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Covid-19 Craziness

started writing this blog now because I think just about everyone from all walks of life are experiencing anxiety with all the uncertainty going on. As an athlete it can be mentally difficult even in the best of circumstances to have a season interrupted, whether that be through injury, illness, or in this case a worldwide pandemic that leaves us now knowing when our next goal or race will be. When I first heard that all of the races I had marked down at the end of last year as major goals were all either being either postponed or cancelled altogether, I was initially overcome with what felt like a sense of doom. I had finally had an offseason where I was consistent from November through February, had taken care of my nutrition and put time in working on the little things like core and mobility, and mentally had gotten into a much better place than I had been in a long time. The first couple of days after learning that a lot of these races were not happening were a pretty dark time for me. Immediately my brain started to think about how pointless all that work was, and what was the point of continuing to put my body and mind through the type of stress that it takes to compete well. I think that was probably the initial thought many athletes had, but there is so much more to training and competing than just doing it for races. After a couple days of thinking about it I realized that this is just like any other set back, and the ones who are going to come out of it successfully are the athletes who can shift their focus to what they have control of, and reassess what their needs are going to be for when competitions do start up again. I have tried to really do that, and instead of seeing this time as a lost opportunity, to instead look at it as a time to refocus my attention to my weaknesses without the pressure of any upcoming races. Even with that mindset I was finding it hard to get out on the bike for long mindless hours without even knowing when the next time I would race was. Instead of just developing a completely negative attitude, I decided to do some research on different ways to train and find adaptations, and low and behold I found a couple studies regarding heat acclimatization that seemed interesting. From there I set my bike up on the trainer in my house, cranked the heat up, and have gotten into a pretty good rhythm of cranking out some time on the bike in absolutely sweltering conditions. Now, I don’t know for certain if doing this is going to have the same results of the studies, but its something new and different from what I have been doing and its making it a little bit easier to stay motivated for right now. Another thing I have turned to is really working on my core. I know, it’s something all of us should be doing all the time, but I am ot going to lie, it is pretty much my least favorite part of training. Focusing on these two training goals has given me a sense of direction through all the uncertainty right now, and for the time being at least I feel as if I have a modicum of control over what is happening. I believe the important thing for athletes, and really all of us right now, is to continue doing something and to find new goals to get us through however long this lasts. Soon enough we will be back to racing and competing, and I for one am going to do my best to see the time we have right now as an opportunity to shift my focus to things that I personally overlook in my own training. Hope that everyone out there is finding some way to stay sane during this crazy time and happy training.

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