I think for me the time that I learned this lesson was probably back in the early 2000s. I was still rowing at that stage and I was in the middle of an intense period of training during Summer. During this period it finally hit me that if I did every session, just consistently got out and did the work, then I got a lot better. Seems kind of obvious now, but it had seriously taken me a years of exercise to figure it out. After that moment it became my mantra to not miss sessions and that has pretty much been my philosophy ever since. Now, unfortunately in my experience it isn't possible for every session to be perfect. It is good if the quality is there and the session is fun, but sometimes you are tired and it is windy and raining and miserable and no matter how much you want it to the session is not going to be a fun happy time. It is the people who wake up on those days and get it done anyway who end up being successful. No big secret really, it just comes down to being more persistent and stubborn than everyone else.
It one of those lessons that you can tell to people, but they often have to really come to believe it on their own. I tell all my athletes that consistency is key and they all agree and nod and then many of them go and miss sessions during the week anyway. Moving from hearing the message to acting on it really takes internal motivation and a decision to do so. It is perhaps one of the most important lessons that an athlete can learn, but unfortunately it is not a lesson that all of them will.
This all ties to our current house re-arrangethon because I have had a day of just getting it done. I may not be trying to race triathlon anymore, but it doesn't mean that I don't have days where I just need to suck it up and get on with things, today was one of those.
My paddle this morning was an exercise in persistence. I wanted to get a long paddle in this morning but from the word go I wasn't feeling it. Still I stuck with it and slogged on, even when it was feeling like a chore and got through my planned session. I won't lie, it was neither pretty or particularly good, but sometimes it doesn't have to be.
The rest of my day was spent in that classic weekend task of assembling flat pack furniture. As most people are aware this is a particular task spawned by one of the inner circles of hell, but in our case it has to get done We can't move on with the rest of our house re-arrangethon until these wardrobes are built and as well are all painfully aware, flat pack wardrobes do not build themselves (although it would be much more enjoyable if they did). As a result my wife and I have spent most of the day slogging through badly written instructions and holes pre-drilled with poor tolerances, we decided to call it a day just about an hour ago.
As unfun as the flat-pack battle has been, slogging through as we have done means that we are that much closer finishing the re-arrangement. Once these wardrobes are built we can get on with the fun job of actually moving everything, so the effort put in today and tonight will be worth it tomorrow.
Some days you just have to suck it up and do the work.