My mind keeps wandering back to the Angus', Julie and Colin. I hung out with them for a couple of days and listened to many of their stories. In doing so, I learned a lot of lessons, many which can be applied to sport. I'll share one of those lessons with you now.
Colin traveled across the globe on nothing but the power of his own muscles. He had to row across the Bering Sea. And ride a bike through China, Russia, and Siberia in the middle of winter. What exactly does that look like? A little something like this...
And to think that I won't ride my bike when the temperature is below 40º F.
Julie rowed a tiny boat from Europe to America, across the Atlantic, through a hurricane (and other obstacles). When others before her had done this, there were distinct differences. First, they were all men. Second, they always had a support crew to feed them, water them, etc. Julie had a dude (see bearded guy above), fishing pole and a boat. What did that look like when they finished? A little something like this...
Here's what I learned from their Adventures: Don't stop.
That's as simple and as complex as you can get in sport. And, it applies perfectly to endurance training. When your goal is to get from point A to point B, guess where stopping gets you? Nowhere. And that was the Angus Point (patent pending).
Moving towards your goal, even slowly, is still helping achieve your goal. Good stuff right there.
A Case Study
How does this affect me? Great question. Take, for example, my triathlon obsession frosted with the Ironman. I'd really like to get good at it. So far, I suck. That's okay, I can cope with my crappiness. One of my underlying weaknesses is my running. Therefore, I have started to dedicate myself into trying to become a runner. Not an easy task for the slow and weak (meaning me).
To achieve this goal, I have started running more. Sadly, the only real way to get good at running is to actually run (a fact I have worked hard to avoid for a long time now). Currently I am at 5 days a week on my way up to 6 and doing them in the morning. Morning running is actually advantageous. It removes all the excuses later in the day for not running.
However, there is a dark side to morning running. Specifically, it's dark outside. Worse, now that the sun has dropped below the equator, it's not as warm as it used to be. Plus, I am typically tired at 5:30 am. Then, the other day, it rained. That's 5 whammies: Dark. Cold. Tired. Rainy. Pansy (the last one is assumed). In the past, any 3 pack combination was enough to kick me out of my running shoes and back into bed.
That's where I draw on the experiences of the Angus Clan. I am seriously motivated by these people. It didn't matter if it was cold, or they were tired, or they had a boo boo on their pinky toe, blah blah blah. Stopping meant not getting home. The only real option was to keep going. Now, I won't be dragging the Wife around the world any time soon. (Aside: We talked about it. The biggest problem, in her mind, is that she doesn't like seafood and she has her doubts that I'll be able to reel in a cow while in the middle of the Ocean. End Aside.) I also won't be using crappy excuses to not train.
So, with Julie and Colin's lesson on perseverance, I went for my dark, chilly, rainy, tired, pansy-esque run. And guess what happened? It didn't suck. I had a great run despite the obstacles. And that great run motivated me to get up the next morning and run again. Guess what happened? I had a great run. And that great run... Well, you can see where this is going.
I'm pretty sure that's the way it goes with life and I'm definitely sure that's the way it goes with sport. Once you get into a habit of greats, more greats come. Once you get into a habit of laziness, more laziness comes. Being lazy will not solve my running problem.
The only way to get back home is to keep going. Persevere and you will get there.