Consistently Pursuing Excellence
A verb is a word that conveys action, an occurrence, or a state of being. It requires some form of intention to do something. Consistency is a verb, and I believe that this action word is the key to success in anything you do in life.
There is a saying that to start something new, you just have to take the first step. I would rather say that to start something new you need to be consistent in your choices and efforts. I have seen the fruit of consistency in many aspects of my life to date. It is not a rapid rise to success though, it is like a slow burner that eventually starts yielding the results you are looking for. Looking back at the consistent choices I have made in my career as a sports physiotherapist, an endurance sports coach, and as a business owner I can safely say that it has been the consistent application of myself to the ultimate vision that has led to success. In training as well, I have seen that showing up session after session and applying yourself will get you the fitness and skill acquisition you are looking for.
But the application of consistency is not enough on its own. There needs to be a clear vision or mindset that you are applying yourself to. For me, I have been chasing excellence my entire life. Consistently pursuing dreams, characteristics, and passions which reflect excellence has been the road I have chosen to apply myself to. Through this I have seen that we all have a natural gift for something in this world. For some, being a highly skilled athlete is a natural gift, and hence why some people make it as professionals. We may say that these sorts of people pursue perfection or mastery in their sport. The point is that you need to find your “one thing”, and consistently apply yourself to it.
As an endurance coach, I have never made a claim to have elite training or coaching status. I do not coach my athletes to become elite athletes, as we all have full time jobs and families. But, I do train them to become consistent, and encourage them to be excellent in their pursuit of their training goal. The pursuit of excellence is not an arrogant mindset. It is a mindset of wanting more of yourself than currently have to offer. It is wanting to improve what you are doing, who you are, and what you stand for, all for the sake of becoming the person you envision yourself becoming. Endurance training is a great classroom for learning this.
There are two key foundations I have seen to have benefit for any amateur athlete training for endurance events. First and foremost is the need for a target, or a race. You cannot move in a direction if you have no bearing to set your sight on. Secondly, and most importantly, is consistency. Being consistent in the application of your training and recovery will set you on course for success. I have seen that consistency in your training is the only way to get a real long term and healthy change in your fitness. There is unfortunately no quick way to the top for amateur athletes. Your key physiological systems require time to adapt and change, and the regular application of training stress (at the correct dosages) is the only way to get this. This is why training periodisation and season planning is so important. It is a way to gradually and consistently set the training parameters for positive adaptations to your physiology. Fitness remains a state of being able to handle higher levels of training stress. Apply yourself consistently to this journey, and you will see the changes you are looking for. You may just see that you too can become excellent in your ways.