Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Journey as a Goal

Ryan and I went out to sushi with my dear friend Jill last night. We try to catch up once a month and hit our favorite sashimi locale and tickle our senses wild with scallop, maguro, and amaebi (and yes, I love to eat the heads!).

It gives Jill and I a chance to catch up and chat about cycling, something we're both passionate about. Ryan does a great job enduring our nonsense talk and definitely adds to the discussion by reminding us the perils we face in pedaling transcend all genres of sports, some more than others. Yeah, he keeps it real.

But one topic struck me as funny and I haven't quite figured out the meaning of it. Jill asked me, "so what are your goals, what big races are you aiming for?" To which, my mind went blank about specific goals but rather that I'm focused more so on the journey. As an after thought I mentioned Hood - with it's 6 stages and 30,000 feet of climbing. But thinking back, I really am enjoying this year as a training tool and still am curious when training races really become racing races. Or if, in fact they ever become the other.

To date, I still feel like each race and competition I've competed in has taught me invaluable lessons that rather than define me as an athlete because of some result, showcase my ability to enjoy the journey of being fit, in good health and am blessed with the ability to do what I love. I am very thankful for it, indeed.

I've been reading a lot of mental training books for the body and mind lately - actually, rereading them. They never get old. Each time I read them, a new metaphor pops out that helps me derive a deeper understand that's its never the end result of how a race paned out, it's the process that's rewarding.

"When archers shoot for enjoyment, they have all their skill; when they shoot for a brass buckle, they get nervous; when they shoot for a prize of gold, they begin to see two targets." - Chunag Tzu

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