“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”
“A goal should scare you a little and excite you A LOT.”
Hey there, it's me, Matt Dorio again! So remember way back in my first post when I talked about that crazy thing we do called winter training? Well, we are a little under halfway through, and it’s time to bring everything back into perspective once more.
I tell you, you really get to know people halfway through winter training. People start to act...different. I mean, can you blame them? You’re repeating the same thing over and over again, with minor variations in length and intensity. The feeling of the water flowing under your boat is a distant thought now, and you stare at the water you used to row on daily longingly. Everyday, you ask yourself, “why in the world do I do this?” Why do I choose to come here everyday, and put myself through immense amounts of pain and agony?
You have to be doing this for a reason, right? You are motivated by something. And what really makes it all worth it, is setting a goal for yourself. Now, this goal can be as big or as small as you want it to be. Ultimately, it is something you are going to be working and striving for. Instead of thinking about winter training as one big picture, goal setting allows you to break everything down, and think about things one at a time. It’s all about connecting the dots to create one larger image, rather than jumping from point A to point B with no steps in-between.
It is important that, when setting a goal, it is realistic. I am not here to say you can’t do something. You should never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. However it is important to keep things in perspective, and to allow yourself to formulate a plan in order to achieve this goal.
Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:
It took me four years to break seven minutes on a 2k. I thought it was “never going to be possible.” I never had the right mindset, and I always made excuses. When I got to college, I was on a very successful team, surrounded by highly motivated individuals that pushed each other to reach new heights. My PR in high school was a 7:12, which in the grand scheme of things, was not very grand. I had been rowing for four years, and I knew I was very capable of breaking seven minutes. I got to college, and this new environment pushed me further than I ever thought possible. My first 2k in college, was a 7:08, and although it wasn’t what I was looking for, it was a step in the right direction. In my PLAN to break 7:00, the first step was to break 7:10. From that point I went to spring break training. The volume was high. We were rowing close to 30-35k a day. I knew if I pushed myself every row to the point of no return, it would pay off on the erg come test day. I left spring break confident and ready to go, and once my coach announced a 2k when we got back to campus, I was not afraid, but instead, EXCITED! The day came, and I got on the erg confident. I knew that if I mentally told myself I could do this, there was no stopping me. I started, and it was unreal. I felt unstoppable. I told myself I was going to take it 500 meters at a time. I wouldn’t think about the piece as a whole, how much I had left, or how much pain I was in. I would break it down, piece by piece and execute it the way I knew I could. Boy did I feel the burn 1,000 in. I thought I was going to let myself down again. But I put my head down and told myself YES! Once 500 meters left came around I was at a 1:45.6 average split. I knew I needed to dig deeper than I ever had before to get that 1:45.0. Everyone around me knew what I was going for, and they were cheering me on! My legs were on fire, but I went for a 1:43.0 for the last 500 meters, good enough to get me a 6:59.4. I remember that erg piece like it was yesterday. Everyone gathered around me hugging me, and me looking at the screen in utter shock. I told myself for so long I would never see a "6" in front of my 2k time, but I finally did it, and there was no going back from there!
Everyone, it is cliche, but please, don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. If you ever surround yourself with people who are negative, they will only bring you down. It is important, especially now, that you look towards your goals and embrace the process to achieving the more than ever. Take everything in stride, and believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, you are your biggest fan!