You’ve probably experienced this yourself: You don’t ever want to search for your keys. From today on they shall always be in the same spot. But it simply doesn’t work. It takes countless attempts until you actually manage not to just leave them in random places.
The force of habit. That is what this article is about. I’ll share how force of habit has kept me for a very long time from doing what I really wanted to do from the bottom of my heart: Write a book.
The weeks after my last Ironman were simply amazing. I enjoyed my free time, constantly met with friends, went to the movies, the theater, attended parties, went dancing and out to eat and drink. This was something that had always annoyed me about the sport of triathlon: I spent a lot of time training and very little time with my friends. Those friends who are not athletes and have other interesting things to share. So now I was content. For now. But I was in such great running shape right now! And so, I thought: “Well, then I won’t take a big break. I’ll stay on the ball.” I went running almost every day for one to two hours – which, compared to how much time I spent training before, was a relatively low workload. It felt like retiring from competitive sports. But it wasn’t. I didn’t even notice that I essentially kept on going just like before, just without the swimming and cycling. “I’ll do the Berlin marathon again. That’s not a triathlon”, I told myself, was awarded a spot and also signed up for the Hannover marathon. “If you’re already training, may as well do that one as well.” Then I resumed my interval and tempo training and wrote myself a training plan. What I had overlooked: A marathon is nothing but a slimmed down Ironman. And pain a marathon brings with it as well. And really quite a lot of it! If the marathon is supposed to be an overall joyful experience, you’ll have to work for it. I was once again caught inside the training trap: Too tight of a schedule, too much torture, too little social interaction. Too much too. And what was more: No time to write my book!
Sometimes it just so happens that you can’t kick the habit on your own. In the end it was other people, external circumstances and a good story that helped me to do what I really wanted to do. Though before that there were a few setbacks. I’ll write about those in my next articles.
Which habits prevent you from doing what you really want to do to?