Sadly, this is the first Coach Tip Tuesday post-2018 Olympic Winter Games. I may or may not be totally hooked on the Olympics and I may or may not have watched more TV in that last two weeks than I did in the previous 18 months since the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio.
So, fresh off of this Olympics binge, I’m here with some food for thought inspired by the Games. Obviously, the Olympics feature athletes from countries all over the world who are the top athletes in their respective sports. What does it take to get to the Olympics as an athlete?? Well, obviously it takes a lot of athleticism. It takes a lot of commitment. And perhaps most significantly, it takes a TON of sacrifice. The road to the Olympics themselves is a long, hard one, and the even longer, harder road to Olympic gold is not paved with gold. It’s paved with sweat, grit, perhaps a few tears, and sacrifice.
Why do I bring this up?? Because while most of us will never march in that Parade of Nations at an Olympics Opening Ceremony, we really are not that different than Olympic athletes. While our lives and goals might be very different than those athletes, our own goals require commitment, dedication, and sacrifice.
The theme of sacrifice is important because honestly, it’s one of the first things that happens when an athlete sets a goal. Our lives are essentially a collection of different water glasses; while we may have many glasses in our lives, there is a fixed, finite amount of water that can be distributed among these glasses. So, if you add a glass (in this example, a goal), you need to take water from another glass (or glasses) in order to be able to fill it.
My friends, this week I ask you: what sacrifices are you willing to make to reach your goals?? Are you willing to sacrifice Friday night plans with friends so you can go to bed to be able to get up early to get your long ride on Saturday mornings before the kids’ soccer games?? Are you willing to reduce your intake of the alcohol, processed sugar, or potato chips that you love so much and increase your intake of more nutritious foods to fuel your workouts well?? Are you willing to forgo other travel plans this year so you can afford the entry fee and logistics associated with your goal event?? Are you willing to enter a zone of discomfort and do things that are hard for you??
While there are a million different examples of sacrifices, the overarching premise is the same for all of them: you must give up something, even if it’s a little something, in order to pave the way for you to reach your goals. And generally, the bigger the goal, the bigger the sacrifices that need to be made. Consider this when you are planning your season and setting your goals. While the term “sacrifice” does tend to have a negative connotation, it doesn’t need to be interpreted that way. What you’re saying when you set a goal is that that goal is worthy of the changes you’ll make and the things you’ll do along the path to get to it. And, as so many of you know, the feeling you get when you reach a goal that you’ve set for yourself is absolutely something worth making sacrifices for. :)