About three weeks ago I took a fall and jacked up my wrist. It’s nothing particularly serious – a minor strain – but a strain that nags at me when I flex my hand, put weight on my forearms, and swim or bike long distances.
With a major triathlon coming up next month, this “nag” is more than a little bit annoying. It’s been slowing me down and pissing me off. It’s forced me to scale back my training and become good friends with a bulky wrist brace that wasn’t designed with either swimming or biking in mind. And so, after a series of less-than-ideal training sessions, I found myself wondering out loud whether I will be ready for my race.
But what does “ready” actually mean?
“’Ready’ isn’t about getting things to line up so they’re perfect,” a fellow athlete said to me. “They never will be. ‘Ready’ is about being prepared - even if you have to accept your times won't be as good as you'd originally hoped. If you wait for perfect, you’ll never get to the start line.”
I would take that one step further. If you wait for perfect, you’re not an athlete. Athletes don’t set goals only to sit back and wait for the stars to align. They set goals and dive in regardless of whether those stars work in their favor or not.
I’ve been training for my Ironman race for months. I’m not alone. This weekend, -Tim, Dave, Andrew, JT, Kirby, and Kristin will be competing in the WOD Gear Games and Diddy, Kristina, Marisa, Meredith, Hector, and Dennis are running the San Francisco Marathon. Each of us has put a lot of time into training, working as hard as possible to be as close to “ready” as we can be. We want to bring our “A-game.”
We’re athletes, after all.
But we’re also human, and every single one of us will wake up on race / competition day with weak spots and physical “nags” that leave us a little less than perfect. Our “A-games” exist in those weak spots. They live in our reaction to them, and our willingness to accept and work around them. Our “A-games” live in our knowledge that certain things are beyond our control, that we don’t know what will happen on race day , and that we are happy to stare that uncertainty in the face. We know we’re not perfect and never will be. We show up on race day anyway with the full intention of kicking a**.
Readiness is about preparation, openness to challenge and a willingness to trust your training. With the right mindset, you can be ready with a wrist brace, a sore shoulder, a nagging knee or a sore ankle. I know my athletes well enough to know that they are.
Celebrate your hard work this weekend. Bring your A-game through your weak spots. Don’t wait for perfect. Just kick some a**.!!!!!!!!!!
Tim Competing in this weekend's WOD Gear games ( with his number one fans!)
Training partners Kristina and Marisa running San Francisco Marathon this weekend..