There was a time I would watch martial arts movies as a kid followed by going outside with my brother, acting out the scenes. One movie, Cyborg, was best when it was raining outside. Remember that scene at the end when he was fighting Fender? It was pouring rain and so my brother and I would go outside and reenact that very clip. As I grew up, watching skate videos would motivate me to go outside and hurl myself down stairs, or skate ledges, or anything involving a skateboard. I can remember sharing Wallenberg in SF and attempting the big set.
Now that I've discovered running, watching anything that involves running, further inspires me to try harder, to push myself to and beyond my limits. For instance, I watched Desert Runners just recently and had that itch to go cover an insane amount of distance. But I also had the gears in my head, turning, coming up with fun runs and challenging obstacles for myself.
There comes times where training doesn't necessarily become stagnant, but it isn't changing either. Your run, bike, swim, what ever, tends to stay the same, but doesn't really progress or improve. This is different than staying in a valley (you've heard me talk about mountains and valleys when it comes to training) and feeling whatever journey you're on is more of a job than a passion. Recognizing the lull in progress an adding new challenges could possibly catapult you into a whole new category and the progress is astonishing.
I've been working on strength and conditioning with my coach, once a week. And running trails almost every other day, time permitting. In the past, hills were such a chore to get up, but I have always been persistent and kept going back to them, hoping I could get up and over them without much struggle. My breathing, legs and overall performance suffered, but I wasn't about to give up. I understand that hard work pays off and it takes time to reach elite status. So I have been really embracing hills, constantly going back to them over and over and finally, I'm and to make it up close to 2000' of elevation gain without stopping. I don't power up, I take it steady, understanding that I must conserve energy for the downhill and flats. The most important part of this is I'm coherent of what I need to be doing instead of trying to hard. I'm taking it easy, one small victory at a time and I'm really enjoying the progress that's apparent.
No challenge is easy, but I'm hoping others out there see things the way I do. Keep going, work hard and don't ever give up on what you love.
GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!