Early this week we held our weekly all-team meeting, a time that the coaches and rest of the team at Purple Patch can catch up, review the week ahead, and also share thoughts and ideas. This week a common theme came up among the team, and we collectively felt it was important to share with you. Bubbling anxiety. Yes, there is a lot of bubbling anxiety floating around the community at the moment, which might feel strange as the world trends toward a return of something resembling normal life and the race season turning toward reality.
There are two main reasons that are likely contributing toward these feelings:
Let’s address broader life component first. It is true that many parts of the world are trending toward a brighter future, but with this comes a set of consequences. I am, so you too, may be feeling the tension of change.
Yes, change is hard, even when it is a positive change.
It might be a return to the office, kids going back to school, kids sports reducing training availability or any host of aspects of life that begin to create complexity. It might even be vacation planning. The key is that while these are ‘good’ changes, they still bubble anxiety. It is normal, and you will adapt. Don’t allow the turbulence back toward normal distract from the positive. Sometimes, just realizing that it is change that is the issue, allows us more able to manage these changes effectively.
Beyond the life piece, there is of course racing.
IRONMAN Texas was canceled this week. A prime example of anxiety coming from uncertainty of whether races are truly coming back, and all the hassle around shifting plans and compass. While we are supporting Texas-specific athletes, the good news for the rest of us is that the remaining North American races will charge ahead. We still must focus on our friends' uncertainty in Canada, Europe, Central and South America and beyond. Generally, we have a couple more months of uncertainty, but the second half of the year should truly open up in much of the world.
With this comes pure race anxiety! Goodness, it is coming from all areas. Yes, the return to racing is -- for many -- a catalyst of fear and worry. It doesn’t need to be. We don’t need to convert race opportunities into monsters.
I will hold off on discussing tactics and approaches for racing, as the whole of the month of April we'll be diving into the return to racing, mindset, tactics and beyond. In fact, even the podcast will be wholly focused on a series of episodes around returning to racing, beginning this week and continuing throughout April.
But, I will ask you to retain a little perspective as you head back to a race. HERE:
This pandemic hit us.
The world turned upside down in the turbulence.
We adapted and got on with life -- hopeful for a return to normal.
It was at this point that I repeatedly discussed the opportunities that this type of adversity provides. What are the lessons? What can you apply to your sport, surely this is a chance to realize the broader role of training and sport in your life than just finish lines?
Well, here we are folks. Returning. Now go and apply those lessons.
Be happy, and treat the races as a celebration of return, not a test of self-worth.
If you retain perspective and go give it a crack, you might just ENJOY IT! Oh, and you will likely deliver your own personal brand of excellence.
I hope that helps the perspective.
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