Dr Nicholas Romanov – Part 2

Joy and Meditation

You know… you always get what you wish for. How do you view or frame your training experience to ensure you get the progression you deserve??

I have met many unsuccessful athletes who talk about their training as an arduous task, in fact, when you view popular triathlon or endurance magazines, they love to label events and the process of achieving your goals as enduring, digging deep or a painful experience. Unfortunately, when you view an event or your training as hard, you make it hard and it increases your propensity to staleness, injury, illness or misery.

So what’s the alternative that all successful athletes harness? I regularly say to athletes that, progress= happiness. This is indeed true, when you are actively changing and developing you do feel happy, but maybe the two outcomes are interchangeable, a chicken or egg relationship.

In this video Dmitry Butkov, Head Coach of Russia Triathlon identifies that no matter what your level of performance, the joy of training and competing should be your primary focus. In fact, 95% of all of your training and racing should be wholly invigorating and enjoyable with only 5% being uncomfortable and only enjoyable after you have finished.

So, if happiness is not an outcome, more of a pre-requisite for progress. How do we activate or produce happiness? We take inspiration from meditation.

Meditation as it reads in Wikipedia:

“The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices (much like the term sports) that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (Chi, Qi, Prana etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration single-pointed analysis, meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.”

As much as I would promote the use of meditation as an everyday practice, actually, you should view your training as a meditative practice.

It is commonplace to promote dissociation from the pain or boredom of training that may involve music, television or even reading on the stationary bike. In reality we should be promoting the effortless single pointed concentration, being in the moment or heightened perception.

It is when we create this regular mind space, free from lists, nagging worries and plenty of should, that we create the space that is synominous with joy and happiness.

Do you think you’ll find this difficult? Just remember, after all, life is only a perception and it changes all the time.

Paul Roberts