Framing Your View of Your World

May
30

Posted by Coach Chris Palmquist

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.” ~Henry Ford

I’m not much of a home decorator. We moved into our house over 15 years ago and have not changed a thing since those first few weeks. We have a few framed pictures, zero plants and the same orange-themed wall paper in our bedroom that someone put up decades ago. Someday, I’ll get to those projects…but those are not the “frames” that are meaningful to me currently.

But as a coach, an athlete, and a human being, I am constantly “framing” and “reframing” how I look at the world around me and my role in it. And so are you. What do I mean? Is this important for you as an athlete? Yes, there is nothing more crucial than your beliefs, (how you view yourself and your goals), when it comes to your athletic success.

How you look at your life and your own potential to succeed, is the frame (or belief system) through which you process your world and how you can thrive within it. Frames can be powerfully good for an athlete. For example, an athlete who trusts in their coach will complete the day to day training sessions that will lead to accomplishing their goals. An adult who believes that they can improve their health or body composition is more likely to eat high quality whole foods, stay hydrated and avoid processed foods. A parent who believes that it is impossible to be a fantastic mom or dad as well as having a little time each day for their own health and athletic goals will make that time for efficient training while being a great parent. A triathlete who believes they can be fast will do the intervals and the miles required to attain their potential.

Still other athletes will view their world through destructive, self-limiting beliefs that cause them to self-sabotage their goals. If you don’t believe that you are worthy of achieving your goals, you will look at every training session and race through a pessimistic lens. As a result, you might consciously or unconsciously do things that sabotage your training. You “accidently” run out of time each week to get your track workout in. You don’t get enough sleep, or give-up on a nutritious meal or hydration and then have a miserable workout. You feel sick and skip a race. You decide to run your “easy-paced” long runs at a pace that is too fast, despite your coach’s pleas, then have to skip days or weeks of training to recover from injury, illness or fatigue. As soon as the scale changes or doesn’t change enough, you lose sight of your nutrition goals and start eating or drinking things that yo-yo you back to your starting point or worse.

How can we build a strong, positive, impactful frame from which to process our world? Define yourself according to your seasonal goals. Complete this powerful sentence and commit it to memory for the year. “I am a _________.” Fill in the blank with something meaningful to your goals. For example, “athlete,” “runner,” “triathlete,” healthy parent,” “elite athlete,” “master athlete,” “Kona qualifier,” “top ten sprint tri age-grouper,” “strong,” “lean,” “super-dad,” etc.  The possibilities are endless. But whatever definition (or frame) that you choose, if you repeat it to yourself regularly, you will act on it. You will eat well. You won’t sabotage your training by staying up too late. You will make time for your trainer ride. You will head to the track to do those 400’s. You will run your easy runs at an easy pace. You will swim that annoying set of CSS 200’s. You will lift those weights. You will not have four glasses of wine every other night. Get the “picture?” (Pun intended.)

You do not have to truly believe your framework yet. You don’t have to be doubt free. But start looking at your world through a positive frame - set up according to your goals - and you will have a much stronger chance of achieving them.


 

Coach Chris Palmquist is a USAT Level III and Youth/Junior Coach, USAC Level I Coach and a F.I.S.T. Certified Bike Fitter with 18 years of coaching experience and has coached athletes to success at the regional, national and world level. Chris has coached elite athletes at ITU World Paratriathlon Events and High Performance Camps at Olympic Training Centers. Chris also coaches training camps for USAT Juniors, Challenged Athletes Foundation and Dare2Tri. As an athlete, she has numerous top finishes in many sports including triathlon, collegiate rowing, canoe/kayak, cross country skiing, speed skating and road bike racing. Her coaching philosophy is based on trust, communication, balance, achieving top potential and the joy of training and racing. Chris is married with two children. Coach Chris can be reached at chris@teamMPI.com

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