This past weekend I was finishing off a long tempo piece on the clay trail here in Clermont. It has rained the night before, so the trail was a little sloppy. I was feeling sorry for myself, and thinking about how much it hurt. Then I saw a black speck on the horizon: “A carrot!” I thought to myself. It never matters how fast the carrot is going, it’s just something to chase. As I approached my carrot, I realized it was a man and his dog. Over the years of living in Clermont, I’ve gotten to know this man as a fellow runner. He was running with his dog that he rescued on the clay trail. As I got closer I could see the dog was so happy to be running it could barely contain its excitement. It was kicking up dirt, jumping into the air for no reason, and dog had the biggest, most ridiculous doggy smile on. I couldn’t help it, a smile spread across my face. I was suddenly filled with so much joy to be out there on a beautiful morning running fast. The dog ran next to me for a little bit, and it was so much fun to have a furry running companion for a few moments. The pain I was feeling before was now fueling my effort, and I pushed to complete the remainder of my run successfully.
I think in the process of tirelessly pursuing our goals, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to move, and use our bodies the way we do. While getting the work done, consider the simple pleasure of swimming, biking or running. When was the last time you noticed the way the sunshine hits the water during your swim workout? Or how about the quiet peace of riding on your favorite stretch of road?
My advice for this week: find joy. Find it in at least one of your sessions. Maybe you’ll find it in during a hard interval on the bike as your quads are screaming with pain, or maybe you’ll finding it floating along your favorite running trail. Remind yourself of how lucky we are to get out and move the way we do. Triathlon training is consistent hard work, and quite simply, sometimes it hurts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it or that you MUST suffer. Take off your blinders and see more than the structure of your session or the numbers you need to hit. Take the time to enjoy the process and beauty in the effort.
Where do you find joy?