Today is a rest day. So is tomorrow, and so is Friday. I'm gonna get antsy. But hopefully I'll have a ton of pent-up energy for the competition on Saturday.
This morning I was thinking about what it takes to be a great athlete, and I think there are three main requirements. The first two anyone could tell you - talent and hard work. But there's a third component that I think gets forgotten, and that's the ability to avoid injury and illness. I don't care how good you are, if you get injured or sick, you can't compete. A lot of things get bundled with this, including good nutrition, sleep, dealing with stress, and being smart with your training. Another part of it is knowing your limits. Knowing when NOT to add that extra ten pounds to the bar, knowing when to take the time to reset for that next lift instead of ripping it off the floor, knowing the difference between normal workout pain and dangerous pain that signals something is going wrong.
I don't have the talent component. I can't change that. I do have the hard work part down. The third part is basically up to me. I've done well so far, only a little tendinitis in my arm and some pain in my lower back that comes and goes. I'm never sick and I haven't had any major injuries. I try very hard to pay close attention to good pain vs. bad pain, give myself the fuel and rest I need, and work smart as well as hard. After all, what good does it do to set a new PR if you spend the next 6 weeks out with an injury? I'm going to keep this in mind for the competition this weekend. Of course I want to push myself, but I want to go as hard as I can and still be safe. That means using good form, paying attention, being present and mindful. It means knowing that walking away from the competition without anything broken is part of my success, a part of my progress as an athlete.
You've probably heard of Fail Blog, but have you seen Succeed Blog? It's great, very clever. Here's a good one called Screensaver Succeed:
I also liked this one: