"I either win or I learn, I am never a loser"
I read this quote over the Christmas holidays and I immediately thought, what a great phrase it was.
But I already knew this. Didn't I?
'Every experience is a learning experience' and all that. 'Failure is fine, we learn from it and grow'...and on and on!
I have spent hours researching and working on Growth mindset in my professional life, in my job where I do not wear lycra. Growth mindset is the whole reason this blog exists (explained in my one of my first ever blog post)
So what's new? Well I needed reminding. Because I had forgotten, recently I have felt like I have been failing and losing. Woooahhh snap out of it girl, it is not losing its called learning!
Here are my top 5 recent fails and what I learnt from them.
1) "The stupid bike will not work"
I would mutter along with a variety of swear words as I chugged up the hill home on a daily basis. The gears would slip and grind and never seemed to co-operate. Every time i rode my bike, it felt like dam hard work.
So sort it out?
Bikes need care and attention I was told.
So I spent several evenings and a whole Saturday giving it some love and attention. Changing the gear cables, taking apart and re-greasing the rear freerub, adding new washers to stop dirt and water getting where they shouldn't.
Adam is pretty happy that after lots of banging we finally managed to remove the rear free hub that had rusted itself together! Not in a healthy state, sorry Cinelli for the neglect over the last 5 years.
Looking a lot healthy, after some elbow grease.
What I learnt. Apart from the fact the garage is very cold on a winters evenings, gloves are essential I found. My attitude of "I don't have time to fix it" will, unbelievably, not help fix it! I needed to stop and fix the problem, instead of going out riding in the evening, it was more beneficial to miss a ride and spend the time in the garage fixing the bike. Youtube is a fantastic tool for working out how to fix mechanical issues and so too is having someone knowledgeable, and patient to help you out, thanks Adam.
2) "I googled alarms for deaf people for you"
"You can get a vibrating alarm clock that you put under your pillow that wakes you up"
Some great suggestions after I had slept straight through my alarm, again, and missed morning swimming.
What I learnt: If I sleep though my alarm, It doesn't mean I am deaf, just very very tired. It's trying to tell me something, get more sleep. So I learnt it is best to sleep rather than train when I am tired.
3) Winter weather can often mean wet, windy and cold. It can be miserable.
The Leeds Bradford Triathlon Christmas social ride, combining a ride with a pub lunch in festive outfits was one such affair. I understood at 90minutes into the ride why the majority had decided to drive to the pub rather than cycle.
Pauline took this photo as she made the sensible option to get a lift in a car too the pub
I quit, I decided to turn around before the pub stop. I got home after 68 wet, cold km and suffered in the shower as the hot water gave me pins and needles on my frozen body.
What I learnt: I don't have to cycle out in the British winter to prove my worth. It is hard to get warm in the coldest days, but inside on my new computrainer, now that's better. Sports bra and shorts while outside it's raining and cold. I will write more next week about my experience so far with the computrainer and how it's helping me get in some quality training when the weather isn't on our side.
In past years this is how i did winter training
This winter I am using the computrainer to keep me a bit warmer
4) They say there is nothing bad about the weather, just bad clothing. I think another phrase is needed too. You can survive bad weather, if you have great food to come home too.
Riding on a cold winter day, getting home and having no food is a bad scenario. I have learnt the hard way. So now, in our house, we always have a big soup on the go and make big meals so the fridge is full of left overs, perfect for heating up straight away once returning from a winter training sessions. Food, is something I am a big fan of and something I am learning more and more about, I have got it wrong on many occasions, not having enough food with me on rides and bonking out or eating too much before running and feeling sick. I have been experimenting and have really enjoyed listening the the Phil Maffatone Podcasts over the christmas holidays. It is well worth while checking out his website. Provides a lot of food for thought, no pun intended!
Broccoli and Stilton Soup with Stuffed peppers. Great post winter ride fuel
If you want the recipe for the above beef wellington that what we cooked on Christmas Day (thanks Chris for posing with it!) and a host of other warm winter post training meals check out the recipes under the new food glorious food section of website.
5) Four towns in four parts of England in 7 days, where is the pool?
I didn't find one, but then I never went looking for one either. I made the decision to relax and enjoy Christmas rather than worry about training. In previous years I have tried to fit training in alongside seeing friends and family over the festive period and it ends up busy with a capital B. So I stuck to relaxing, a word many different people have tried to install in me, probably unsuccessfully. Maybe times are changes. The more I have enjoyed Yoga the more I have started learning and thinking about the Yogi Principals.
"Go at your own pace and build the foundations first"
A phrase, Collette repeated in a Yogaheros session one week as we prepared for wild thing pose, a great pose for really opening up the body.
I saw Christmas this year, in a different light, I took it at my pace, so sometimes it may have been quick, but sometimes it involved very long lie in's. It was my pace, not dictated by pool opening times. It was a week full of friends and family, they are my foundation, so spending time with them really was helping build my foundation.
Adam and myself still got two bike rides in during the week, allowing us some time to enjoy the fresh air, great outdoors, time together and a spot of exploring.
The route a paper garmin takes you on. Thanks Raceskin for the new winter kit
What I learnt: Christmas comes once a year and can provide the mind and body a complete rest and recharge. Also the AA are very efficent at breaking into a Micra to retrieve a key, if you have happened to lock it in there at 11pm. Thank you Simon from the AA.
I hope your 2016 has started well and enjoy the wins and the learning.