We’ve all been there… You are riding strong, feeling great, racing well, and then: BAM! Something happens, life gets in the way, or whatever – and you feel like you have to fight your way back. I get it. Unfortunately, I understand all too well. You might say to yourself: “I’m not good enough” – or you think you suck. It’s hard and we are our own worst critics! You want to be back where you were, but that doesn’t happen overnight. Or worse yet, you are really struggling and you don’t know why.
I realized that my back brake was locked down on my rear wheel. That might have something to do with it.
Seriously though; we suffer, we struggle, and we just want to say “screw it, I give up”. For me, a mysterious lack of energy or poor performance can periodically pay a visit for no apparent reason. But I’m sensitive (fragile flower!). Ha. Because I’m a chronically hypoglycemic athlete with a list of food allergies longer than my arm plus Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome or MCS (look it up if you really want to feel good about yourself): I wonder how I do any of this stuff some days.
Consistent Performance isn’t a frequent flyer on my jet.
So, you suck… or so you think. Thing is: you probably don’t and you are being too hard on yourself. The nice fact is, the longer you train and the more years you have as a competitive athlete – the easier it is to get it all back. The foundation is still there (unless you took a 15 year hiatus as a couch surfer). Your muscles haven’t disappeared and, if you have lost a bit of endurance, it will come back. As the saying goes: this too, shall pass.
“…a recent study of recreational weight lifters found that 6 weeks of inactivity resulted in only a slight decrease in power (10 percent after 2 weeks) and virtually no drop-off in size or strength.”
Life can be a roller-coaster ride!
Actually, life IS all about change. Some we like, some we don’t – but nothing stays the same. It would be helpful if we all just accepted this and realized that instead of constantly fighting against it; looking for that mythical time where everything is mostly perfect and predictable. You do realize that you would be bored silly in about 48 hours…
I’m not saying all this to be a Debbie Downer. Think of accepting inconsistency and change as The Norm (because it IS) and being fine with it. Imagine how much less stress you would feel instead of thinking “why me?” or struggling against the tides of change. Some days you might ‘suck’ and some you won’t. These swings in performance are a normal expectation. We can either learn from the changes in our life and grow – or fight it, moan and complain.
It’s your choice how to respond to life’s challenges.
Get worked up over things you can control. You can control your response to situations and your attitude. You can control your training program to get you back where you need to be and you can control whether or not you take care of yourself (and rest so you don’t over-train). You cannot control the weather, traffic, other people, or unpredictable body-weirdness. I write this not only as food for thought for you, my readers, but also to remind myself. I’m too hard on me – all the time. There are days that I get very discouraged too.
But, I have to remember that it’s all temporary.
Sometimes I feel like: “What’s the point of racing, I suck”. The point is: to free myself from my need to constantly perform at my best (perfect, I am not – a perfectionist, I am). By setting yourself free you can go out, race, try like heck, blow up … or surprise yourself. You never know – and you never will, unless you TRY.