Living your dreams

I subscribe to a number of different blogs covering a variety of topics, including CrossFit. This morning I opened one of those – The Morning Chalk Up – and read the following quote from motivational speaker, Les Brown:

“Imagine being on your death bed — and standing around your bed — the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book.

And there they were standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying ‘WE CAME TO YOU, and only you could have given us life.’ Now we must die with you forever.

The question is — if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts would die with you?”

This is powerful stuff. At various times of my life I’ve had any number of goals. The quote made me think about those I’ve neglected recently. The goals I’ve put on the back burner because life happens. Because I’ve not prioritized them. Because there aren’t enough hours in the day. You know the ones I’m talking about. The things you always wanted to do. The book you’re going to write. The course you’re going to take. The fitness program you’re going to start. The trip you’re going to book. The skill you’re going to master.

It also made me think about the goals I have achieved. Those I did something about and either reached or, in some cases, surpassed. What was the difference? Why did I manage to make these happen and not the rest? In my case, the difference was mainly in my approach – when I prioritized them, scheduled them, worked on them daily or weekly, that’s when I made real progress towards achieving them. I had a plan and I stuck to it. This year, other than my work-related goals, I’ve set a number of CrossFit-related goals.

Our coach asked us to share them and write them on the whiteboard in January. Mine are below:

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It’s now March – I’ve managed to tick 2 off the list so far. I’ve done 2 strict ring muscle ups and I managed a 6:39 Fran.

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Still a long way to go and some of those goals are rather ambitious. However, I’m working on them during regular classes and when I have time I stay after class for more work. The one that’s received the most attention is the double under goal. I’m going to apply my previous success principles to achieving the other goals. The system works when I work the system. I want to pursue my CrossFit ideas, dreams, abilities, talents or gifts to their full potential – whatever that may be.

What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself this year (CrossFit or otherwise)? Have you reached any of them already?

2015: The Training Awakens

Hi Readers

force choke

The Force has not been strong with this blog but I believe it was strong with my training in 2015.

It’s been a long time since I last posted anything on this blog (March 2015!!!). I just had a look at the stats and was surprised to discover that I’ve still had a few views despite the lack of activity. Thank you! I plan to blog more regularly this year and I also plan to focus the blog more on running, triathlons, fitness and martial arts and less on just general ‘remarkable’ topics. That’s a nice big clue as to what I’ve been up to in 2015 and what my plans are for 2016. 🙂

In 2015 I changed the way I approach my training. It started in 2014 already when I used my commute to-and-from work for my training runs and cycles. Instead of just having one workout or training session a day, I was now doing two on many days. It was tough to begin with and I struggled most evenings. However, as I stuck with it, things did improve. Then I started thinking about the training regimens that pro-athletes and elite age-groupers follow. These fit folks spend 6-8 hours a day training. Even with two sessions, I was still only doing 1-1.5 hours a day with longer runs on weekends. I reckoned that it was conceivable that I could up the daily sessions to 3 or 4. So towards the end of May 2015, I started doing 3 or 4 workouts on 3 or 4 days of the week. Again, it was tough to start with but it was manageable.

At that point, the training mix consisted of running, biking and martial arts. I started doing Kuk Sool Won twice a week for an hour. More on this martial arts system in a future post but you can find some insight into the practice from the point of view of another student (my lovely wife) in the posts on Junbi. The running was still mainly my commute and weekend long runs. I started cycling more often – substituting some of my runs with a bike to work and also going on weekly lunchtime rides with a couple of colleagues. As my body adapted to this increased regimen, I started seeing a general improvement in my endurance in particular. In June and July, I added 9Round training to my workout mix. This is a 30 min workout based on kickboxing where you move from one station to the next every 3 min. There are nine stations or rounds. It’s a high intensity workout and definitely boosted my fitness level. I feel that it took me through a plateau. I had bought a two month membership on a deal website and didn’t renew afterwards.

KSW family

It’s a family affair

In September I started crossfit of all things. There is a fantastic crossfit gym close to my home and they have a 5:30 am class – perfect for someone with a busy schedule trying to squeeze in a workout. I Will Crossfit has definitely taken my results to another level. I’ll write more about the classes but the workouts I’ve been doing there have benefited my running through heightened strength and endurance.

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Saturday Partner WOD – me in the Green Lantern Shirt

Event-wise, I took part in my first triathlon in the USA – the 29th Annual Tri For Real event held in Pleasanton. This was a shorter triathlon consisting of 700 yard swim, 19 -mile bike, 4-mile run. I also completed the Berkeley Trail Adventure half marathon course (the toughest half marathon I’ve ever done). Just look at the course profile!

 

BTA

After you’re done climbing, let’s climb some more

The California International Marathon held in Sacramento was my final event of the year and my first marathon since 2013. This, for me, was the true test of all the training I’d put in over the year. I had three goals depending on how the race progressed.

  1. A new PR (my previous best as detailed in my last blog post was 4h28)
  2. A sub-4h15 race
  3. A sub 4h race

I managed 1 and 2 – I finished in 4h11. My training came through – I managed to run the full distance (no walking) and I recovered faster than expected (I had a 1.5 hour drive home following the race but was nowhere near as stiff and sore as I expected to be). I definitely felt stronger.

CIM

We’re all wearing the same colours!!

So all-in-all, 2015 has given me hope for further improvements in 2016. I have entered the San Francisco Marathon  which promises to be incredibly scenic and incredibly grueling. I have plans to try a Spartan Race and/or a Tough Mudder and I’m eyeing the Ironman 70.3 in Santa Cruz. In crossfit this week we started with our baseline check. We were doing 1 rep maximum testing. It’ll be interesting to see our improvements in 12 weeks time. I’ll keep you posted. If I’m feeling brave, I may post some before and after photos.

I look forward to sharing my training journey with you.

What are you goals and events for 2016?