Overcoming Excuses

Ryan | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 7 Comments

It would have been so easy not to have worked out today.  So many excuses.  Bad weather (though improving finally!).  Injury (injuries?).  Stephanie’s first day off work for the holidays.  Chili cheese dogs and frozen yogurt for lunch.  Apollo 13 on HBO for the umpteenth time.

I could tell that for the first time in a long time, sloth, laziness and worse yet — self-pity — were starting to get a grip on me.  It would have been so easy to stay on the couch!  My mood reflected my outlook.  I was down, even edgy with Steph. As I told her, I just don’t feel right lately.  Whether it’s the accumulation of holiday junk food (I’m now up nine pounds from my race day weight) or that sinking feeling I’ve been dwelling on about not being able to train the way I’d like, I’m having a hard time staying motivated.

But I’ve realized that the only person who can change my outlook is me.  I can’t rely on the Ironman Kona coverage on NBC.  I can’t rely on my teammates to pick me up.  I can’t wait for a feeling to wash over me like magic.  That’s a victim’s approach.  A passive approach.

If you want to change your mood, change it.  No excuses.

So I did.  I dragged myself off the couch at 5:30 p.m., drove in traffic to the local pool and plunged in the water for an hour set that felt a little more difficult than I remember similar workouts in the past.  But, 2,500 yards later, I got through it. Maybe not the best swim, but a completed swim. (Though my T-pace is pretty much the same as it was pre-Ironman.)  And with Christmas and New Year’s hovering, one of the few workout activities I’ll be able to fit in the next several days.

On the way home, I was smiling inwardly and on the outside.  I physically and mentally felt better.  Of course, this presented a bit of a challenge.  It’s important our significant others know that when we come back in a great mood after a workout, it’s a separate part of ourselves that’s being enhanced.  It could easily get confusing for a partner to think that you need a work out to stay happy, not them.  I made sure to share that with Steph tonight as soon as I got home. Fortunately, she understood.  Steph knows that she’s the foundation for making all of “This” work.  Without her, I can workout all I want, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

So, I guess I reinforced two things today.  First, bad attitudes happen. It’s how YOU respond with yourself that defines what happens next.  Second, in this holiday season, take extra time to honor your friends and family.  They all see the joy we experience from our triathlon training and racing.  But it’s nice to remind them that our training and racing only works if they understand how important they are in our lives.

Now, I want to wish you a happy holiday season.  I never expected to make friends with people from all over the world who read this blog.  You’ve touched my life and held me accountable all at the same time.  That said, I hope we all unplug a bit during the next couple days. No Facebook. No Twitter. No blogs.  Let’s just hang out with our families and loved ones.  Let’s show them where our priorities really are.

With that in mind, I’ll be offline the next couple days.  Probably blogging again on December 26 or 27.

Please have a Merry and Safe Christmas.  I will be thinking of you, as I consider those of you I’ve gotten to know as real friends.  And I hope those of you who read this blog without commenting will introduce yourselves soon.  I’m very much looking forward to that.

180 days and counting.

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7 Comments

  1. Sam says:

    Another great blog.
    I hope you and your family have been having a blessed season so far.

  2. Laura says:

    Hey Ryan-
    I have been meaning to email you for a very long time. I have been following your blog for a long time and you have inspired me to start my own training blog. I am doing my first half in April in Galvesron and with a couple of sprints and olympics mixed in, ending the season with the Longhorn Half (a live in Austin Texas). Just wanted to thank you for your blog, it is inspiring and does such a good job of describing this journey that we are on!

    Laura Lewis
    Laurajlewis@gmail.com

  3. Pia says:

    Happy holidays to you and your loved ones! I live in Finland but am currently visiting my sister in Salt Lake City. I love your blog!

  4. Ryan says:

    Thanks Laura. That is so inspiring for ME to hear. Please share your blog with me so I can pass along here on my blog to others. If you’re OK with that :) And please stay in touch! Definitely want to hear about your journey.

  5. Ryan says:

    Thanks Pia! The weather in Utah shouldn’t be that much different haha. Where in Finland do you live? Visited there a couple years ago, in Helsinki. Really enjoyed it.

  6. Ryan says:

    Thanks Sam! Hope you have a great holiday, and your fam as well.

  7. Pia says:

    Ryan, I live in Espoo, only ten km from Helsinki city centre. Heading back today. Glad you enjoyed your visit to Finland!

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