I have this enduring image/vision in my mind and it comes from my years as a hockey player… I am lining up for a very critical defensive zone face off and I am completely out of breath, my muscles are all out of glycogen, sore stiff and sluggish. Sweat is pouring down my face and steam rising above me. As I look to the bench for my instructions the coach yells to me: “tie him up and control the puck. It’s all on you, mess it up and we go home with nothing, win this and we are champions forever”. I am bent over with my stick hanging on my knees. I am done…I got no more to give. Then I stand up, catch my breath, take a look around and pause. I look within myself, I find a desire to push harder, give it more and find that extra little kick to achieve my goal. Finally I take another deep inhale, smile and put my stick on the ice. The outcome? Makes no difference to me. The simple fact that I am able to reach in and give it everything I can is enough. In that moment everything I am doing is because I want and need to be there. No one put me in that position. I have worked hard and made sacrifices that have led me to this point. It’s all on me and I love it. It’s my goal. It’s who I am.
Back to reality: 15 days of agony and pure hell. As you may or may not know I have been pretty sick lately. I have had 0 hours of training/coaching and have been basically motionless for that whole time. How do you go from 25 hrs of training a week to zero? And how do you rebound from potentially being in the best physical shape you’ve ever been? More to the point how do you handle it? I mean I could PANIC!!! Boston marathon is 4 weeks away!!! My god!!! I could blame my weak immune system, blame my 2 year old daughter for bringing in every bug known to man week after week over the winter months…I could blame my work/business for keeping me overly busy…I could lash out to my doctor for not giving me preemptive treatment for a lung infection…or I could take my stick off my shin pads, stand up take a deep breath, accept that I am in this situation not because I “deserved” it or did something wrong. But rather I am here because it’s my path. A path I have chosen to be on.
Does it suck? You bet your ass it does. Will it set me back? Of course it will. But as I look around and take a deep inhale a sense of determination, focus and personal drive takes over. This is like any other mountain I have had to climb before, it will be conquered and without a doubt I will be stronger/faster and a better athlete and more importantly a better being once I am on the other side of it.
So the next time you encounter a roadblock or a personal set back in your training I want you to ask yourself: can you stand up, take a deep breath and refocus? Can you find the silver lining and the reason why you are at this junction? The answer is within yourself. No one will fix you. No one will cure what has slowed you down. Within yourself is located the drive and the commitment you need to get back on track. Sure a support network will help and is critical to your well being. Without an amazing doctor and an amazing wife at home I maybe in a way worst situation and or maybe incapacitated for months …but a support network cannot cross the finish line for you and it cannot win the critical defensive zone face off you’re about to take…
Now if you will excuse me, I have to wipe the sweat off my face, take a deep breath, smile and get back to work.
I miss all of you.