Of all the athletics I’d done in my life, the training part has always been the hardest and the most fun. Training and practicing with a team was wonderful. From high school football to cycling being part of a group was an experience that helped mold me. Sharing the experience and the path teaches athletes selflessness.
As life begins to creep in sport can become a more solitary activity. There isn’t always time to meet the schedule mandated for team activities. Running, cycling, duathlon, triathlons and archery can all be practiced alone.
Training or practicing solo helps clear your mind. There is a peacefulness that comes from training discipline that has been recognized for centuries. (1) As we improve in our chosen sport we seek a peacefulness that can assist our advancement and in cases of competition help find that zone which leads to our best efforts.
As an athlete you may learn that training is a time where you too reach a certain quiet or mental silence. During those moments you’ll get a feel of what you want to carry into competition.
In competition there will be times when you’ll be the victor. Victory is not as important as the process or how you reveal yourself as a winner. To win someone must lose.
The true winner is that champion who is able to remain humble. Know that when you are a champion others will look toward you as an example. It is nice to win, but winning isn’t as much the goal as the disciplined process that brings you to the podium.
As a champion, remember to care about those that finished out of the top place. Your ambition isn’t to win out of selfishness, but to win because you followed a path that can be shared by others. (2)
- Hebrews 12:11
- Philippians 2:3
- (Yes, these references are correct, hence this post’s title)