This week’s WOW is a bit of a departure, but it’s an important one. Too often, especially as summer heats up, we tend to push the envelope with our training. It’s fun to be active and enjoy the long, sunny days. I don’t discourage that! But we also need a reminder that rest, recovery, and de-stressing should be a part of every routine. The benefits are not purely psychological either. Implementation of these tools will lead to better performance and the ability to tolerate higher training loads. What athlete wouldn’t want that!?!
The mind is a powerful tool for all of us, regardless of our athletic or professional pursuits. We tend to be meticulous in training our bodies, but we often neglect our minds, to the detriment of our performance. Professional athletes know better than to let this happen!
Taylor Phinney is a former world champion and multi-time US national champion in the Time Trial as a cyclist. (And as of this posting, he's wearing the polka-dot jersey in the Tour de France!) He now races as a top-level, World Tour professional for the Cannondale-Drapac team. Taylor has a captivating story, from his parents who were both Olympic cyclists, to a nearly career ending injury in Chattanooga a couple years ago. Through the ups and downs, he’s learned to use meditation to train his mind, which then allows his body to function to its full capacity.
"I think I was drawn to it because I was feeling like there is a certain level of personal growth that is necessary for me at all times. I have a deep hunger to be changing, growing, and evolving. When I broke my leg, I experienced a huge amount of change, but it reinvigorated me to learn, to grow, and to better myself." - Taylor
Morning Movement to Prepare for Your Day
Do you find yourself jumping out of bed after hitting snooze three times? Quickly scanning your phone as you stumble to the bathroom…only to be derailed by a list of emails that are all begging for your immediate attention? Maybe you rush through coffee, breakfast, and a shower so that you can get to work early enough to warrant escaping for a 4pm run. This is no way to start the day! Not only does your mind suffer (see meditation info above), but your body never gets to reset and ready itself for an active day.
A daily movement routine, done as you start your day, can be a perfect complement to a mindfulness session. In fact, for some, it can coincide with such meditation. Here is an example of what such a routine might look like. For more info on the topic, read THIS blog post.