Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pump It!

Usually I write for beginning runners, walkers and race walkers.  That is where I feel that I can do the most good, with what I can contribute, to the sports that I love.  There is so much misinformation and so many cold hard facts that it's often hard for a someone new to adult athletics to wade through it.    But today I'm going to write on a different subject and for long time road warriors.

When you live a lifestyle of health and fitness and this lifestyle has gone on for ten years, twenty years, thirty years or in my case over four decades then there are times that you need to be pumped back up.  You hit periods where you don't really feel like training at all any more or you just feel like you are going through the motions.  It seems pointless because your best days are behind you, you are getting older, slower and less limber.  It takes longer and longer to recover from an injury and you get injured so much easier than you did before.

These are the times when we have to dig deeper than ever before.  Deeper than when we need to go hard and go long in a race.  Deeper than when we need to get out on the road when it's hot and humid or below freezing and get our miles in.  Deeper even than when we have to get up at oh dark thirty, on a cold rainy morning and get to the starting line of a race.  You have to dig down to very core of your being to find the spark to relight that flame of desire.  That flame that has been strong before and as it began to fade a part of you began to fade with it.

I have had to rekindle that fire many times over the years and sometimes it would stay cold for a year or more before something would happen that brought back the need.  Yes the need because that lifestyle is something that once you have experienced it, although you may need to step back from it, becomes a part of your being.  When you do it's like coming home to a long lost love.  It's like being lost and then finding your way out of the darkness.

If you are anything like me then you have experienced those cold times yourself, times when it's just hard to find the motivation.  But somehow you did it and found that lost love.  You brought yourself back and it was like you came home and also, very soon, it's like you never left.  I'm speaking now to that adult athlete that is feeling the flame fading and it's threatening to burnout.  How do you get it back when you are really not feeling the love anymore?

When you feel it fading then you have to remember what it felt like when it was good and fine, when you were firing on all cylinders.  When you are training and racing you are, for the few times in your life, living by your own rules, master of your own body and feelings.  You are literally high on living and living free.  You need to remember but you also need to add a new goal.  You must find that which makes it worth it to train hard again.  To live by your own rules again and train again like you once did, you have to want it again.

It's time to change things around, shake it up.  If you train with music then change the songs in your iPod.  If your haven't been training to music then maybe it's time to start.  Get a training partner, plan a future challenge to work toward together.  Decide to do it all and train like the elite train.  Plan an interval day, a tempo day and an LSD day each week.  Cross train, lift, swim, put all the pieces of a training program together.  Or don't do any of that, simply make the decision that you are going to find the love and enjoy being in motion again.

If you are going through a cold spell, make the effort to find the love again, it will be worth it.  Shake off the funk and rediscover your own flame.

Thanks for reading.


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