From Rob Hatch
In 2013 and 2014 I logged hundreds of hours training for triathlons. There were some weeks when I logged 15 -20 hours of swimming, biking, and running. I loved what I was accomplishing in training and on the course. I was the fittest I had ever been in my life. I felt great and I learned a lot about what I was capable of.
After capping off my season with my first marathon, I decided to dial things back and take a break. But each time I started training again, it just wasn’t sticking. Now, a year and a half later, I feel like I’m starting all over again. And that’s not a bad thing.
Not My Goal…Right Now
There’s a lot of tough talk out there about being ‘willing to do what it takes’ to accomplish a goal. It’s delivered with a mix of condemnation and motivation, or a black and white assessment of who’s willing to commit or not. Some people find this helpful. I’m not always sure it is.
I finally allowed myself to acknowledge that I’m not terribly interested in competing in triathlons right now. More specifically, I am not terribly interested in spending the hundreds of hours it would require to train for them.
So, yes. I am in fact unwilling to do the work. But here’s the thing. It’s not the right goal right now.
I did a number on myself for several months. At first, I was convinced the break was going to be short. I wanted to get back to training for my next race. But every time I started in again, I wasn’t consistent. I kept telling myself that I just needed to push through it, to put in the work and it would all fall in line. It never really did. Lack of motivation turned into self-doubt and eventually, I just stopped everything. I then proceeded to kick myself for letting my fitness fade and for losing the label “triathlete.”
Let It Go
There’s a big difference between lack of motivation to achieve a goal and the decision not to pursue it in the first place.
In the past few months, I’ve become clear that competing in triathlons isn’t important to me right now. I allowed myself to let go of the idea. In turn, I became more deliberate about focusing my time and effort on other goals. In fact, the effort is easier. The results are better. I dare say I’ve been even more successful with them than any of the races I ran.
I’m restarting my fitness because it’s important to me. But with a very different goal, and a different approach.
I just wish I had let go of the old one sooner. It wasn’t right for me at the time and I would have saved myself a lot of aggravation.
What about you? Are you stuck in efforts to achieve an old goal? Are you beating yourself up every week because you ‘lack motivation’ or can’t find the will to do the work?
I suppose you could keep pushing and try to will yourself to make it happen. Maybe you’ll even succeed. That’s what the tough love would tell you. Then again, it might just be the wrong goal right now.
What do you think?
Let me know and have a great week.