Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What If?

Last week I read a good article from a female athlete. It was good because it struck a point - she asks whether we have that "what if?" attitude in our training. 

 In my quest to keep my sports as stress free as possible, I have somewhat lost that determination to get better. In the midst of a group anything, whenever somebody passes me, I tell myself to let it go and concentrate on the good feeling I'm getting. Over time that need to overtake has been tempered to a mild competitive streak that occurs very rarely. And then I wondered why I am not getting any better.

 Last Saturday, I decided to give that "what if?" thing a try. For everything I think I couldn't do any more, I'd ask myself - "What if... I try to tackle this hill harder?", etc. This would be a great effort for me since I don't really like disappointments. Disappointments when the what if didn't deliver.

 So for the first stretch when everyone picked up pace instead of falling back and being the good ol' sweeper I gave it a try. Pushed a little bit. Asked myself, "What if I did this stretch faster than normal?" My heart was racing and I was worried that I'd lose steam too early in the route. I worried that I won't be able to last until the end of the workout. Usually at this time the uncompetitive me would say something like, "Maybe you should slow down... it's not like you're a Pro anyway." But this time around I went, just do it! and let myself rip, charging other people like a first timer.

 Yeah, I did lose steam after a while, and it took me a few minutes to get my heartbeat back to normal. But I was glad I pushed it, glad that I asked myself the "What if?" question. And the best thing is, I enjoyed it too, even if so many people passed me by since I was panting like a drunk dog.  but at least I knew I could push myself hard. And harder only makes you better. My karate teacher was adamant about beating our own record. For every stretches we do, he told us to do it longer or farther than we did previously. Change, he says, keeps everything constant.

 How often do you push yourself harder than before in your training? 
 On a different note, I like playing sweeper. I guess it's a good practice for me to keep my ego in check. I remember that we were all newbies one time, the last person to arrive, hating ourselves for being out of breath and slow. Being the sweeper makes me feel good because I know I helped keep a person company, as well as teaching myself to pace.

  Also when you become a sweeper it means you're just too good but you don't advertise, instead being kind enough to facilitate the newbies. If that isn't an ego boost (however imaginary) I don't know what is! Haha.


  1. Being a sweeper pushes us to the limit of patience. Being at the lead, it's pushing us to do the pacing work - my 2 cents. Better than being in the middle :)

  2. I basically don't like to be left behind but if I do, I won't berate myself. I can't be a sweeper as normally I'm the one being swept. :)

    How's Nizam doing? When's the next ride?

  3. True. At the n of the day the issue is whether we are just contend to be in our comfort zone.

  4. diket: yes, a sweeper does have to have the patience of a saint. I never lead anyone but i guess the pressure is there.

    kash: not to berate ourselves is important. you have to let go sometimes and also know when to push. jom ride again?

    ziff: yes, it all depends on what you goals are. you have to push to get better.

  5. That ride was awesome. I like. No pressure at all. Did somebody mention about Broga the other day? :)