Have you ever been so caught up in doing something that time just passes you by? Have you focused so much on what you are doing that you seem to miss out on other things in life? Well the life of an elite athlete can be exactly that.
I wish I could tell you how many times I have said ‘no’ to attending a function, a party, a dinner or just a catch up with friends because my training had to come first. When I was growing up as an elite swimmer most of my friends were also swimmers so I never felt like I was missing out on anything.
As I have aged and continued with my sporting career, I am sure that I have friends who just don’t understand why I can’t show up like the rest of them. When I say it will be too late a night because I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to train they think I am nuts. But I guess it all comes down to what we each want in life.
For any of us life can become overwhelming on a number of levels, with family, work life and social life to the point where the days are flying by and before we know it the week, the month and the year has gone! We get bombarded by outside influences to be the everything for everyone including ourselves. Even as an elite athlete you can focus on what you want to accomplish, but as a Para Athlete most have to work full time or study full time, so it can be a nonstop life.
We have been working really hard up here in Queensland in the lead up to the Tokyo Paralympic Games and not having family/friends around has been hard. There have been a few of us that stayed up in case of lockdowns (which was a good move!) and it has been all about being in the best place possible for Tokyo. But we have still had to do other things outside of training, even though that has been the priority.
So it is always important to make sure that you take some time out, to rest and refocus on the next big goal. That of course is Tokyo! Some people have a hard time taking time out of their lives but it is so important to relax and switch off so that you can come back even better and more focused.
One of my teammates, Paige Greco and I decided we would take a day off and out of the camp environment together. Even though I am older than her mother we are great friends and she keeps me feeling young. We headed to the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane for a night and also booked ourselves into the spa located in the hotel.
The only treatment we could get into was called the Opal Rasul Steam Temple which included a DIY dry body scrub, 3 signature mud masks, detoxifying steam, rain shower and hydration for an hour! We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs throughout that hour and it helped to take away the stresses of training for the previous 4 weeks. It was a lovely night away on very comfy beds and just helped us reset for the next 4 weeks leading into Tokyo.
Just taking that one night off had such a positive effect on me as I am sure it did for Paige and it will help me refocus on my training. With only 28 days until my first race on the 31st of August it helps me to leave no stone unturned.
So if you are feeling a bit stressed, overworked and frazzled a bit take some time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, even 30 minutes of relaxation can help or doing something positive for yourself and no one else! Believe me it will nourish your soul and help you tackle your goals ahead.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” Alan Cohen