‘It’s not the will to win but the will to prepare to win that makes all the difference.’
The older you get, the better you get. As I have aged as a healthcare practitioner and as an athlete, I have realized the same principles of success apply. In May 2022, I won 4 cycling events at the National Senior Games 2022 ( 5K & 10K Time Trials and 20K & 40K road races) in my age group (60-64)!
I believe that sharing my journey to victory, how I learned through experiences (mistakes), got better, trained harder and smarter, will enlighten you on what practitioners, or anyone for that matter, needs to do to overcome challenges and prepare for achieving success, whatever that means to you, in life or in business.
Back In 2018, I had this vision that I should commemorate turning 60 by competing in the 2019 National Senior Games, which were to be held in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. To get there, I would need to ace the qualifiers by placing in the top 5 in my age group. Once I qualified, the next step was to be in the top 3 in the Florida State Championship. With flying colors, I won all my divisions, which meant I could compete in New Mexico the next year.
Now, the real hard work began. I had never undertaken to prepare for an event of that scale. So, without much thought, I acquired an expensive carbon-fiber road bike and began training. I leveraged my own experience in exercise physiology and created a customized training program. I already had a fitness device that I wore to track my progress. In January 2019, I implemented my six-month training program designed to increase my cycling speeds.
Let the Games begin! I raced in the time trials, which is an all-out sprint against the clock. Armed with my fancy bike with clip on bars, I looked around at the start line and felt a bit intimidated. I saw even fancier than my own Time Trial bikes, aero helmets, and speed suits. More importantly, all the other participants seemed to have coaches. I kind of felt like a little fish swimming in a massive pond high up in the mountains! I trained in Florida, which is below sea level. It never occurred to me that this drastic difference in altitude would affect breathing and performance! Despite all that, I managed a podium finish at the National Senior Games in one event (3rd place) and squeaked out 4th place wins in the other events. Not too bad for a first-timer.
What comes next is crucial. I watched, listened, and learned. I paid close attention to what the winners did, what equipment they had, and most importantly, how they prepared. If I wanted to be the best, I would need to learn from the best. In preparation for the next National Senior Games 2022 (which was originally slated for 2021 & moved to 2022 due to Covid), I bought a Time Trial-specific bike, an aero helmet, and a speed suit and found myself a professional cycling coach.
Let the training commence! This time around, I chose to incorporate the methodologies embedded within my Mind, Body, and Business chiropractor coaching program to enhance how I trained. I created mindset tools which included meditation, mindfulness, and visualization. I formulated a nutrition regimen to support and supplement my training and a recovery and strength workout for effective muscle building and healing. My coach played a role in motivating me, focussing on cyclist specific training routines to prepare for the 2022 Nationals, and to develop in me, a sense of accountability. I needed a helping hand, a big push, and even a reminder of just how far I had come!
The training was difficult. I hated some of the workouts. Honestly, I wouldn’t have ever done them given a choice. But the coach said to do it, so I did it. I focused on feeding myself nutrition-rich and fiber-dense foods, utilizing a low-carb, high-fat food plan. Using a body composition analysis device, I tracked muscle gain and fat loss. Next, I competed and won the women’s overall championship in the 2021 Poly-Tech Time Trial series consisting of 10 Time Trial races, one each month (Feb Nov) at a distance of 12K. To my coach, the results of these races were useful to make any necessary adjustments to my training and monitor my gains. In December, I competed in the 2021 FL State Championship, winning my age group in both Time Trial events and winning the Top Female Finisher in both events.
When January rolled around, I was burned out. My recovery was in the toilet, sleeping was terrible, and I was just plain tired. So, I took time off from training, two months worth. I still worked out and rode with groups, just fun rides. I relaxed my diet a little bit, pampered myself with a few massages, and consulted with my coach about the situation. We reworked my training program to accommodate better recovery routines and shorter interval intensity workouts. I was back on track.
With the National Senior Games 2022 coming up in May at Ft. Lauderdale, I began training again. It was a series of consistent, directed efforts, working with my coach, analyzing, course-correcting, and most crucially, taking care of my body. The program worked, and I emerged victorious, obviously! Woo-hoo!
This is the same way I created two successful practices. Working with a coach, analyzing the data, course correcting, and taking care of my body. It is the triad of success for practitioners (and cyclists 😊). I couldn’t have made it by myself. I have always utilized the manifold benefits of working with a coach and still do so. We all need accountability, we need to be pushed, we need someone to evaluate what we are thinking and doing, and someone to remind us to celebrate our wins. To the women competing in the 65-69 age group at the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh, watch out! I will move into this age group next year. See you there!
Does my story inspire you to take action? To experience the benefits of working with a coach?
Being a professional chiropractor with your practice can feel like being an athlete at times, doesn’t it? And like with most successful, fulfilled athletes, it is essential to have a coach to guide and help enhance chiropractic fitness to perform at higher levels by developing healthy strategies for the mind, body, and the business.
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