I was writing my weekly update for the magazine the other day and I got onto the topic of goals, motivation and focus. Having just sent in my registration for the ANB (Masters (35+) and the Open Figure (short) categories) comp prep suddenly feels so much more real and I have consequently shifted into game mode.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been focused on getting back on stage for the last 21 months, its a long time to stay focused and of course there have been distractions, wobbles, doubts, uncertainty and more than a few times when it all just seemed too hard. But with Aidens belief, encouragement and support I kept on going, and kept on going and gradually as October has crept closer my determination, motivation and focus on that end goal have become stronger, clearer, more tangible.
When I started my comp prep my motivation levels went up several notches despite ongoing physical and health issues, after my holiday the level of intensity of my focus has gone up another few notches and its been showing in my training, I have nailed every single session (apart from one).
And now in the last few weeks I have moved into game mode. This is where my motivation goes through the roof and focus on that end goal is picked out in laser like precision – I know exactly what I have to do to get there and nothing is going to stop me. Life becomes very simple in game mode – everything becomes very black and white – if it gets me to where I want to go, I do it. If it doesn’t, I don’t.
So for example where 4 weeks ago I woke up tired one morning and decided not to train – my reasoning went along the lines: I’m tired, training will make me more tired, I’ve only just got my energy back, I don’t want to push it in case I relapse back into pre holiday zombie mode, rest is just as important as training and I trained 6 times last week, ok I won’t train today. The result of that was that by the weekend I had to do catch up training as I’d only trained 3 times!
Now, that does not happen – its gotten colder this week, its dark, I’m still not sleeping particularly well so I’m waking up tired, its been wet – I hate cycling in the wet – but now that I’m in game mode my thinking goes along the following lines: training is what will make me lean, training is what will get me on stage in the best condition I can be in, I’m going to smash my training.
And I have.
And its only going to get more intense from here on, 2 PB’s on Friday could just be the beginning…
Its the same thing with my diet. Aiden has given me precise instructions and I follow them to the letter. In fact I might be even be ‘harder’ on myself than I need to be, because he surprised me the other day when in a conversation about a lebanese restaurant, he said I should try it…whilst on comp prep!
It would not even have entered my mind to ask – I’m operating on the assumption that it is off limits.
How many other coaches out there can say in all honesty that they can absolutely trust that their competitor is doing exactly as they ask when it comes to diet (or training)?
Not many, I bet.
How many competitors out there sneak the odd chocolate bar, or ice cream or whatever your ‘thing’ is because you think you can get away with it?
My question to you is whats the point? you’re only cheating yourself at the end of the day. Do you want that chocolate bar or do you want to get on stage looking the best you can?
For me thats such a no brainer its not even worth considering.
Do I want to get on stage in the best shape of my life? Yes
Will a chocolate bar help me do that? No
It was the same with when Aiden suggested pizza for cheat meal…initially I baulked at the idea – I did question that, but I totally understand the reasoning behind it so I do it…and yes I do enjoy my pizza.
In fact from now on, now that I’m starting to see results and I’m eating plenty of totally clean food, my energy levels are the best they’ve been for about 12 months, so one of Aidens toughest tasks now is going to be stopping me training too much…
This is how it works with me, when I set myself a goal, there are several phases I tend to go through. First the goal is out there, but its quite indistinct – it’s a nice to do, have or be, so I might start looking into it a bit, start doing things that move me in the general direction of the goal, but there is often lots of noise, I can be easily distracted, excuses might take me off track for a while, but I’m still meandering slowly in the right general direction. The second phase is when I’ve started seeing some sort of progress and I may have hit one of two small targets along the way and I start to want more of it. At this stage I start putting more time into doing the tasks or activities that are related to the end goal, I tend to get less easily distracted and so I start seeing more, better results until I eventually get to the third phase where I commit to the goal completely.
100%. All in.
And when I get to this stage, it is a done deal – nothing and no one will move me off the course I am now committed to until I achieve it, distractions and excuses cease to exist – something either helps me get there or it doesn’t.
End of story.
Aiden has told me on a number of occasions that I am one of the most focused and mentally toughest people he’s ever come across, its partly why he likes training me and I’m so trainable – because I’m prepared to do whatever it takes, and I don’t argue.
So thats what I love about comp prep
There is no noise, no distractions, I am focused, motivated, decision making is simple, physically I am at my strongest, mentally I am at my sharpest.
And in all honesty, compared to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, its actually easy.
Bring on the PB’s