Anyone else feeling a little saturated with the number 19 lately?
If you still feel like you need one more COVID-19 update, we're here for you!
Just kidding- we, like every other group flooding your inbox right now, don't REALLY know how to handle this. But, we're athletes and therefore we do know how to handle adversity and overcome feelings of uncertainty & failure.
I'm sure you have seen at least one endurance athlete in your social media feed, at some point in time, with a picture of them looking very gritty and really struggling through a race, or folded over & exhausted at the finish line. Caption: the overused, under-credited Nelson Mandela quote, "I never lose. I either win or learn."
While it's turned into a cheesy fitness quote, and often a euphemism for "I had a bad race", it can help us out a bit in this global situation. Like a bad race, this pandemic is forcing us all to SLOW DOWN. Drive less, travel less, race less, pack our schedule less, move around less, be more "still". While stillness is often uncomfortable for overly-active people like ourselves, it also can be very enlightening.
BEFORE YOU STOP READING: Don't worry, no one here is endorsing actually sitting still. We know none of you can do that! As per the push-up challenges, virtual races, sweaty trainer selfies, and stay at home workout videos, we're pretty sure everyone is staying physically active. But let's talk stillness of the mind...
Maybe you have less day-to-day logistics clogging your mind right now such as: your commute, long to-do lists, getting your kids to school... so you've got some time to think. While you can spend that time coming up with doomsday scenarios, stressing about the most recent news reports, obsessively checking the IRONMAN updates page, or wondering when this will all be over, let's aim for something productive and work on something that, as athletes, we all need to do, but often don't: REFLECTION.
So, back to the overused quote. We're definitely not "winning" as a human race right now. So we have to learn. It's something I ask my athletes to reflect on after a race or "struggle-bus" training session: WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
Collectively, and individually, we're all learning a lot right now in this global slow down. What's important to keep in mind is that we will eventually cross the proverbial "finish line" of this crisis stronger and with more knowledge. So let's focus on that- what teachings do you want to hold on to from this COVID-19 "schooling" (literal & figurative) after this is all over?
Together with my athletes, and a few other coaches, we came up with a list of 19 lessons that we’ve learned during quarantine, which are highlighted on the @rocmultisport instagram page and ROC Multisport on Facebook. Here is our list:
"Toilet paper shortage is something that can happen outside of a race start Port-a-Potty." —Lizzie
"You are not in control! Sometimes you just need to chill out and go with the flow." —Lucy
“There are 2 really important things: having a defined daily routine, and a positive attitude.” —Edgar
Kene says, “I’ve learned that I can use times like these to RESET rather than rest.” —Kene
“Forge ahead. I’m in the ’get dressed and do the day’ camp even if I’m not leaving my house (as opposed to pajamas and sweats every day). When we keep moving, keep working and focus on what’s in front of us it brings peace and a sense of accomplishment during an uncertain time.” —Kim
“Spring has just begun and with it nature manifests itself full of life & color. This stop in our agitated routines in which we live has allowed me to discover these tiny flowers blooming in the grass around my house.” —Cesar
“Please keep laughing. I like when you laugh.” —Mila, age 6
“I have lots of time on my hands to think outside the box." —Marcia
“Science class. It’s important.” —Brian
“You can have ALL the time to train that you ever wanted, and still not feel like it.” —Jorge Ivan
“Focus on what you can control and we CAN control our outlook & mindset.” —Maria Jesus
“We’ve learned that time is always the same, the difference is in how we utilize it!“ —Cindy
”Endurance optimization is a function of consistency and accumulation.” —Michael
“I’ve learned that the most important thing is having someone to share with... the good & the bad. But share with someone.” —Pachi
“This I already knew, but now I don’t have any doubts: good friends are priceless - you must value them & take care of them.” —Jinny
“I guess one of the biggest things I’ve learned through this is to not take the little things for granted. For example the restrooms at public parks... I have nowhere to pee during my 5hr workouts!” —Kari
“Listen to the quiet moments you have now. There are lessons in them you couldn’t hear through the noise before.” —Emily
“Staying fit is a choice. During this pandemic, we are finding creative ways to stay fit at home. Everyone can find the space & time to do something.” —Luis
“Nothing can take away our gratitude, kindness, or love.” —Coach Lizzie
Situations (like the one we’re in) can “take” a lot from us: our sanity, possibly our work, our access to luxuries, our physical or financial wellbeing, our races, our plans, our “normal” routine, our social gatherings, our freedom. However, there is nothing that can take away our gratitude, kindness or love. Right now it’s up to us to PRACTICE gratitude, kindness and love in the same way we practice sports: give what you can everyday, recover, and repeat.
Now, we’re challenging you to make a list of 19 lessons that you're learning amidst all of this COVID-19 chaos. If you post them on social media please use the hashtag #19lessons and #rocmultisport (and tag us @rocmultisport if you’d like). Challenge some of your friends to do the same. We’d love to see what you come up with!