Outside a late winter blizzard has blanketed the streets with snow and with the wind howling any thoughts of spring has disappeared. Despite trying conditions, my training plans will not be put on hold as today the early stages of my cycling season will unfold with a targeted climbing session. In-fact, and only with years of experience to borrow upon, this utterly miserable setting of frigid cold and howling winds is precisely ‘what is needed’ and will usher in another year of attacking weaknesses and overcoming adversity.
Though the exercise industry will go to great lengths complicating training approaches and equipment needs, ultimately the test is the mettle of the athlete, whether they capable of attacking adversity and willing to step outside of 'their comfort zone' and make their weak spots a strength.
Whether in sport, exercise, scholastic efforts or any number of business matters, it is imperative to be able manage duress and eliminate 'weak links'. Managing duress, whether physical or psychological, sits at the cornerstone of success but most fail to address as they lack the bold confidence required in rapidly changing, chaotic events.
Nothing in sport, as well as life, is predictable and therefore you must prepare for the unexpected and eliminate points of vulnerability.
The weakness of the ‘comfort zone’ is very possibly due to human nature, a place where many gravitate towards and simply, within exercise, ‘doing what we enjoy’. This habit is part of the reason why many athletes do not train to suit there sport but instead fall into the habit of performing exercises they enjoy. This issue creates both physical and psychological habits that are detrimental towards goals and will negatively condition the individual and invariably they fail.
To excel you must be capable of managing rapidly changing situations and willing to eliminate the ‘weak links’ in your armour. Whether eliminating physical weak ‘links’, such as shifting the balance of your strength from upper to lower body, improving dynamic range of motion or being able to manage more mentally stressful environments, development occurs outside the boundaries of the comfort zone.
With hands stinging from the cold and legs pulsated from two plus hours in the saddle, the season has begun with a sense of accomplishment and willingness to press forwards against adversity. This is just the beginning. The hunt has begun.
Prepared by John Davies
Disclaimer The information provided in ‘Instant Training Improvement Tips’, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk