My goals have always been fairly simple. Break 3-1/2 hours on a 100k bike ride. Crushed it. Break five hours on 100 miles. Smoked it by more than 23 minutes. Then there were broader goals. Look better shirtless, lose 10 pounds… Again, simple.
What I did avoid, and will continue to avoid, is talking about intentions. Another fitness pitfall that I won’t partake in is making plans for the sake of procrastinating.
What comes first? The intention, the goal or the plan?
This is the concept I live by: Action comes first.
The problem with creating goals and plans or working with intentions is that I often have a tough time thinking outside of my little box. I can’t make a plan to lose weight if I don’t actually know how to do it. I can’t set goals if I have no idea what I’m actually capable of to begin with. No, I have to buy the bike before I can set a goal to ride it 100 miles. In fact, I had to ride it around the four mile block before I could make a goal for eight miles. Heck, I had to buy a better bike before I could even make a goal for 15 miles (my first bike was about 3 sizes too small).
Everything I’ve accomplished with running, triathlon, cycling and overall fitness, and it’s a lot, has been done with action first.
When I saw a double-chin in the mirror, I didn’t formulate a plan to start running. I didn’t buy a bunch of crap (clothing, shoes, etc.). All of that came after I dug out an old pair of leather tennis shoes, put on some loose shorts and a cotton tee shirt and started running. With cycling, I grew bored with running so I bought a POS bike at a garage sale for $20 and I rode it… That day. I didn’t formulate a plan of attack. I didn’t make a bunch of goals I didn’t know if I could or couldn’t live up to… I just rode – and the plans and goals came later.
I didn’t waste any time trying to figure things out, I just did them and sorted the rest out in the wash. Eventually I learned how to make goals for events and how to train for them. I learned how to enjoy my time with friends that I met through running and cycling…
Action always comes first though.
Oh, and don’t get me started on intentions. They’re about as useful as politicians. I look at intentions as my dad suggested long ago: Put an intention in one hand and shit in the other. Tell me which hand fills up first.
Ride hard my friends. You only get one body, one model year. Treat it well.