Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Seasoned Athlete

Do you know the difference between an unseasoned athlete and the seasoned one? I think it comes down to two things. Have they learned from their experiences and are they willing to work on their goats?

"Seasoned" in this context means to render competence through trial and experience. There are many athletes out there ... especially crossfitters and endurance athlete's that are incompetent becaue they never learn from an injury, nutrition malfunction or performance experience. An athlete can only improve if they learn from their experiences. They also have to be willing to listen to their coaches. A coach provides perspective. Most athletes will always have that inside feeling that more is better (many of the good ones) when in reality its not. An elite athlete evolves from good recovery and continual work on what you may have heard of as their "goats".

For this discussion, let's define goats as the things you don't enjoy working on. Whether its double unders because you suck at them or deadlifts because you feel your back always rounds. That's how you can classify a goat in your palette. For me it's getting on the bike or lifting something heavy. Those two things don't come naturally to me. Sure I'd love to do pull-ups and run all day, but am I going to see improvements in my time trials?

As I continue to train, I know the answer to that questions is an overwhelming NO. Doing what you love to do and getting better at what you love to do are two different ball games. It takes a different competence to get better at what you love to do. It easy to do what you love. Think about these questions as you get deeper into your training. The appropriate answers should be obvious.
  1. Are your splits improving or getting worse? 
  2. Do you find yourself pushing thru small aches and pains? 
  3. When was the last time you decided to take a day off because your body told you too? 
  4. Do you skip a day at  the gym because you don't like what's programmed? 
  5. When was the last time you took a day to just focus on skill?
To this day I still wish I had different answers to a few of those questions...

I also think its fair to say that we do this in our everyday lives. We get in this zone where we only want to do the things that we're good at. We develop comfort zones. Comfort in our day job, with our family and friends and what we do on a regular basis. Comfort and contentment are all well and good; however to truly be come seasoned we have to apply our strengths to the uncomfortable situations. We have to work on and improve the things we hate. Whether it's a bad relationship or working on something we've put off and off, it makes a big difference.

To be comfortable with your actions and the steps we take each day is suicide. Life is about living. And living involves getting out of our comfort zones and improving on our goats.

Only then can we consider ourselves remotely seasoned. We can't forget that the beauty of seasoned is that there's always another level. That's why I keep living...

No comments:

Post a Comment