewhere around Walton and looked out to the sunset to gather my thoughts on the race. I was angry as I didn't feel like I had done myself justice but relieved to have come to a difficult decision.
(My contemplation view)
I can admit now that both my training and preparation for this event were sorely lacking. I haven't trained enough carrying a heavy backpack and I didn't have the miles in my legs (or head) to undertake such an epic event. This is entirely my fault. I'm not disappointed with my performance on the day as frankly I think getting to 41 miles is a pretty solid achievement, but with my training leading up to the event. Not the right kind, and not enough. Simple!
I only have myself to blame for the outcome and I believe this is true of any challenge we set ourselves. Whilst we can lean heavily on the support of others, it is only ourselves that can determine our likelihood of success. I love being a Personal Trainer as I get to help people along the way of their own transformations but it's down to the individual as to how much they get out of either the session or the programmes I create. You get out what you put in!
With any challenge and no matter the outcome, it's important we take a few moments of introspection after the event to process what happened and to try to understand why it panned out the way it did. Sometimes it hurts to look back. It's difficult to look inside and question yourself but you have to ask the questions to progress. Once we begin this process we can understand ourselves better, to set new targets and goals and to aim for new and even better things. If there are parts of your journey that have annoyed you or upset you then why not use them as your catalyst to push on from this point? Draw a line in the sand and refocus.
I believe there are external and internal drivers pushing us on to achieve our own personal greatness. They are also tools that we use to celebrate our successes or to beat ourselves up if we perceive that we have failed at something. It's the internal thoughts and feelings that are really important though.
When I sit down with a potential new Personal Training client I like to talk about their goals. Unsurprisingly one of the most common is weight loss. This is absolutely something I can relate to as I often think I'd like to lose a few pounds around the waist! This isn't a goal though, it's a target and there's an important difference. You can aim for a 5lb weight loss in 5 weeks and achieve that but why 5lb? Why not 4.5 or 6lbs? What do you think will happen if you hit that number? The number is a target, not the goal.
Your goal is ultimately the underlying reason why you set out to do anything. Sometimes it's hidden pretty deep so we have to do some digging to find out why. This rationale has to be applied to anything - you want to run a 10k pb? Why, what will that give you? Always question that target as really understanding that is what will push you on.
Helping my clients find out what their goals are is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a Personal Trainer. If you want some help in finding and understanding your health and fitness goals then get in touch, I would love to work with you!