I make a hundred or more decisions everyday that affect my health, happiness, peace and serenity. I know that because of all those decisions I am healthier, happier, more at peace and serene. I do look for some external validation that I am on the right track. I am human. I can admit that.
One of the ways I get feedback is through my speed skating performance. Speed skating is a great mirror for my life. Physical preparation is essential. Physical execution is necessary too. Mental preparation is also important for execution. I need to manage my emotional state to get the best results. I also need to trust in my spiritual life. This gives me the deep down trust that I am on the right track and that my priorities are right. I feel very strongly that I am doing what I was put on this earth to do.
Saturday morning I arose at 4am. Drive 75 miles to Milwaukee to start my pre race warm up off ice at 6:45. On ice warm up at 7:30 to 8am. Racing starts at 8:30. I was in the 11th pair of the 500 meter race. I have the inner lane with Brandon Molenda (14 years old) in the outer. Clean start, he is in front for about the first 30 meters. I am able to get low, lengthen my stroke and pass him. I never saw him again. I opened with a 11.06 first 100 meters. I felt good on the first inner turn. Crossed over on the backstrech feeling low and connecting to each stroke. I was feeling some lactic acid at this point in my legs. I set up the last outer turn. I was a little unsteady early but settled in for some good pressure. Exiting the turn, careful not to look too far down the final 100 meters and stay with each stroke. I look up at the scoreboard after crossing the finish line, lap time was 28.93 and a final time of 39.99. This was the best start to a season for me, ever. My pair set a personal best, good for him. I congratulate him on a fine effort. I suspect I gave him something to shoot for.
A couple of easy laps to start to flush the legs. Warm ups back on and a short rest before the 1000 meter race. The ice is being resurfaced, coaches and officials get to take a little break. This is all a normal Saturday morning in Milwaukee.
Back on the stationary bike and some stretching to keep warm and loose.
I am in the 7th pair with Bill Armstrong a fellow master, in the outer lane, and I am starting on the inner lane.
I open with a 18.99 first 200 meters, crank out a 29.90 next, then hang on for a 31.40 final lap and a time of 1:20.29. Again, my best start to a season in the 1000, ever. Physical validation that I am on the right track with my decisions and priorities. I have set my goals as you have seen in my recent blog posts. I am clearly on my way to achieving my goals. I will get faster as the season progresses. I am grateful for the support of my wife and support network I have constructed.
The principles I am talking about here are universal and can be applied to any endeavor sports or anything else.
I invite you to share any comments or stories that relate to my story. Lets share our inspiration and information as enthusiastic motivated masters athletes!