Have you overcome more than you thought was possible? This summer we celebrated my father’s 70 birthday and I held a speech for him. Many nice things can be said about my dad, but I can’t get away from the fact that he tested my limits...
My family enjoy outdoor activity, and growing up, my dad was leading our trips. Unfortunately, the goal changed along the way:
"We reached this summit, but that summit looks even nicer. Let’s go there!"
"The bus will not leave until several hours. Let’s walk home instead."
Fortunately, like everyone else, I have more powers than I imagine. The challenge was to find motivation to continue.
The 2 most important lessons I learned from my childhood trips are:
- Specific goals motivate (while unclear and changing goals do not...)
- You can do more than you think
My family trips probably affected me to become excited about challenges requiring endurance.
10 years since Norseman
This summer it's 10 years since I completed Norseman, which is considered the world's hardest Ironman. 3.8 km of swimming in the Hardanger fjord (very cold by the way), 180 km of cycling through Hardangervidda and up 5 mountains, before a 42 km run ending at Gaustatoppen (1850 m). A total of 5,000 altitude meters.
This is the most demanding physical challenge I have ever accomplished. What a feeling it gave me to overcome all the downsides on my way: fighting against the forces of nature (the weather gods were not kind to us in 2007), and my doubt that came sneaking every now and then. The value of having someone to support you, believing in you, especially when you need it the most.
Although it is 10 years ago, I often recall the feeling it gave me, when I need motivation and faith in myself.
We all have experiences we are proud of, which we can use when we need support. Which experiences are you proud of? When did you master something that gave you a good feeling?
When did you experience obstacles you managed to overcome? How can you use a positive experience to motivate yourself when you're in trouble? How can you find the endurance to complete the task?
I get excited of the road towards a challenging goal: To master something new and to overcome obstacles.
Specific goals make it easier to succeed
Norseman is specific: the route is given, the distance, the altitude meters, the disciplines, and finally: the finish line! (However, they actually changed the biking distance to 200 km, and the finish at Norseman in 2007 due to bad weather ...)
To succeed, it is important to set sub goals and focus at one step at a time. Like eating an elephant… If you manage to stay motivated, have the physics needed, it is only a matter of time before you reach the finish (food and drink should not be underestimated either :-)
There is no need to question if you are on the right track, where the fastest or shortest way is, what mode of transportation is smartest, etc.
The road and target are already set. It makes Norseman easier to complete than many other goals, in my opinion.
What experiences do you have with specific and non-specific goals? When do you become most motivated?
Wish you a motivating day!
The blog image of Gaustatoppen is from "Visitnorway".
The picture on the way to the top of Gaustatoppen is taken by Lake District Images.