Sources of Distraction

As y’all know, I’m training for this Olympic distance triathlon which is only a month away at this point (ah!). Three months into training I’ve found some interesting sources of motivation and found myself thinking about random things. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with y’all this morning before I get my workout in!

While swimming and biking, I don’t listen to music so I have plenty of time to contemplate life while working out. In the pool I have to count, so that’s distracting enough and I find myself multiplying percentages every few laps (that’s 8 of 56, so I’m 1/7 the way done, which is about 14 or 15 percent). I also watch the world go by in brief glimpses when I breathe, so I make up stories about the people I see. For example, an older gentleman creeping by to get in the hot tub at 6am might have been an avid surfer back in the day who likes to come feel the “swells” in the hot tub in the early morning since he can no longer get in the ocean. And I just realized how weird this blog post is going to seem to most of you…

But I’m going to press on 🙂 So the point of this post was really to discuss a certain song I’ve heard several times this week on my iPod while running. It’s a pretty terrible rap song called “Remember the Name” about a struggling rapper who actually a decent, hard-working person and is trying to rise up through the ranks to stardom. A very Eminem-like feel. But the chorus stuck in my head and has been replaying all week. I’ll type it below so you can see where I’m coming from with the rest of this:

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

So, being the over-analyzing number cruncher that I am, I start thinking about those percentages and trying to relate them to my workouts. First, I decide I like the categories and I would keep them the same.  But the percentages are a bit off.  50% pain is a lot, but does he consider “sacrifice” as pain? So for me, is giving up other activities and sleep and free time to work out part of my “pain”? Then 20% skill, now as a rapper that might be true because, and let’s be honest, it’s all thinking on your feet and coming up with stuff on the spot… is that really skill or just luck? And how again is any of this painful for him?

But back to me on my long runs, thinking about this.  I think more skill/training is involved than just 20% so that would be higher for me.  Pain would be less, even if it includes sacrifices. 15% concentrated power of will… so this is the mental aspect of the game. In a triathlon that’s probably pretty high, especially considering all the time you are left with just your thoughts while swimming and biking and trying not to drown. You could psyche yourself out quick! The luck I agree on because I do think there are some things you can’t control: what wave you go off in, where you are assigned spots in the transition areas, etc. But I disagree with the pleasure, and really, if he’s only enjoying himself 5% of the time while rapping… he’s doing it wrong. Or maybe he meant excitement or adrenaline?

So after all that tedious thinking, and many, many miles of workouts this week, I have come up with my triathlon “formula for success”. It was challenging because I feel like pleasure and pain don’t really drive me to succeed, but are just other variables to consider. But please enjoy and I hope you were entertained by the inner-thoughts I had while working out this week 🙂

10% luck

40% skill (physical training?)

20% concentrated power of will

20% pleasure (excitement/adrenaline?)

10% pain (sacrifice?)

100% reason to… not be nervous about my tri?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Focus on the Phenomenal | Rays of Funshine

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