Friday, May 20, 2011

not so impressive. it's just what we do.

consistency and organization. 

The first has seemed to be the recent trend in multisport.  And, by trend, i mean... it seems as if i am reading lots about it lately.  People seem to be talking about it a lot lately.  And, the second. well, it seems to go so nicely with the first. because if you lack organization, consistency is pretty difficult to have.

I have been learning about consistency lately.  A friend of mine wrote a fantastic entry  (followed up by a blog entry about time... um... consistency and organization, AGAIN!)  about how it is not all that impressive to have a run in the morning, and a swim in the evening.  but, what is pretty impressive, is doing that same routine (or similar) day in and day out, for weeks. months. years.

My coach  recently raced Gulf Coast Triathlon and nailed her bike leg, which allowed her to have a great run.  Just look at this power file: a straight line, with a Heart Rate that is steady steady.   Her coach (Jesse Kropelnicki at QT2 systems) gave her a "A-" for this bike ride.  You can read about it HERE.  but, how did she succeed and nail this ride?  Well, she was consistant. 


I also recently heard a comment that someone on my team had said, when answering the question "wow!  You look so great for your age!  How do you do it!?" she mentioned how people don't like to hear that it is about being physically active throughout life.  for the past 20 years, or more, she has given her body something to do.  Fitness does not come instantly (as some of my old personal training clients may wish...), but, it comes with a consistant lifestyle decisions (healthy eating and active living!).  It may not be the same level of a triathlete.  but it has to be consistant.  it has to be for life.  it wasn't overnight that you became like that.  it will not be overnight that you will look how you want.
and, this whole consistency thing is something that I have been learning this year. and, I am not going to lie... it is not easy.  and, that is where organization comes in.  and, after a conversation last night, with the boy i like, i got thinking about how the two of these things match up.

you see, I am not, naturally, an organized person.  When i was younger, i was SUPER "type B" personality.  i love to chill, i love to "take things as they come," i love to perceive an environment, and deal with what i have.  But, as I have gotten older, my "type A" personality side has become far more apparent.  And, I do think, that athletics has made me like this.  I mean, as a rower, you train every morning at 5:30.  THere are so many times in college, where i said "i can't, i have to row."  and now, as a triathlete, i am learning this all over again.  I am not naturally a morning person.  But, as i have become an athlete, I have discovered how easy convenient it is to workout in the morning, so that the rest of the day is free and open.

especially these days, as university has been so exceptionally busy this term.  And, this month, where I am working almost full time (35hrs/wk) at my clinical rotation.  we all have different things on our plate, that we enjoy.  It may be volunteering or coaching or arts or church or spending time with friends and family or writing or working or cleaning and regular day to day tasks or exercise.  That is a lot of things to manage and to time (have i ever mentioned... how i totally understand how people have personal assistants to help organize their life?  there are A LOT of things going on!).

And, my ways of organizing, are not your ways of organizing.  I know people who do all their vegetable chopping on a sunday.  I can't do that.  I know people who fold their laundry right out of the washer.  I don't do that either.  I know people who do all their major banking at one or two main times every month.  I do mine in a rolling manner.

but, what are some things that i do, that makes things easier, for me?

  • of course, I prioritize.  Some things will not happen, until other things are finished. I look at my week ahead on a sunday, and i set out what are the main things I have to get done that week.  My iCal is always open, and I always look at it.  i look at the months ahead, and try to brainstorm what times of the months ahead are going to be busier in school, in work, in training.  I try to to the menial things during the low volume/intensity times.
  • I really try to honour the sabbath.  Now the sabbath may not be a sunday.  But, at least once a week, i try to give myself 24hours of "just do what I want" time.  that can be spending time with friends or relaxing at home, or eating a long meal out, where i spend me time. it will still involve training.  but, it will not involve other kind of work.  No school work. No work work.
  • I pack my lunch while i am making another meal.  Eggs on the pan? put some nuts in a tupperwear.  veggies boiling?  group together the "to go" items.  Coffee brewing? spoon the yogurt and fruit into a to go bowl.
  • i do tasks on my commute to and from places.  Almost every time i finish swimming at the YMCA, i buy some groceries at a small epicerie on the way home.  Need to pick something up from school?  do it on the way to or from the hospital. 
  • I often (unless i have a otherwise flexible week) schedule my workouts into my calendar, like a class, or work.  If someone else wants to workout with me, well, they have to be avail at the time I have scheduled (yeah, i know.  it sounds snobby, but, whatever).  I ALWAYS swim at the same time, so, i am not met by some unexpected early closure, or strange swim class.  
  • I choose to live close to the places i work and play and train.  I use the fastest mode of transit available to me (commuting by bike, mostly; but, in crappy weather, the metro) to that i don't waste much time on the commute.  I know that not everyone can do this, but, i think it is important in life... also, it is environmentally friendly. 
  • i get my workout gear ready the night before, if i am training in the morning.  or, at least I know where everything is.  So, i have no excuse in the morning, but to get going.
  • and, if i am having a problem "getting going" i give my self a "in 3, you will close the computer" count.  That comes from my rowing days, when everything was "in two." 
we live in a "task oriented" society, rather than the "relationship" orientated society of a lot of cultures.  and, I know that my lifestyle, as it is now, would not be as sustainable in a relationship orientated society.  And, I don't feel that I lack in my relationships.  But, I do find myself seeking out relationships which are somewhat more understanding of my chosen lifestyle for now.  

And, things are not easy, all the time.  But, as in life, things come and things go.  There are positive ebbs where we find that things come together nicely:  it is easy to be consistant and be organized and get things done.  there are negative ebbs, where we find that we are making many sacrifices, parts of our life seem to be completely lacking, and we don't get much "down time."  we don't know when, but, we do know that these things will pass.  

but, until then... what are your ways of being consistant, and being organized?  Cause, really, i am always trying to find ways that continue to help me do this.  
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1 comment:

Joy said...

I read all your posts, but I usually read them through google reader, so if you have a visit counter, my visits might not always show up unless I click all the way over in order to comment...