“There is no off-season, there is only an IMPROVEMENT season”.

3 Jan

…or so says triathlete Courtney Pullman’s coach (http://www.powertap.com/blogs/news/8941821-an-interview-with-triathlete-courtney-pollman) which seems like a really good mantra to live by.

One of my cycling friends shared this on Facebook today and it made me laugh out loud: http://www.ilovebicycling.com/cycling-jokes-what-cyclists-say-and-what-they-mean/

I could especially relate to:

  • “Hold on, there’s something wrong with my bike.”
  • Let’s stop so I can rest

It’s the time of year when everyone seems to be reviewing the previous year and discussing their goals or resolutions. It’s been great to read about lots of other people making manageable life changes rather than trying to make such a dramatic change that they’re unlikely to still be doing things differently in a month’s time. Two people have blogged about this in a way that has resonated with me. This first is So Much Fattitude with her post on not dieting, but eating when hungry, which has been a change in attitude as a consequence of reading ‘intuitive eating’. She has blogged about it here: http://somuchfattitude.com/2014/01/03/a-separation-of-fitness-and-food/

The second post that I thought was really inspirational is on Running to her Dreams‘ blog: http://runningtoherdreams.com/2014/01/03/remember-the-why/ As well as being beautifully illustrated (as usual) with heart shapes found in nature, it includes obvious truths such as “We have 365 days a year to start something new.” and then the real kicker: “I believe by changing our mindset. By looking at every day as a chance to start over.  By looking at every day as a chance to do better. By making every single day an opportunity to get ready for “bikini season”. And remembering why we made that resolution or commitment to ourselves in the first place. We can. And we will. Become stronger, wiser and healthier than we ever dreamed we could be.” These are such powerful words – I urge you to go and read the whole post… you will come away inspired!

Despite having calibrated my goals, I’m not allowing myself to think of being imperfect as failing. Today, I was hoping to go swimming and I had written that into my training schedule. However, I’m struggling with sinusitis and after cycling home from work, I wasn’t feeling especially good. Then a phone call from a family member broke some sad news, so I decided not to go swimming. I have been repeating to myself that this is not failure. I have managed to eat healthily today (apart from a small piece of Christmas cake, which was my evening treat), so I’m not going to beat myself up about missing one work out when I needed some rest and recuperation time. Too often in the past, I have set my goals impossibly high and broken myself trying to achieve them – I do not want to end up having time off work because I’ve overdone it when I should have given myself a break.

Although I’ve already planned my main goals for 2014, I just wish there were more days in the week, as there are so many other things that I’d like to try. Until I worked at Bournemouth University, I didn’t see myself as particularly competitive, however, I now know that’s not true… but I hasten to add that I am my own harshest critic and I am usually competing against myself, rather than trying to beat other people. Anyway, Andrew Gills at Transventure has inspired me to try some non-competitive sporting activities. He’s blogged about Audax events, rogaining and adventure racing, and I want a piece of the action! Unfortunately, he’s blogging in Australia, so most of the exciting events that he has described are unlikely to feature on my race calendar in the near future, however, he has linked me up with Rosemary Byde who blogs about UK-based events on Planet Byde. This is one of the things that I love so much about the blogosphere – someone somewhere out there will share your interests! Thank you Andrew and Rosemary 🙂 This response from Rosemary has whetted my appetite: http://transtri2.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/rest-day-reflections/#comment-236

Also linking to my thoughts about being competitive, I watched this video by Tim Van Orden about ‘running naked’. (Thanks to Sandra for mentioning it in her latest post).

However, despite Tim’s wise words about the need to pay attention to one’s body, I must admit that I am enjoying being able to get some data about my swimming from my lovely new Garmin 910XT (mainly because I’m hopeless at counting how many lengths I’ve done in the pool).

I’ve also been working on my top-secret project relating to this blog and hope to be able to reveal some exciting news soon, but that’s all I’ll say about it for now!

I’ve joined runningbloggers.com to try to connect with more like-minded people and have decided to participate in their Fitness Friday link ups, where people share their latest fitness related blog posts – check it out to see if there’s anything you like:

Fitness Friday Link Up


Finally, I’d like to say welcome and thank you to all of the people who have visited my blog for the first time this week. I hope that you’ll come back again… and if you’ve got a blog of your own, please feel free to tell me about why I’d like it in the comments below 🙂

11 Responses to ““There is no off-season, there is only an IMPROVEMENT season”.”

  1. rosemarybyde 03/01/2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Hope I see you at an adventure race soon, they’re so much outdoor fun! And you can be as competitive as you like (or not). Because the events have a time limit rather than a set distance, you choose where to go and how much to do. Good luck finding friends and time to do one – your schedule looks even busier than mine! 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 04/01/2014 at 2:04 pm #

      Thank you – I can think of a few friends who’d love to try it (but they’re all rather speedy in comparison with me), so I think time is going to be the biggest challenge!

      • rosemarybyde 06/01/2014 at 12:22 pm #

        I remembered another company who do score adventure races which tend to be down south and might be near you – gives you even more options!

      • tamsynsmith 07/01/2014 at 9:18 pm #

        Brilliant – thank you. Some of those ones are in the New Forest, which is on my door step.

  2. Sandra 04/01/2014 at 9:29 pm #

    LOVE your blog! Keep it up! 🙂 You’re very inspiring. Cannot wait to start really running again. . . .

  3. Sandra 04/01/2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Oh, and I’m hopelessly in love with my 910xt too, i even just got the footpod so I can have data over the winter 😉

  4. runningtoherdreams 05/01/2014 at 8:50 pm #

    I love this post! And thank you so much for the mention and your kind thoughts! 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 05/01/2014 at 9:33 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

  5. tamsynsmith 05/01/2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks, Sandra. I love my footpod… the rest of my running may be fairly awful, but my cadence matches up to the elites!

  6. somuchfattitude 06/01/2014 at 2:53 pm #

    OMG – ALL of the bike “meanings” are so true….so, so true.

    Thanks for mentioning me!

    • tamsynsmith 07/01/2014 at 9:07 pm #

      That’s what I thought. I can identify with every single one of those excuses for not doing my best! 🙂

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