It’s that time of year where we reflect on the past and look to the future.
I covered a lot of ground, and learned a lot over the course of 2015. Here’s my summary.
1. The mind is our most powerful asset. How this superpower is used relies on how we craft our beliefs.
For example, I would have never have attempted the Three Peaks Challenge in Victoria in March if I had known that all three of my hamstring tendons had been taken off the bone. At the time of riding, I was only aware that two were unattached and that I still had partial function in my hamstring. The power of my mind took me through some gruelling training as well as an epic effort of climbing three big hills on my bike.
On the flip side, as I’ve been recovering from hamstring surgery, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to quell the belief that I may never be the same on the bike again. Why? Because that invites the old “I may as well not try,” chestnut out to play. To counter this, I try to celebrate my achievements post surgery.
2. Dealing with feelings is best described by Shrek – “better out than in”.
I’ve had a few major meltdowns this year both on and off the bike. Who cries during a triathlon or 100km training ride? I do! As one of my wise friends states, “name it to tame it”. Having a good cry or letting it all hang out in a journal has been a far better proposition than indulging in other destructive behaviours (excessive amounts of peanut butter come to mind). Acknowledging how I am feeling about many things has also helped shine some light on what I want to achieve in the future.
3. Education is the best tool we have to make informed decisions about our health.
As a result of an altercation I had with a nutrition quack on a Facebook page, I’ve been delving into the murky world of alternative therapies and recasting my eyes upon the fitness industry. The lack of scientific enquiry in relation to the claims that are made is frightening to say the least. I’ve even been given nutrition and sports science ‘advice’ by others who have no qualifications in the area. Having studied for eight years at University in this area and concurrently getting a great grounding in scientific enquiry and method have made it easy to separate evidence based from ‘woo’. As an aside, I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that when it comes to optimal health, everybody wants a quick fix. Hence the fascination with quacks and woo merchants.
4. Fitness rumbles along – as long as we act.
This is a simple one. Fitness improves (or rumbles along) as long as you keep moving/keep at it. There’s no need to spend excessive amounts of time vacillating over your data (though rational analysis can provide some great markers). You just need to lace up your shoes, get on your bike, hit the weights and simply get consistent. This is something I have had to relearn, starting from the point of being inactive with a really weird hamstring to boot. Sometimes I get a little bit down on myself that I haven’t hit my previous heights, but with each ride I do, I’m slowly getting better, even if I don’t notice it. The 4500km I have ridden post surgery is proof of that.
5. The world is a better place with great friends and excellent encouragement. It’s made even better by an amazing spouse.
The support and encouragement I’ve received from my friends near and far has really uplifted me in what has been a challenging year. I can’t write enough good things about Mr Lucy and our partnership in 2015 (and obviously before that). Without wanting to sound too soppy, that man is my rock.
What have you learned?