Something really interesting happened that I wasn’t expecting to ever happen during this quarantine. I realized that I am actually NOT a triathlete.
For the last 12 years, I have been competing in the sport of triathlon and I LOVE it. I guess I always assumed that would be who I was...Tiana, the triathlete.
But when all the races were canceled or postponed, and all the pools were closed, something interesting happened...I didn’t really care to bike or run. I mean, sometimes I did. But more times I didn’t.
What I DID want to do was workout. Nearly every single day I was doing something, but generally speaking I desire to lift weights, practice gymnastic skills and trail run. It got me thinking about what really drives me to do triathlon and I realized a few things about myself:
This realization got me thinking about my life as a triathlete and the habits I have had over the last 12 years to train for this sport. I guess I just assumed that after 12 years of swimming, biking and running that the habit of doing those things was solidified into my core.
But I just learned that it’s not. Interesting.
It also made me feel really bad for a week or two. Like an imposter. I mean, if you don’t love all aspects of a sport, should you really be dedicating so much of your life to it?
I’ve finally come around and realized ABSOLUTELY! Just because I may not do triathlon forever, doesn’t mean that there are not lifelong habits that I will take with me when I choose to do something different. They just may not be swimming, biking and running, and that is OK!
I also wonder how many other athletes are feeling terrible about themselves for not sticking to their training plan or having a deep rooted drive to continue training as they did before COVID-19?
I mean, if you do, fantastic!
That’s great that you can keep the same drive and intensity in your training. But for those of us that are driven by something different than the training itself, should we really feel bad that we don’t want to train the same way?!? HELL NO!
There is a big difference between a lifelong habit and a temporary habit.
LIFELONG VS. TEMPORARY
Lifelong habits are habits we need to have in place for our entire lives to be healthy and happy.
For example: drinking enough clean water or moving our body regularly.
Temporary habits exist to help us reach a desired goal.
For example: finishing your first marathon or losing 20 pounds.
Running 6 days per week for 16 weeks into something like a marathon doesn’t make you a lifelong runner.
The running required to complete a marathon may be a temporary thing that helps you reach your goal. The race is the trigger you need to develop the temporary habit of running.
For me, I have set myself up with 12 years of races so I have never really had a period of time when I didn’t have something to train for. I mistook this for having created a lifelong habit of swimming, biking and running, but now that the races are off the calendar (for the time being), I realize the truth about my habits: I have created a lifelong habit around exercise, but not around triathlon.
IT’S OKAY TO SET NEW GOALS
So if you have lost your desire to keep training in the same ways you did before COVID, don’t feel bad about it.
Instead, I would highly recommend you take a deeper look into why you trained the way you did before COVID. Then, take those same desires (for me, it’s competition) and consider setting up a different goal.
Let’s call this a quarantine goal. Something you can work towards right now.
Because when this is all over, any habits you set up for yourself during quarantine will likely be lost (see last week’s post HERE on how change is a driver for new habits! Going into quarantine is one change, while coming out will be a whole new change!).
This is a temporary time and likely, the habits we create now will also be temporary.
Valuable! But temporary.
It’s not that you won’t take parts of these habits with you when your life returns to our new normal, but as we already know, every habit needs a trigger.
Your triggers that are in place now will likely not be the same when we get back to work, or are training into an event. So rather than stress about losing training, or eating less structured, or staying up later and sleeping in, how about we be kinder to ourselves and focus on small, consistent habits we can put in place for just this period of time that help us reach a quarantine goal.
When we get back to ‘normal’ life, we can reassess our lifelong habits at that time.
So what is your quarantine goal? I’d love to hear what you are working on during this temporary period of time. And, if you’ve thought ahead, what are you planning for once this quarantine is over?
Tiana Rockwell is a certified nutritional therapist, avid endurance athlete and dark chocolate lover. She believes that by eating REAL food, we can balance our body and reach optimal health and wellness!