Another Olympic season has arrived and with it, a worldwide appreciation of the always-advancing talents and mastered skills of the planet’s best athletes. Competitors represent their countries with perfectly balanced human motion through water and air and across the ground as they aim to raise the bar of their chosen sport.
As an athlete and fan of the Olympics, I got to thinking, what qualities do our Olympic heroes possess that would benefit anyone’s journey toward reaching a personal best? What are some of their keys to success? After much reflection, I came up with this quick guide to becoming super human and included advice on how to make a habit of the tips and tricks included in it.
At the top of my list is consistency. Even the rawest talents in the world would never reach their potential if not for consistency in training and diet. Everyone, without exception must put in hard work and make sacrifices to achieve results. In order to make progressive gains, try staying focused on small goals to get you out the door each day. You may have to sacrifice sleeping in, but hey, no one said this was going to be easy! Remember, what you fuel your body with is just as important as any training you do. Be consistent on all fronts. It’s just one workout, one meal, one day at a time and before you know it, you’ve invested weeks, months and even years into your health!
The second quality on my list is the importance of specificity. Whether you want to run a faster marathon or jump higher than your buddy on a basketball court, it is important to choose what is most important to you at the time. This is something that will likely change many times throughout your life; this year may be your first triathlon and next year you may be focusing on running your fastest 5k or finally getting that beach body for the summer volleyball season. Whatever your activity, identifying exactly what you want to do and achieve not only helps choose how to spend your time training, but also increases the likelihood that you will stay motivated throughout your training. If you are lacking motivation in your workouts, it may be time for a change.
The final quality on my list is perhaps the simplest and most difficult to master. For the consistency and specificity to pay off, you must exercise patience. Nothing comes overnight and unfortunately too many of us lose interest when we don’t see the results we want right away. Give yourself rewards on a day-to-day basis. Even logging a workout in a training log or posting an update to friends on Facebook can keep you feeling inspired by your progress.
Yes, it can be hard to stay motivated through our modest achievements in the mighty shadow of the Olympics. It can be daunting to think about our own personal fitness goals as we watch human performance in its highest arena. Daunting, that is, until we recognize that the reason we are watching, the reason we are inspired, is because we are all made up of the same fiber, the same ingredients as our heroes. Though our stadium may be a local track or club swimming pool, the pursuit of reaching higher personal goals is as powerful to the everyday man as it is to an Olympian. With diligence, focus, and perseverance you, too, can achieve feats you never thought possible.