Diversity Rules but Consistency is King
I often joke that I have "fitness ADD". I like to do a lot of different things and sometimes it can be hard to manage them all. I’m passionate about running, curious and determined about cycling, in love with yoga, committed to weight-training, and to top it all off, I play softball at a very competitive level each spring and summer.
That’s a lot.
The risk here, of course, is that I spread myself so thin across all these different activities, that I never really see my full potential at any one of them individually. For years I have struggled with the idea of the "niche" – in business they say "Niche = Rich". In other words, pick one thing, become really, really good at it, and you’ll be successful.
Unfortunately, that model doesn’t work for me. Not in my professional life, and not in my athletic life. I need diversity. I demand diversity. It’s just how I tick. I have totally come to terms with that.
Which is why I like the word consistency.
Consistency and diversity can very easily walk hand in hand. Consistency is getting up every day and doing something. Diversity is constantly changing up what that something is.
I have always shied away from the idea of cycling competitively because I look around me and all the cyclists that I know are people who ride their bikes every single day. I mean, Sal gets up and talks about bikes, and then goes and rides bikes, and then buys things related to bikes, and then reads things related to bikes online, and then goes home and talks more about bikes… and then goes to sleep and dreams about bikes. When he designs our holiday cards, there are bikes on them.
You get the point.
I’m not like that. So, this year, I wondered… would it be possible to be competitive on a bike and not have to ride a bike 6 days a week? To get my answer, I went to experts. I talked to a lot of people. I asked for help. I don’t know anything about cycling, so I needed guidance as to whether my perception about competitive cycling as an all-or-nothing engagement was correct.
Of course, it wasn’t.
And now I’ve got a plan for how I can reach some of my cycling goals, while still enjoying a healthy serving of workout diversity each week. Sure, I’m riding my bike consistently more than I ever have in the past (and purposefully, I should add) but I’m also still doing the other things that make me who I am, and make me happy.
I’d say the biggest factor for success here is planning. I say this over and over again so much that you are probably covering your eyes screaming, "Not this planning shit again!!!!"
But here it is.
To successfully put together a consistent yet diverse training schedule, planning becomes absolutely essential. Because if you don’t plan, it’s way, way, way too easy to just get completely scattershot with five major activities to balance. So I am getting really kick-ass about planning this year.
And, just as important, I’m getting really kick-ass about follow through. If it’s in the plan, it happens.
I’m excited to feel like I have come to a point where I have a handle on my engagement with all these different passions. I’m excited to have figured out how to take what I love and put them together in a way that is effective, pointed toward specific goals, and still extremely enjoyable.
Eat it up, Frank Sinatra. I’m doing it my way too.
Related Posts and other fun stuff:
- Change it Up: Variety is the Spice of your Sporty Life
- 27 Nutrition Tips from the Master: Part One
- Favorite Things: 2007 Version
- Ten Rules for Good Nutrition from Berardi