The dust has now settled, the mud dried and the aches and bruises are disappearing. A week has passed since the Suffering and as I reflect on my efforts I find myself smiling and booking onto the next series in October. Overall I am pleased with my efforts, I entered solo, it was my first event above 5km, and my first event with walls and ropes. As with any event there were lessons to be learned;
- Nothing can replace perseverance, yes the 7/8 switchbacks were a psychological test however these repeated efforts were part of the journey to the finish line.
- The answer to a problem is usually in your hands. Yes it was me using the tyres as a step to scale the wall.
- Even when you are tired and think you’ve done all you can there’s always more in the tank.
These personal lessons and reflections can be applied directly to life. As we reach the halfway mark for 2016 life has thrown some curveballs in my direction. These have the potential to impact on my plans for the next 12 months however I believe that the strength and belief gained through hours in training and events can help my journey to my ultimate goal.
To keep me on my toes I like to push myself beyond my boundaries, whether it be conquering a fear, running further or lifting more. This weeks challenge was open water swimming. When you only learned to swim aged 25 because you fancied a swimming instructor, and you’ve never liked water there can be few better ways to spend a Thursday evening than plunging feet first into a cold dark lake. The first challenge is putting the wetsuit on, more of a workout than any session I had previously had in a pool. Wetsuit conquered we made our way down the jetty, as my partner dove headfirst into the dark water, I took the more cautious approach of sliding in. As I did this my brain hit the panic button! My heart rate soared, my breathing sped up and thoughts of becoming fish food flooded my brain. Composing myself I did my best to follow the coach from Wakefield Triathlon club through some warm up drills. For some unknown reason every time I put my head in the water I had the urge to breathe in, so here I am fighting the fear of water and my own brain is trying to drown me. Talk about battling the odds. Turn the clock forward and I’ve achieved 6 laps between jetties, actually jumped in and strung together 10 front crawl strokes with my face in the water. The next challenge is to tackle the open water part of the lake.
Training wise I set the target this month to run a sub 33 minute 5Km, I have managed this not once but twice. In addition to this my best 400m, 1km, 1mile and 2 mile have all been improved. Moving forward my aim is 5 consecutive pull ups by the end of July, I can do chin ups but pull ups have always escaped me. Upper-body strength has always been a weakness for me and whilst I want to work on strength I don’t want to lose the work capacity I have been working hard on. I have long been interested in Crossfit and recently discovered the Team Richey youtube channel. Unlike most Crossfit enthusiasts Craig Richey actually acknowledges other training styles and incorporates these into his training. Through reading and research I believe that with the right planning including Crossfit style training will facilitate the development of both strength and work capacity.