Whether you are a first-time triathlete, a new cyclist or you have a few seasons of racing under your belt, we all face challenges that impact our goals throughout the year. When we face changes to our routine, it might be time to check back and regroup. Start here. And remember, every day is an opportunity.
No matter what kind of athlete you are (aspiring or otherwise), everyone has to start somewhere. And, the place you need to start might not be where you are thinking. Nope, it’s not the gym or putting hours in on your indoor cycling trainer.
We’ll call this first step: “Let Your Goals Marinade.”
When you're looking to create a new goal or reassess an existing goal, you need to set aside some time FOR YOU. Start with this:
1) Make a date with yourself for the next three days (or three consecutive days in a row) to go for a chill 30-minute walk.
2) On day four, set aside an hour for your date with yourself. Determine a location in your date where you are comfortable, relaxed, and won't be bothered (outdoors or indoors).
It’s essential that you put these four dates on your calendar. Schedule them the same way you would schedule a workout. Stick with them. Think of them as important and essential to your success.
Go for a Walk with Yourself
For 3 days in a row, go for a walk by yourself. That’s right, just you. No cell phone. No friends (furry or otherwise). No music. No distractions. This isn’t an exercise walk, it’s a walking meditation. As you walk, take in your surroundings.
When you get about 15 minutes from your starting location, have a seat (park bench, sand on the beach, street curb, etc). Close your eyes, and for two minutes breathe in and out through your mouth so that you cannot hear your breath. Hear and feel life happening around you. Take it all in: the wind on your skin, the temperature of the air, the sounds of nature, people, cars… everything.
Then open your eyes, walk back to your starting spot and go about your day.
Although it may feel like nothing has happened, when you give yourself the freedom to step away from your everyday thoughts, you create space for magic to happen. You can compare these walking meditations to rest days while training. During intense training, muscles need to take a break to recover and rebuild so they can come back stronger. The same can be said about giving yourself time and space to set the best goals for YOU. By allowing your mind to become spacious, you can create the best vision for yourself.