Dr. Pasternak and I have had a fantastic few days on the meet and greet circuit.
Kicking off on Thursday night with the final Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay 101 - helping participants fine tune their final weeks of training, recovery and nutritional strategies before shoving off on their Odysseys.
Friday night we enjoyed the casual setting of Petra in the Village at Northstar with the Girls on the Run supporters. The informal atmosphere was perfectly paired with delicious wines and small plates. I provided a 30,000 foot perspective on effective training - based on big picture themes I have taken-away as a competitor and now coach.
I so believe in and appreciate the GOTR mission - the organization marries the eqaully importance of physical and mental aspects of life - and as a result of the program are mutually benefited. Seems generally speaking youth sports today are so performance pressured, and focus so heavily on sophisticated physiological training and technique, but miss respect for and training of the central mental piece.
In my experience - athletics provide a microcosm of life magnified, crammed in to a determinant amount of time, where we experience, the extreme emotional highs and lows . When I was racing – even at the elite international level, I valued the personal growth opportunities it afforded maybe even more than results. I think this positive spin and perspective equated to a long, successful, positive career - and unlike many past competitors - I still love partaking in the activity.
Results and physical sensations are fleeting – the mental values and lessons lasting. There are bunch of factors in bike racing - many outside our control. But for the most part I felt I had raced a successful race, irregardless of the results if I - stayed mentally intent and present during the race, controlling anxious anticipating thoughts of what lie down the road; replaced negative thoughts and self-talk with positive thoughts resulting in positive physical outcomes (it was amazing to experience the immediate cause and effect of the mental thought process on physicality - it was transforming physically) and rode with absolute conviction, determination, abandon - leaving all my best efforts out on the road, crossing the finish line with nothing left and no regrets or "should haves. "
To me - athletics are an expression vs a proving ground. This perspective relieves the sense of pressure, provides the opportunity to blow past self-imposed limited scenarios, and human outlining.
The on-bike competitive values and characteristics extend to daily life - maintaining composure and calm amidst chaos; displaying grace when things don’t go your way; setting goals supported by focus, discipline, tenacity and persistence to achieve them.
Lesson learned - Seize the day, ride with abandon.
Dr. P and I finished our presentation circuit with the Giant- NOrthstar Mountain Bike Team on Saturday. I presented on effective training strategies including the physical and mental aspects. And Andy helped the team riders understand the importance of lactate threshold testing in order to provide tools to better fine tune their training and maximize training time. We finished the day with the team mountain biking the Sawtooth trail and barbecuing burgers - thanks Justin Swett, Andy Buckley and Whitney Wall for a fantastic day.