Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Growing out of Plateaus

  1. 1
    an area of relatively level high ground.
    synonyms:uplandtablelandplainmesahighland, coteau
    "a windswept plateau"
  2. 2
    a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress.
    "the peace process had reached a plateau"
    synonyms:quiescent period; More
reach a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress.
"the industry's problems have plateaued out"

I coach an athlete whose code/safe word for "it's not working" is plateau. We jokingly landed on it during our last conversation of sorting through her work/life/exercise balance.  I'm grateful to write her training plan and she does an exceptional job adhering to it despite her hectic work schedule, motherhood, wifehood and helping others be the best they can be. She is a giver, through and through. And because of that, she often has a hard time taking time for herself. 

Sound familiar, anyone?

Forgetting to take time for ourselves is common. Especially for caretakers. 

So when this athlete sent another plateau text recently, I knew she was ready to have "the talk". And no, I'm not referring to analyzing data or annual training plans. This talk was going to be about what's really going on. A talk that goes beyond periodization and tapering and figuring out how hard to go during intervals. 

She was cautious at first when we first started talking so I dove right into it. We talked about unshakeable sense of something not sitting quite right.

We all have plateaus in our lives: staying at job because you feel comfortable but know you could be contributing more to society; getting that book published but not finding the time; wanting change but not making the time or effort. Stale moments in life happen despite being super busy and juggling a million things. It's the realization that something isn't working and that your forward progress has halted. 

The good news? Overcoming plateaus is up to you. You can change things. You can put in the time and energy to make a difference in your life. The first step is recognizing that you want change. Then it's figuring out how to make that change and coming up with a game plan. 

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