Thursday, March 22, 2007

No Pain, No Gain

I played football for four years in high school. Wait, let me rephrase that for accuracy. I was ON the football team for four years in high school. I think my total playing time would easily have fit within a single quarter. At the time, I was quite jealous of the kids who were "naturals" at the game.

I was right there with them suffering through practice. I memorized plays like they did. I hit the weight room to work out. They just got better results. Or had better genes.

Through the prism of age and experience, I've learned better. Yes, the better players on my team certainly got more out of practice, workouts, and playbooks than me. It was really just a function of effort. Namely, they put it in, and I tried to fake it.

Over time, that has changed. I've learned that improvement isn't easy and often requires some amount of pain. Perhaps it's the pain of getting up much earlier than is desired. It might be the pain of working the body to the point of exhaustion. Or it might be the good pain of a threshold workout. No pain, no gain. I didn't understand that in high school.

Nothing has taught me this as much as the past year of triathlon training. Learning to swim was challenging enough. Learning to swim well and to swim faster has called for intense and sometimes painful workouts. Taking my mile pace from 11 minutes down to 8 minutes took a year of challenging base and speed workouts. And getting back on the bike demanded I put out of shape muscles back into action.

Now, I am working hard to get into the game. I take the training seriously. I listen to the coach. I accept that some training is going to demand that I push myself to the limit. And I do push those limits.

This time, I'm going to play the whole game. Whether it takes 45 minutes or 17 hours. 10K to Ironman, I'm going to be a starter.

7 comments:

Bigun said...

The tables have turned - now YOU have the right genes for your sport! You go, IP...

Comm's said...

well put. People that say its the journey not the destination, never got anywhere.

TriBoomer said...

I like the grit, Bold.

Stay tuned...

SkiRough said...

Pol, what a great post! I'm inspired :) Hey coach, put me in!

IM Able said...

I just had one of those revelations over the weekend about how all those hard earned sessions add up to really make a huge difference in what I *can* do.

Great stuff, Pol! Keep pushing and training smart -- IM here you come!

Fe-lady said...

Wonder where all those football guys are today??? (Talking "glory days" I bet!) You, you are working towards and planning for future glory...much better than peaking at 17 in football! (I bet they all have beer guts and couldn't run 100 yards today!)
Heh!

Lisa said...

Glad to hear things are going so well for you!

I've missed the blogs. Hopefully the new hard drive (not new computer, darn!) will make a difference.