This week, one of the athletes I guide (he gets the basics, just needs a reminder from time to time) reminded me of watershed moments. It made me wonder about my own watershed moments, as I had just given him a moment where it all made sense to him. He is a great athlete, an incredible guy and a monumental human being. He listens, absorbs and takes the best forward with him. Something we should all aspire towards, living a life like his.
Those moments where a mass of small decisions bring you to a moment where possibly it all comes together, or someone comes to you and gives you a piece of wisdom that ties up all the loose ends. It could be the smallest thing, because it’s so difficult to see behind that space where you are facing the rock, the hard place and the stubborn ego that doesn’t like to look behind the obvious.
Watershed moments are pivotal to change. Once you realise it, there is no turning back. These aren’t realisations that fluctuate like your belief that it’s ok to eat a slab of chocolate after a hard training session. These are crucial things that affect decisions for the rest of your life. To give you an idea, here are some of my watershed moments.
- While riding my bike along the coastal road, realising that economy and the zone around 75% of max HR would be the focal point of most of my improvement if I wanted to have a long sporting career.
- A naturopath who told me to “learn to breathe and let go” at a pivotal moment in my life which changed the way I laughed, slept and lived every breath I would ever take from there onward.
- Making the food connection. Realising that my central energy system is being fuelled with molasses when it should be fuelled with jet fuel.
Those 3 moments (among others) have made me the person I am today. I spend 5-10 minutes a day exercising my breathing to make sure I am “clean”. I eat “clean” which is a moving target but a target which has meant that I now research where the meat comes from at restaurants I frequent, means I have stopped using deodorant (that sweat smell is from what you eat), stopped taking any vitamins and brought my average sugar consumption on a 4+ hour bicycle ride down by about 90%. Training in the right zone and being aware of economy has turned me around from an average age grouper to hitting it out with some of the pro guys. That is doable by anyone with enough time and plenty discipline.
Don’t be scared of these key moments – in fact; relish them and look for them. They come at the most unexpected times but there is a feeling of deep understanding when they do happen to us.
To the guys and girls doing 70.3 this weekend, I have a bunch of tips which I posted a year or two ago here: http://www.urban-ninja.co.za/index.php/2011/11/70-3-first-timer-tips/
Have a great race out there and really embrace the feeling going through your body as it does the work to get to your goals. It’s a beautiful thing.