When my husband was out of town last weekend, I missed a ride with my triathlon group because I didn’t have anyone to watch the kids. (I used the bike trainer in my living room instead.)
And that was just fine with me, it was freakin cold outside and after everyone got done with the ride, my e-mail lit up with a thread from all the riders talking about just how cold it was (and a few jabs at the one rider who wore shorts).
But there was one response in the e-mail thread that stood out for me. The owner of a local bike shop who’s also a member of our group wrote, “Days like today will get you through tough races. It is all in the bank.”
It’s all in the bank.
I can’t stop thinking about that because it’s so darned metaphorical.
When it’s in the bank that means you can draw from it — FOREVER. When you face adversities in your workouts, running in the rain or the cold or the heat or the wind or you swim in cold water or maybe you didn’t get any sleep and you work out anyway or you forget to bring your socks to the gym or you work out on an empty stomach — whatever it is, environmental, physical, mental, whatever you face goes right into the bank. And you can draw on it forever.
Each experience that goes into the bank is so valuable because it’s what you remember for next time. Next time I will bring my windbreaker just in case. Next time I will bring more water. Next time I won’t have a water bottle that you hold, I’ll have a water belt. Next time I’ll dress in layers.
Everything in the bank, you draw on for next time. The next time you meet the road. The next time you meet your bike. The next time you meet your sneakers. The next time you meet the cold and freezing rain. Or the snow or the wind. The treadmill. The elliptical. Your yoga mat. Your Wii. Your handweights.
It’s all in the bank.
And it’s not just the experience that’s now in the bank. You also made pretty hefty depositsof confidence, strength and courage and the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment of simply having done it. That feeling alone is invaluable. And your body not only benefits from the workout itself, it remembers everything for future workouts. That’s what it builds on. That’s what builds you. It’s what makes you go further, it’s what makes you push, it’s what gives you the confidence to keep going day in and day out. Your bank.
A few months ago, I remember almost scrapping a swim workout. I was NOT in the mood. I was tired. I was grumpy. I just didn’t feel like I had anything in me. So I sat on the side of the pool and stuck my feet in the water and I swirled them around in the water. I let my mind go blank, I gave myself permission to leave at any time if I wanted. I took some deep breaths and eventually I went in the water.
A few laps in, I really congratulated myself for even going in and not giving up. A few more laps in and I was feeling nice and strong and pretty glad I was doing it. A few more laps in and VOILA! I had an epiphany. I found myself doing something differently with my breathing and it made everything so much easier. That workout became a turning point for my breathing that I still use today. Everything about my swimming has changed since that workout. And it was the workout that almost wasn’t. And to think, I almost didn’t go. What a shame that would have been.
But now it’s in the bank, and so is the drive to get out there, even when I don’t want to. Because I added that to the bank too, that day.
And the thing is, if you don’t get out there, if you make excuses and skip a workout, you don’t get to add to the bank. You shortchange yourself because you will never know what could’ve been, what could’ve been added, what you could be drawing from for next time, what greatness you would have witnessed in yourself. No, not every workout is great and not every workout is pivotal. But some are. Some really, really are. You deserve to be a part of them.
It may be the one workout that finally doesn’t suck because when you first get started on the journey, there are a lot of days that really hurt. But then all of a sudden, it doesn’t as much. It may be the one run where you actually felt yourself falling in love with running. It may be the one ride where you got a flat and learned to change one. It may be the one workout where you found what you love to do. Or the one workout where you found a winning lottery ticket sitting on the treadmill. Anything can happen if you just go do it. Anything!
And all of it goes right into the bank.
Now, “the bank” is what gets me out the door. It makes me think about saving up and adding to it. It’s what makes me face my fear. Because if I face a fear head on, it goes right into the bank along with that courage and feeling of accomplishment of being able to let that fear go so I can face a new one. It’s what makes me tackle each workout on my training plan. The more experience I have, the more confident I will feel on race day. Not to mention, the workouts themselves, the fitness and the weight-loss — all huge wonderful rewards that you get to reap every time you add to the bank. Whatever you face now, you can use for later!
So this week, when you think about working out, think about adding to your own bank and what exactly that means. Especially because that’s what this week’s Monday Project is!
What did you add to the bank this week?
Write a post about what you did, what you overcame, what you changed or what you added to your own bank. If you faced a fear head-on, ran in the snow and felt 100% more badass and hardcore for braving it, or just plain went when you didn’t want to. When we read your report this week, we can all be motivated to add to our own banks when we see how you added to yours.
Spread the motivation around and link up on Friday! And you can take that to the bank. (I really just wanted to throw that in there.)
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New challenge alert! Make sure you comment here if you want to be a part of it! (No need to comment if you’ve already told us — we’ve gotcha!) The new challenge starts this week and it’s teams!