To Be An Olympian
By: Chris Litten
Did you watch any of the backstories on the athletes? I did. I love to learn about them, to catch any kind of glimpse into why they are who they are as athletes. And, consistently I am moved to know how closely aligned we are with them. Yes, they may have some kind of genetic advantage that we don’t have. However, the overwhelming majority got where they are because of two words; focused effort. Let’s look at six commonalities I observed among those Olympic athletes discussed by the media that we are equally capable of achieving.
Olympians have a solid plan. Do you realize they train for four years to peak at just the right time? Can you imagine how challenging that is to stay dedicated to one primary focus for four years? They do it though. So what are you striving for? Do you have a plan? If not, take the time to develop one. My suggestion is to look at your big picture goals and then break them down into monthly mini-goals, and then weekly strategies to achieve them. Also, take the time to write down your plan. I personally keep an exercise journal in which I track my workouts, how I felt, any highlights or lowlights, and which workout it is. In addition, I set monthly goals for number of workouts. This really keeps me motivated to stick to my plan. Any notebook dedicated to this sole purpose will do.
Aligned with having a plan is also being consistent with follow through of your plan. Consider one of the recent Olympians who competed in Sochi, Julia Mancuso. Her consistent focus to her plan resulted in a record making 4th Olympic medal when she took bronze in the women’s super-combined event, an event that was not even her best discipline. Think on your plans. Determine how you want to finish and let that thought drive you to remain consistent.
I think the most important ingredient displayed during these past Olympics was support. Did you see how many athletes had support with them? Families, spouse, friends, fellow athletes, all were rallying around them. So, we need to do the same. Find your support. Be it spouse, friends, other family, training buddies you meet at BodyBasics, surround yourself with those who support and build you up. Think of those that know your ambitions and will be your cheerleaders when you are going for it and your source of accountability on the days when you alone are not enough.
A close second to having the level of support we saw during the Olympics is also to have the level of coaching. Imagine the detail involved with each athlete’s program development to get their bodies primed for their various events. I guarantee you their coaches have educated them on the importance of their nutrition, sleep, recovery methods, level of training, stress levels, and on and on. Sound familiar? If you train with us, you know how much we aim to educate you toward your own awareness of all of these things. Follow their example. Think on your wellness plan. Where are you solid and where could you benefit from some additional coaching?
If any of you saw the backstory on men’s USA four man bobsled driver, Steve Holcomb, you experienced through it what it means to make mistakes, learn from them, and keep focused on the bigger picture. For those who did not, Steve Holcomb won gold in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic Games along with the rest of his bobsled team, an event that had not occurred for the USA prior to it since 1948! More storied however was to learn that just three years prior, Steve attempted suicide after being severely depressed from withholding from his family, coaches, and fellow teammates that his vision field was gradually narrowing. Thankfully, he recovered from his failed attempt, sought help, and ended up having a cutting edge form of Lasix surgery in time to win gold! What’s my point in sharing this? We all have stuff. We all make mistakes. However, we do not all acknowledge it appropriately. Have the confidence in your bigger picture to do so.
Last, and certainly not least, as I watched the backstories on the athletes the media highlighted, it was very clear to me that they did what they did out of joy. They sought fun first and then created a road to something bigger from it. One such athlete that really showcased this was Olympic gold medalist slopestyle snowboarder, Jamie Anderson. On the website TODAY.com, she stated, “I had no idea that snowboarding in general was an Olympic event when I started. It wasn’t until the last few years that I realized I could potentially go to the Olympics for snowboarding – it’s been a really fun journey.” She clearly sought fun first. Remember this for yourselves. I know in talking to countless clients over the years how daunting the thought of exercise can be. Find ways to infuse fun and it will keep you dialed in much more.
You may have noticed a new face around the gym recently so we thought we would introduce you!
Myrya grew up most of her childhood in Patagonia, then moved to Tucson at the end of her high school years. Growing up she has always had a passion for sports and exercise. That is what started her out on the path to be a personal trainer. She has earned her Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine.
Myrya is driven to help all people achieve happiness in exercise and movement. She believes with the right tools and techniques anyone can start on the road to a healthier lifestyle and she will always strive to provide that service.
She will be pursuing a degree from the University of Arizona in Special Education: Rehabilitation to add to her skills in training.
On her off days she enjoys being with family and friends. She also likes camping, hiking, and traveling. Hobbies include basketball and watching the Wildcats win.
It’s the perfect time of year to do spring cleaning in the house, so why not in your body as well? The good news is: it barely takes any effort at all. This month’s challenge is geared toward cleaning up our food choices. For the month of March try eliminating one of your weaknesses, such as: cookies, candies, cakes, fast food, soda, chips, etc. This month’s challenge isn’t just about restriction. Also choose one positive addition to your lifestyle: get at least half your body’s weight in ounces of water each day, increase your fruit and vegetable intake, or get adequate exercise.
Remember the key to habit change is small, focused and achievable goals. Don’t take on too much.
One of my favorite things to do is going for a ride on my bike. As we get older this fun activity may be more difficult due to limited mobility. One of our clients found this great bike which is designed for easy boarding. The bike has no cross bar so it is easy to get on and off the bike. Biria started in Germany and has become a popular brand in Europe for both its style and ease of use. Biria USA was born in 2002 with the desire to bring the bicycles to North America. Locally you can find them at Ajo Bikes. If you loved riding a bike but have found it is simply too hard or dangerous for you, this may be just the bike to get you back out there!