Friday, June 29, 2012

Renovating The Walls of Your Mind...Step One: Declutter

If you've been reading this blog long, or if you know me personally, you know my mind pretty much never stops going.  Coach E says I think too much, but really, that's an understatement.  That's like saying there's too much water in the ocean...too much air in the sky...too much sand in the Sahara!!

But I think there's more to it than that.  Here's what I think...I think I not only think "too much" (okay...am I the only one who thinks that's funny?).  I also tend to think the wrong thoughts.  At least I HAVE been.  That is changing.

For a long time I have been slowly renovating my mind.  It's much like the process of remodeling an old house.  I have clutter to be sorted through.  I have old notions that need to be spruced and shined.  And I've had (have) false beliefs that had (have) to be discarded completely. 


Okay...let me just be honest, when I say "I have clutter that needs to be sorted through..." it's not like your average junk drawer, it's more like the hoarders you see on TV.   My mind is overflowing with thoughts

ALL THE TIME

and usually more than one at a time.  I have a hard time keeping things straight and a hard time easily retrieving needed information.

One of the main issues with mind clutter is that it makes it hard to remember workouts.  If I go to the pool and can't remember what I'm supposed to do, sure I can just swim for an hour, but I'm not making the best use of my time.  Also, when my mind is cluttered with all the different theories of nutrition and training out there, I get completely confused.  Do I eat carbs or not?  Do I run easy or hard?  To brick or not to brick?  Strength training should be done when?  Do I stretch before or after working out?  And the list goes on.

You have to be careful when cleaning out the clutter that you don't throw out a signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (it was worth a lot of money back in 2006, according to this site) with the manual on the TV you had back in college.  (That sentence will make sense if you see the picture that goes with this post...)  Knowing what to treasure and what to toss is hard for someone who keeps everything that "might be" useful (to someone) one day.  (I mean come on, what if someone has that TV now and needs the manual??)  In training, this is why it's important for you to know yourself better than anyone, so you can make unequivocal decisions regarding workouts, nutrition, equipment, picking out races, etc.  Or you can find a coach you can TRUST who will help navigate you through all the information out there. 

A coach should give you no more than a couple of things to really focus on at a time. These nuggets of wisdom will be different for each athlete.  A far cry from doling out information like words on the page of a book, a coach is working with each athlete in a way which serves the person best (not in the way which best inflates the coach's ego).  It doesn't sound like "look what I can do"/"listen to how I do it"/"let me tell you how to do it the right way".  Instead it starts with something like, "for you the key will be..."  The workouts might all be the same for a group working toward the same race, but the coaching for each person will look different.  One athlete might need a good swift kick in the bike shorts, whereas another might need a gentle hug of reassurance. 

Swimming form doesn't vary....oh, wait, there are actually different philosophies regarding "the best way to swim".  Well, once you've sorted through all that information, and have found one you believe in, how it's learned can vary greatly.  Beyond that, what individual athletes need to focus on branches off even further (one needs to focus on speed, one on relaxing, one on POWER...). 

Before I signed on with the e3 Tribe (note the name change: e3Trivolution.com), I was trying to focus on everything all the time.  I didn't know what I needed to work on, when, or how.  There are MANY philosophies on EVERYTHING.  Sorting through clutter is a crucial step in any remodel job....but it's an on-going process.  Anyone who has been on a construction site knows how clutter can ruin a job. 

I'll bet you want to go clean out your junk drawer now don't you??  :D

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.  (I still need to write up the post about Pigtails and the Mach Tenn swim....now I can add to the list parts two and three of this post.  So much writing to do, so little time!)

:D

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