Waking up early – and I mean really early – is a normal part of a rower’s day. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that rowers are good at getting up early or are naturally inclined to like it. The truth is that they know how to get used to, or more accurately how to get familiar with, what an early routine –(an uncomfortably early routine!) – feels like. As it becomes a habit, it’s easy for a rower to see all the advantages and opportunities of the early mornings and barely notice that seeing blurry 5’s or even 4’s as a first digit of time is not entirely normal.
Here’s what getting up really early taught me about establishing new routines:
Waking up early one day, or even every day for one week is not a routine it’s a novelty. Doing something for 1 week is Read on…
For the longest time I was in a routine of writing. At a minimum I would post something on the first of every month. I had fun keeping the self-imposed deadline since it meant I had to find a topic that had me feeling curious and inspired every 30 days (which comes around way faster than you’d figure!). I had an intended audience and I knew what voice I wanted to write in so my curiosity had some guidance. Those posts were almost always ‘mentor messages’ that I wrote considering athletes who were preparing for the upcoming Olympics. The last Olympics finished in February, the next aren’t for another 2 years, and that’s not my official roll anymore anyway.
My last post was in June and then I chose to take July and August off as a summer break. Now it’s mid-way through September and I’m so far out of my routine that I feel stuck.
I have been struggling a bit because if I’m not writing to an Olympic team who am I writing too? I get stuff in my head all the time but how do I want to frame it and make it purposeful? I don’t want to just ramble; I want to make a point. I miss writing but where, and why, does my new routine start?
I needed help to get me started again, but asking for the help was a bit… tough. Tough for no other reason than my ego was aware that most of the stuff that I’ve written about in the last 5 years was exactly the kind of advice that I needed to get me going. I’m supposed to be the expert here. I write often about being brave and bold enough to do something: to start, to just get at your goal-achieving path by starting with a simple small step. There I was, bogged down by the “doctor heal thy self” conundrum. It was so easy to be terrible at taking my own (good!) advice.
To get the help I needed, I knew what I had to do. Read on…
For the past 9 years I have been, under one title or another, a specialist in Olympic Athlete Preparation for the Canadian Olympic Committee. It’s been a great working relationship but I have a sense that it’s time to move on. It’s been fun – but I’m choosing to be done.
I’ve really enjoyed being a mentor – I have had the privilege of connecting with and helping to prepare Canadian Olympic athletes for the Turin2006, Beijing2008, Vancouver2010, London2012 and the Sochi2014 Olympic Games. The scale of the task has been incredible. Connecting with so many different athletes, learning about all their different sports, and their sport cultures has been so interesting. As is the case with all the best things that we devote our time to – I feel as if I have taken in so much more than I was able to give and I am so grateful.
Each conversation, every visit to a team meeting, training camp or competition convinced me of the common experience that driven people share in their constant pursuit of excellence. We all choose to ride a rollercoaster of emotions as we follow our ambitions, revel in the joy of being part of a group/team with a common, extraordinary goal and seek the (c)rush that envelopes us each time we push into an environment that we know will offer us a fresh heap of all-encompassing performance stress – ah! that stress truly is the spice of life!
It’s important to recognize when the ambition that you’re willing to give no longer matches the task. Read on…