The journey into endurance sports is one that captivates, commands your attention and fuels a fire that burns deep within you. We all enter into the sport from a place of curiosity. Some people enter to push themselves, some people enter for more of a challenge and some people enter to explore. Let’s take a look at these 3 types of athletes.
The “Pusher” – These athletes typically enter the sport at a point in their life where they need something to help them discover what is buried deep inside. Often, they have an athletic history where they enjoyed the performance but have lacked that same feeling from the adult life. This can help to jumpstart a person who is in an unhealthy state in their life, mentally looking for a new start or wondering if they still “have it”. These are the athletes that tend to remain in the sport for many years and make many great memories along the way
The “Challenger” – This athlete comes in looking for the next thing. The next item in life that will require their time, discipline and dedication. This is generally an athlete who has done something in the adult fitness world and is looking for the next bar to climb. While I love to rant about crossfit, this won’t be the place for that. They are one of the many that get into it from this avenue. Runners, cyclists, former collegiate (and HS swimmers), spin class peeps and many other adult fitness types enter here. Generally speaking, this group has the lowest retention rate in the sport. They are generally the ones who will push themselves to oblivion, and sadly, become injured and fall away from the sport. The flip side to this is they will do an Ironman (globally accepted as the pinnacle of the sport) and then move on. This is not a hard and fast rule but one that my experience has shown to be true
The “Explorer” – This is the trickiest of the 3. This athlete is the one who comes in searching. Sometimes it is for their next goal, a new “start” to life, new communities or something much deeper, within them. The “Explorer” is the athlete that continually grows mentally, physically and emotionally. The slippery slope with this athlete can sometimes lie in their ability to utilize all of the data we have out there, to encourage or discourage them. This athlete can be emotional (both good and bad) and possess the ability to get locked into both the good and the bad. In my experience, this is the athlete that can go through a life changing journey while an endurance athlete. Weight loss, relationship issues/solutions, soul searching and many other things that can really change the trajectory of one’s life. This athlete also is is the one who tends to ride the highest and lowest waves and will need to really figure out who they are so that they can restore some sense of homeostasis to their training and life.
I have just shared with you my perspective on endurance athletes, or those drawn to the sports. Now you have to figure out which you are and what path suits you best! Good luck and have fun!
– Coach Jeremy