So we got a dog.
And it wasn’t a decision we took lightly or came to quickly. We’ve been considering this for a number of years, even before we had kids. In fact, when Olivia was 3 she was asked if she thought she’d be getting a dog. She’s 7 now by the way.
Anyways, she thought about this for a second and then gave a great answer. She said “she’d have to get a new family first”.
That comment has haunted me ever since. Nobody wants to be the bad dad. But we do enjoy to travel. And we head up to the hill in the winter. And I couldn’t see how we could continue our current lifestyle with a dog in the mix. And to be honest I’ll still don’t.
To give you an example of how ‘on the fence’ I was about getting a dog, we told the girls we were going to babysit the dog for a few nights. And so the dog would have a few nights sleepover with us. This would allow Alexandra and I the chance to evaluate how everyone was adapting to this new member of our family. And how this little puppy was adapting to us.
Because let’s be honest, a new puppy can be a lot of work. And if we realized we weren’t up for the challenge or we’d bitten off more than we could chew than we still had the option to take the dog and the girls would still be over the moon about having a dog stay with us for a few nights.
Plus, since we decided to keep the puppy you should have seen the girls faces and their reactions when we told them we were going to keep the puppy forever. It was Christmas in July and they were pumped.
So, now we’d had this little 10 week old puppy with us for a couple of weeks. And the girls have had fights over whose turn it is to take the dog out to do her business. And more importantly, whose job it is to pick up the dog poo.
Let me repeat that last line.
The girls are fighting over who gets to pick up dog poo.
I am now convinced that everything in life is simply perspective. I could offer the girls money, candy or anything compared with getting to pick up dog poo and they’d pick the poo.
So how does this relate to you and your fitness or performance goals?
Well, often times we can become focussed on the outcome. We can imagine how great life will be when we lose the weight, when we rehab our back or when we win the championship.
But here’s the thing…
There’s no guarantee that we’ll achieve everything we set out to do. And in sports the final outcome usually involves an opponent. So we can worry about doing our best and can’t really control what someone does or doesn’t do. As well, we may expect certain emotions to be associated with the end goal but who knows what it will feel like when we get there? This year has been a great example of this. How many sports events were delayed or cancelled due to COVID?
Instead what we should do is change our perspective.
We need to enjoy the process. We do this by having training partners that challenge and encourage us. We do this by working with coaches that guide, support and educate us. We do this recognizing small changes in habits that are taking us in the right direction.
When we can approach our training in this way we are more likely to attend all of our sessions. We are more likely to arrive early. We are likely to give a best effort. We are more likely to get enough quality sleep. And we are more likely to fuel and recover from training with the best nutrition. We are likely to be receptive and open to criticism or feedback that could help us.
Training can sometimes feel like a grind. But when we change our mindset to enjoy the process it’s not so bad. And we may just get better results in the end also.
Just like enjoying picking up poo.