Sometimes in our lives, we feel stuck or frustrated by our lack of progress or motivation for something we like to do. Sometimes, when we don’t see progress we feel like it will all just crumble around us and we’ll be exposed as a fraud or failure.
In this post, we’ll apply this feeling to our sport of choice, whether it may be swimming, running, triathlon, paddle boarding, tennis, golf, whatever sport you love to do. We can wake up in the morning knowing we should go do that tempo run or hit balls on the range but really its the furthest thing from “fun” that we could think of that day.
Have you ever felt that feeling? The one where if you just look at your shoes and go “ugh, I just can’t” and simply go to watch television or try to bargain with yourself. We bargain with ourselves to try to get the task done but really its because we’ll feel guilty if we don’t do the activity. We feel guilty because then we have “failed” and therefore maybe we aren’t the athlete we thought we were. Being in this spot can be tough but there are ways to work through it.
Today, marathoner and entrepreneur Matt Cheuvront blogged about “redefining normal”. He just got back from a large conference called World Domination Summit and was motivated to really examine how he defines “normal” in his life. In his post, he linked to another blogger’s experience at the same conference “When Absolutely Freakin’ Amazing Becomes Normal” written by Alexis Grant. Both of these posts talk about letting go of the pressure we put on ourselves to be “normal”. Often times, we think normal is one thing when really we just have to get comfortable in our “new normal”.
When applied to our hobbies like triathlon or tennis, we may think that our training is in a rut or that we aren’t getting any better and therefore we won’t ever set a new personal best or win another tournament. This isn’t so! Its just our brain trying to sabotage itself. You may be new at running but as you work through your first 5k program, your new normal will be running 10 minutes straight without stopping. Those dreams of becoming an Ironman or club champion become reality and therefore your new normal. Don’t be afraid to say that you are a runner or triathlete! Its tough to hear someone say “oh, I’m not really a runner or triathlete, I can’t do x or y as fast as someone else.” Be proud of the fact that you take the time to do something active and put yourself in a position to be outside your comfort zone.
“It feels normal to dream, and then actually act on those dreams…Once things feel normal, you begin to act differently, too. You push the boundaries more. You go bigger. You realize even more is possible, and then you set your sights on new, bigger goals.” Alexis Grant.
Lets take a look at Alexis’ three suggestions for becoming comfortable with this new normal which can than be used to help us out of our rut when we feel no forward progression. She says we can shift our reality:
1. By surrounding yourself with other people who are doing awesome things.
Lacking motivation to get out of bed or head to the gym after work? Join a group of people who are doing the same thing. Train with others who have different abilities than you. By associating with those people who are doing awesome things, you will see that you are doing awesome things as well and that those dreams of yours can really become reality.
2. By sharing your dreams with others.
When you share more intimate thoughts with others, it helps to solidify your thoughts and can help put action behind your dreams. This is something here at KickStart that we want to help you with. We are currently working on a way for our customers and supporters to share their dreams, gain support by others and thereby redefine their “normal”.
3. By choosing something.
Its that simple. You can hem and haw all you want but until you firmly decide on what you want to do and commit to it, you won’t achieve your goal or dream. Want to run a marathon? Choose one and register! If you start to waiver, other things may creep in and you may never commit to the race. By choosing, you will then have the accountability to train for the event especially if you have someone or a group who is also committed to the same race.
Going back to Matt’s post, he was brutally honest as to where he found himself mentally. Being a successful business owner and marathon runner sometimes embolden Matt and sometimes it made him put himself down, not believing that he really did accomplish those things and is still doing so.
“The normal I’ve found myself stuck in keeps telling me this is all a big joke and that I should stop kidding myself.”
As he thought about his life and all the things that make it up, he realized that his normal is different than what he thought it was and that he just needed to recognize it and accept it.
“But then there’s the new normal (also known as reality)…The normal that’s seen me run four full marathons and three halves in the past 18 months, when previously I couldn’t run a few blocks.”
So next time you feel like you are stuck in a rut or aren’t as good as your training partner or whatever feeling it may be that is bringing you down, remember that what you are doing is remarkable. Everyone is different and therefore everyone is good and bad at different things. The fact that you are active and pursuing something that makes a positive impact on your life is what is important.