I’ve had a solid amount of time to assess things now. (This is also my second time writing this blog post, as I’ve now discovered the Mac/iPhone notes app doesn’t have much of a restore function). Sometimes reflection can be put in the category of dwelling on the past, and sometimes goals are seen as a waste of time. I enjoy the annual activity, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, and being a person that always likes the ‘why’, I find I gain more appreciation from my experiences. To summarise my year in the triathlon space - I was injured but eventually, I was able to turn the situation into an opportunity.
After a small break over the festive season I started the year off with my travel and race plans in accord; 3rd at Port of Tauranga in New Zealand, 3rd at Challenge Wanaka, and 1st at Bangsean Trileague in Thailand. Towards the end of the year, 2nd at Queensland’s Hervey Bay 100 and a great buildup but unfortunate crash at 70.3 Bahrain Asia Pacific Champs. The 9 months in the middle were out of action on the racing front due to a foot injury with an unanticipated drawn-out recovery - 2nd metatarsal stress/ complete fracture, didn’t heal, surgery to put in a plate, reaction to the metal, then strained tendons around the ankle. I spent most of my time at home on the Sunshine Coast, a couple of months at Thanyapura in Phuket, some time in Melbourne and NZ, and if we cumulated my total swimming hours, probably an entire month in the pool.
I really resonated with a podcast I listened to a few days ago, so I’m going to share excerpt;
“The messy middle... We have this collective obsession with starts and finishes, drawing so much attention to whether it’s a wonderful extraordinary finish or a horrible going bankrupt one. And, people love the romanticism of the start. Why aren’t people talking about the volatility of the middle, two steps forward, one step back reality? This ambiguity, uncertainty, anxiety that needs to be overcome
.. In this volatile middle of every bold creative project, we are not our best selves at the highs or the lows. At the lows, we make decisions out of fear, at the highs we falsely attribute the things that we did, to the things that work. The ego gets the better of us and we lose self-awareness and then make fatal mistakes ..
The middle is about building muscle towards something, none of it seems wasted to me, the middle is mind for insights around how you’re going to endure the next challenge.. almost like one of these old video games where you’re running around collecting these coins and gems and tools and throwing them into your tool kit. So many people are like agh we’re not there yet, but how about all this stuff your collecting. The middle is where you begin to see these tangible efforts of resilience and grit, that’s where it happens.”
- Design Matters Podcast, Debbie Millman with Scott Belsky
So despite a quiet podium count, I did manage to nab a few special items into my rucksack for my ever growing emporium;
1x Tree - We’ve settled in the Sunshine Coast, an awesome location, training and lifestyle spot, close enough to Brisbane ‘city’, and beginning to form a community. I was starting to struggle not having a base, so this was a solid accomplishment.
1x First aid kit - There are so many gains to be made in the space of our health, in the past I’ve struggled with sickness a lot, I’ve been avidly applying knowledge in nutrition, supplementation, and recovery to get as much as possible out of my body.
1x Heart - Relationships with our family, friends, and partner are an invaluable ingredient to success, energies are contagious, and good vibes can lift us all higher in our own areas.
1x Sword - My bike and run were maintained but still a bit blunt, my swim sharpened up nicely. I Improved my consistent ability it the water, my form, a 22sec 400m PB, and lots of passion, despite being my weakest discipline.
0x Books - I didn’t quite put enough emphasis in getting this one, work in the architecture planning industry would be ideal, maybe I would’ve missed out on other gems had I got this one.
1x Diamond - these are always a precious collectable, the lattice of mental strength we build through enduring the injury process is worthy.
Goals for 2019
I love goals, they give you something to look forward too and keep you hungry.
For me, triathlon has two categories, inside the world top 10 or outside the top 10, both offer awesome opportunities, but the approach and dedication between them is a tad different. Racing lots and travelling lots, or full-time work with less pressure are lucrative options. Or you can go 100% all in and target the big stuff. I like this option as, as athletes, we thrive on getting the most out of ourselves and there’s nothing worse than regrets or what-ifs.
My primary goals are challenging because that’s half the fun, and kind of results-driven as that’s the reality of professional sport. I see them as mountains surrounded by forest with thousands of routes to the top.
Top 10 at 70.3 World Champs
Race my first full-distance Ironman
Qualify for Kona
Top 10 at Kona
I’ve switched my training methodology
Starting the year with some Asia Pacific based racing, for the accessibility, affordability, heat, and confidence
Use home as a base, go to a camp or a couple of races, then come back, no more 1-year suitcase stints
Increase my top end in the swim, gain 10-20% more watts on the bike, and take 10sec per km off my run speed
Trust in my coach and support team
Train smart (train hard but not all the time)
Perfect my recovery
Summed up, I’m absolutely ecstatic to be back in the game, levelling up, and looking forward to collecting more, and fancier, stuff for my rucksack.
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