So, I’m in Australia. I spend my days weaving through fluffy white snow, sugary donuts and endless flat whites. I’ve had multiple cultural, personal and athletic experiences that come with the change of perspective of being upside down (I see you, Anne Hart). I’m getting to ski every day, sleep deeply every night, eat ALL OF THE FOOD, and, in all, live the dream.
It’s truly a rich experience. And I really want to tell you all about it. There are some excellent existential/humorous/inspirational anecdotes in there. I’m desperate to share them.
Here’s the thing: I can’t.
Not because said anecdotes are full of state secrets, or secrets of any kind, really. But I simply cannot string the words together with any semblance of art (or English) without losing focus, falling asleep or seeking out yet another donut and/or flat white (example: it took me three days to write this post).
Because, folks, I’m in it. Deep in it: the TIRED.
I’ve written on your brain on training before. I wrote about the phenomenon of having little more than peanuts for brains between sessions and then suddenly finding inspiration during a workout. How, even when you’re deep in a volume week, you still get psyched and excited for this beautiful sport, beautiful life, beautiful future, yada yada yada.
That all still stands true. But I want to write about what happens between training sessions during a volume block, between those bursts of inspiration and motivation:
No, really. Nothing.
And you know what? It’s beautiful.
Sometimes I get caught up in the early-twenties-just-out-of-college-athlete FOMO, (i.e.: lost career opportunities, internships, pencil skirts, ect. in the name of skiing). But then I think, when else in my life, as a professional anything other than athlete, will it ever be my sole responsibility to do nothing?
When will putting my feet up be more important than putting them under a desk? When will it be perfectly acceptable, encouraged even, to exercise so hard and consistently that I can’t form full English sentences?
Moreover, when will all that nothingness feel so completely satisfying? When you’ve run/biked/lifted/skied to the point of depletion, nothing feels more productive, more earned, than an afternoon spent horizontal with a plate of calories resting on your belly. In our world of deadlines, projects, end goals and get-aheads, doing nothing rarely gets the appreciation it deserves, it almost always comes with a side of guilt.
It’s a privilege to get to embrace and appreciate doing nothing, and to revel in doing it well. Because, in sport, enough well-done nothing eventually turns into something.
Kind of like this blog post, I guess.