My sports thoughts:
During the winter months it can be a long slog until the sun begins to shine the following summer and you get to put your racing suit on again. The thought of this always excites me. Especially on the sunny days, when you are sat inside a warm house with central heating, even though it’s bitterly cold outside, you can almost be tricked into feeling the summer competition buzz.
I find it difficult to motivate myself at times when all I can see around me is grey clouds and drizzle falling from the sky. It’s cold and wet. Rain is bouncing off your face as you do reps at the track. I’m not unique here, I’m sure many of you are in the same boat when you need to catch the train to work; leaving when it’s dark and returning when it is dark also. I find strength a number of ways but it’s my belief that medals are won outside where I am being toughened up against the elements and as brutal as it sounds I also enjoy the adversity.
I have an Olympic Games on the horizon, which is motivation in it’s self you would think but that has been counterbalanced by the torrent of drug cheats hitting the press and it is clear that I’ve been racing them over the years. I can’t be searching for motivation longer than necessary. I still have to get out of bed in the mornings if not for me but to get my son washed and changed and off to school, which I love doing. I can’t let him fall behind, he must rise to the top of the class and be bright enough to pave his own choices in life. That comes through parenting and through education, my other full time job. He often drags his feet on grey days like these, wanting to grab vital moments he when he should be eating breakfast to play on the latest Ipad apps. Worse still, reach for the Xbox or Wii! Let’s face it that’s the techno generation we are in and that’s what I need to manage.
My breakfast falls into a routine; I prefer to have around 20g of protein in the form of eggs and milk, some carbs also, sometimes more sometimes less. This keeps from feeling hungry until after my morning training session and helps me to keep lean. That’s just my set up. Often mini-me will read to me on the drive in, capitalizing on that education again or trying to. As soon as he is dropped off its time for me to get into a frame of mind that I need to get my work done well. Admittedly, I’m often in this frame of mind around others and may seem a little distant more times than not. Apologies but that’s the way it is.
I am fortunate enough to have the support of British Athletics. As with many organisations they come with regulation and the added bureaucracy can sometimes present challenges for athletes and coaches who like the arena and not the boardroom. Again, this adds to my ‘distant’ moments.
Even though it is grey, somehow my motivation is on a new level. I am managing to find a bigger value on the community around me wherever I am. Whilst I am further away from the competition season I am able to give back without any detriment on my own short-term goals. By sharing knowledge, experience, interactions and thus inspiration to those around me it is giving me something new, something that makes me eager to get out there and win Gold for all of us. I’m engaged in my training program on new levels and experiencing gains weekly. The community can be an amazing place to get your kicks.