Why perfect perfection when your shit at other things?
I heard the saying ‘work on your weaknesses’ a few years a go and still hear and see people doing the complete opposite. It really is a simple concept and when you put it into the context of a triathlon one of the ultimate multi disciplined events, its easy to see the difference. Learning to work on your weaknesses is the key to understanding yourself and unlocking your potential.
The ironman distance triathlon started out as a debate to see who was the fittest athlete a swimmer, cyclist or runner. They took one of the hardest races from each discipline and created an event in Hawaii which has now become the most iconic ironman races on the calendar.
When I talk to people about triathlon about 90% of the people say that they hate the swim section, “I would rather just blag that then do the bike and run”. Thats not the point of a triathlon – theres a race called a duathlon for those people.
Work at your weaknesses! Stop putting time into marginal gains on your bike and run when you could gain huge time on the swim. Instead of finishing in the bottom 30% on the swim and gaining time on the bike and run – imagine coming in the top 30% of the swim and giving yourself that advantage from the start! Simple right!
I was a terrible swimmer when I did my first triathlon – I put the time in but was just like a lead fish. I had the same mentality as most people I spoke to, I was going to blag the swim and then nail the rest. I finished my first triathlon and was happy with the time but could clearly see where I was terrible. It sucks to practice what you are rubbish at – but it is also so much more rewarding to see big leaps in performance than marginal gains. Work on your weaknesses bring them up to the level of your other skills then start working on marginal gains.
Another good example is with exercise. In the simplest form muscle groups work in pairs and against each other. So if one muscle is too big/strong paired against a weak muscle then you will have muscle imbalance which can lead to injury and body imbalance. Work on your weakness to level everything out.
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Embrace your inner child
Think about that moment when you was a child and you first started learning stuff, the joys of achieving something that you thought wasn’t possible. We all need to embrace our inner child, stop giving a shit if you look like an idiot learning something when trying to perfect something. We were not all born perfect and brilliant at stuff. Yes skinny Tony may have been naturally brilliant at running because of genetics and simple Simon was great at mental arithmetics because he is academically gifted. But skinny Tony probably couldn’t figure out what 10×3 was and simple Simon couldn’t run 100m!
We are all shit at something
We are all shit at something, life is all about looking at those things, seeing if they are important for what you want to achieve and doing something about it. Some of us have to work for what we want and these things don’t come naturally, but this is the challenge we face in life. Embrace that challenge, rediscover that joy you had as a kid when learning something new – go through the tough side of learning something new and come out smiling.