We all want to be the best we can be. However, life has an amazing way of throwing anything your way to make that goal seem impossible. It almost becomes comical the way life finds ways to mess with your performance goals.
With all that in mind, there are still some simple and effective ways to be your best, regardless of what life is throwing your way. The goal of The Lifelong Athlete is to provide you that road-map to play the long game, navigate the ups and downs, and come out on top, feeling proud of what you have accomplished.
CONSISTENCY is king
When you boil down your progression versus your regression, consistency is the most powerful variable you can control. When I watch successful performances happen, there is often a very potent line between who was consistent and who struggled to maintain the course.
Here is where you might go astray. Consistency does not have to mean completing a training plan to perfection. It is not hitting every metric you might set on your path towards achieving your goals. Yes, that would be nice if possible, but it hardly happens, even at the highest levels of performance.
Consistency is doing the most with the time you have. It is putting in the highest quality of stimulus with whatever time you can dedicate towards your training and performance goals. You do that day in and day out and you will find yourself progressing. It might not be at the rate you want, but you will progress.
One of my favorite examples of this is Rhonda. Rhonda is one of our online athletes. Since she has started training, Rhonda has had a little bit of everything happen. She battles arthritis and previous injuries. She has gone through major swings in her work life, from surviving major company overhauls to managing more work. As you can imagine, her stress from work makes training seem less than appetizing on some days.
A few weeks ago Rhonda set a personal best in a 10k snowshoe race by 20 minutes. Did life allow her to execute her training program to perfection? No. Did she strive to do the most with the time she had? Yes.
This simple switch in your approach can free you from the mental burden that occurs when life gets crazy and training time diminishes. Another way to look at this is is to shift your focus from daily volume to weekly volume.
This funnels into the consistency piece. We are quick to make excuses and determine why we "can't" complete something. Let's take the squat for example. The squat movement pattern is one of the base movement patterns to just about every program or training cycle I write.
It is also one of the most challenging movements as aging occurs. This is due to many factors, from injury to lifestyle. When I initially speak with a masters athlete, I'll often hear that the squat causes pain and that the athlete can't complete this movement. The first step is to figure out if it is the actual squat that is the issue or is something else off with the athlete's movement.
Instead of focusing on the "can't," the goal should be to focus on the "can." What can you do? Maybe a full range squat is not in the cards and that is OK. Can you lunge? Can you complete a wall sit? Can you complete a 1/4 squat? Find what you can do instead of focusing on what you can't do. When you make this mental shift, your consistency will increase overnight. You will not see "dead ends" with your training and just walk away. You will see opportunities.
The same applies to when you are out of your normal training environment. Maybe you are on a work trip and the hotel gym does not have heavy enough dumbbells to challenge the movement you want to complete. Instead of skipping it altogether, change other training variables to maximize the equipment you have.
VARIABLES YOU CAN ADJUST
REMEMBER YOUR WHY
At the end of the day, being your best means remembering your "why." Committing to train for a goal is not always an easy path to travel. Cold mornings, disrupted schedules, and goal setbacks will happen as part of your journey. Knowing that these will happen and being able to keep the disruptions in check is critical. A great place to start is always remembering your "why." What is your bigger picture for all of this? Remember that key point and you will be on your way to being your best.
Feeling stuck with your training?
This is one of the worst feelings. I call it the hamster wheel. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels and are tired of regressing, start by taking our Performance Assessment. As you complete the assessment, document your scores and submit them for review. From there, we will reach out and go through a full analysis of what we see from your results!
Coach Bo's blog
Here you will find posts about the topics that come up during the journey to your best performance!