Today while I rowed, I listened to a podcast called “Hidden Brain” on the topic of “Grit”. Here’s a link if you are interested.
There is a fair amount of research that links success in many fields not to innate talent, but rather to the tenacity, passion and drive needed to put in the work. The key appears to be a willingness to engage in the most unpleasant type of practice, the deeply mindful concentrated work on the things you find most difficult. I think another aspect to “grit” is the ability to take setbacks and then just go back to work on improving. To quote a slightly different source, there is a lyric in the musical “Hamilton” that is stuck in my head. There is a character in the play named Hercules Mulligan, a spy in the revolutionary war. I have no idea what he was like actually, but in the play he is a brash talking, tough guy. Here’s the quote…
To my brother’s revolutionary covenant
I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it!
See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians
We in the s**t now, somebody gotta shovel it!
Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction
When you knock me down I get the f**k back up again!
I like the attitude embodied in “somebodies gotta shovel it” and “When you knock me down I get the F back up again”. I think success has a lot more to do with getting back up again, than anything else.
Sorry to get all philosophical, but the past month and half have been difficult for me. My new role at work is demanding a lot more travel, and frankly a much deeper commitment, and I have been dealing a bunch of minor disruptions at home as well. The result is a dramatic reduction in training volume.
Week 41 is the beginning of February, and I went from averaging over 100km per week to around 50km per week. This is just rowing meters, so, there was training volume in week 42 (while on vacation), and other weeks while on travel, but it is inevitable that I will have a decline in rowing fitness with this reduction.
So, the plan is to just keep on plugging. I will train as much as I can, and make maintaining my aerobic base the priority until things are a little more under control. So, as much endurance training as I have time for and then 1 or 2 spicier sessions a week.