by Jan Hugo Svendsen
A new kid is soon arriving in Gordo's house so it is easy to support him by swapping over to a new Endurance Corner coach. Over the years I've learned a lot from G, but I'd like to share five key things that stand out from his lessons that I think can benefit everyone, whether you are a coached athlete or not.
- Focus on the here and now.
“It is wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” I think it was Winston Churchill who said it. If you start to look too far into the future then any task can seem impossible. It is okay to make plans for the future but keep your main focus at the present moment.
When looking back to when I started triathlon it is amazing how far I have come under Gordo's guidance. I have never executed a paper plan or race 100% up to the original plan, but I have done great with a focus on here and now several times both for triathlon and life in general.
- Be an optimist
Attitude is everything. The mantra, "Why wait to be great?" is my favorite.. What you do early in the day often sets the context for rest of your day.
Most people have the tendency to want to be consistent based on what they've done consistently. Set small daily goals that are easy to achieve and do them early in the day. You will be amazed what you can accomplish based on reaching even the smallest and easiest goals. My daily goals have been: Wake up by 7am every day and train daily.
- Don’t give up
Continuous effort -- not monster weeks training or how smart you are -- is the key to achieving your potential.
Since society at large keeps telling us to look for quick fixes it is easy to give up. These days, the media has created an unrealistic timeframe for expecting success. But really, how long will it take to do reach your dream goal? Open up your mind and study the people who have taken the path before you. Talk to them, train with them, learn from them. It will not give you a complete plan, but it will for sure tell you what is needed to achieve what you want.
- Don't lose enthusiasm.
It's easy to get down on yourself and your results when things don't go as planned. A setback can be positive if you ask the right questions of yourself: What can I learn from this? What is the positive thing about this situation?
- Catastrophes rarely happen
Most things you fear will never happen. They are just snakes in your mind. And if they happen then they will not be as bad as expected. Worrying is a waste of time. Knowing this makes it a lot easier to start doing more of what you really want in life.
And for those wondering, my new coach is Marilyn McDonald and it was a easy choice! What do I hope to learn from her? I'll save that for another day...
Jan Hugo is a Norwegian triathlete and longtime EC team member. Amongst his many accomplishments, he finished second in the inaugural Ultraman UK in 2011.