Don’t we all wish we could make less sacrifices? Train more, work less, spend time with family rather than being out yet again on a long Sunday ride, or not going to your friends birthday because you have a race the next day. The list could just go on. Well, in reality those who see these choices as sacrifices are totally wrong. As I just mentioned in fact, everything we do is a choice, somewhere along the line you have CHOSEN it.
Let’s say you don’t want to miss an evening swim session because you’re 2 weeks out from your main race, but you also don’t want to let your mate down at the pub, or simply because you are knackered from your day at work. Truth is you have a choice, and 99% of the time you are the one making that choice, and in the other 1% where you really don’t have a choice then you’re certainly not sacrificing anything.
So here’s the deal, don’t talk about sacrifices, see them as a choice in order to achieve what you really want. If your goal is to be amongst the best then all you have to do is make those choices in order to do so. If you want to make money, then get up and earn it, and don’t complain about all the workload you have.
If you’d rather a more balanced lifestyle then don’t complain about not having enough money or not being the best athlete in the world. Nothing will ever get served to you on a plate without making these choices. If what you really want is to just finish your next race on minimal training then take time to do the other things you like and appreciate them (in which case don’t complain about not being as fast as you wished you could be).
So the same goes for the man who wants to win the race, get the training done and see it as your own personal choice. No one is forcing you to do anything and the outcome only depends on you.The athletes I’ve most enjoyed working with are never the fastest athletes. I enjoy helping those who know what they really want, whether it’s qualifying for the worlds or having a better life balance between training, work and family, those who are clearly confident in what they want are in my eyes the most respectable, and honest with themselves.
I see lots of people who are “lost”, and who don’t know what they truly want. It’s a shame, and as a coach it’s also my job to help dig out their profound motivations.
I would also like to use my own personal journey in order to talk about these choices. From a very young age I’ve dreamed of winning certain races, once done I dream of giving back to those who helped me achieve my first dream, and I will eventually give every little bit of myself back to my loved ones who supported me along the way.
Every so often we naturally drift away from that dream as society tries to bring us back to certain norms and we tell ourselves that we have lots of things holding us back from doing what we love (school, work, cleaning, bills, rent, fuel bills etc etc).
I haven’t always made friends choosing this path but I’ve also lived some of the best experiences of my life. I left home at 13 years old, missed my little brother grow up from 3 until 9 years old, wasn’t there to help my parents with their business and decided to go and train instead of going to family meals. I chose not to meet up with my friends because I was up early the next day, in fact I’ve even seen friends disappear because I was so focussed on achieving my goals.
I’ve come very close to breaking relationships with the very people I love the most. All for one reason, to win.
Although all this may sound selfish and cocky I cannot afford the time to care too much of what people think of my actions. I have a goal and nothing can or will get in my way. That’s just the way it is, if I am seen to make these “sacrifices” it’s just part of the journey, and the choices I have made. In reality we spend our life making “sacrifices” – “choices”, they define us and make us who we are.
Those who see past these “sacrifices” and are confident in their “choices” however will always achieve much more.