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The Journey of your own success comes from within (Part 2)

Preparing for a Triathlon takes a lot of dedication and commitment. Without the motivation to overcome the daily challenges that lay ahead, succeeding will become almost impossible. All of which my dear Friend and Client Judith Peterhoff managed to overcome during an intense period of training for not only a triathlon but also a self initiated 1000 mile bike ride. I feel extremely lucky and humbled that once again, part of my role as a massage therapist offers the opportunity to support my clients by being part of their personal goals, and I felt that not only she, but I gained a tremendous amount from following her fitness and mental aptitude levels.

Judith has always been a very active person. Alongside her busy work schedule she has always been able to seek joy in some of her beloved hobbies such as Pole, Aerial Hoop and cycling. All of which are fantastic sports and ideal for core strength and flexibility. However, in deciding to do a triathlon she felt she had to give up on a number of her passions and instead focus on running, cycling and swimming. This made for a very interesting fitness journey during which both myself and Judith learnt a lot – so I decided to list the key takeaways that any aspiring athlete can take from the story of Judith – just an ordinary girl living in a triathlete's world….
What do you get out of signing up to these events….

I'm not sure to be honest, I initially did it to lose weight, tone up and I guess now it's kind of still those reasons. I feel like if I don't sign up to anything, I don't have any reason to go to the gym. I know also that I'm happier when I go the gym, when I haven't worked out I get really grumpy and I know that John (her partner) suffers.
  • 1.Positive Mental Attitude
Judith was no stranger to exercise, having started relatively late, she had worked admirably hard to become a keen hoop and pole dancing enthusiast. A true lesson that it really never is too late. However, due to time constraints she decided to cut back on these and focus solely on the holy trinity – cycling, running and swimming. Whilst I commend her commitment, I do worry that completely cutting back on these exercises; which she found so rewarding – negatively impacted upon her positive mental attitude. They may even have contributed to a sudden struggle with running, which she had previously undertaken extremely seriously (she's run a half marathon and has full marathon booked later this year!)
"Running Sucks Balls"

  • 2.The importance of stretching
I noticed that I can't do things that I was able to do before, like inverting on the top bar. My core is definitely not as toned as it was before, my legs look great and my arse…"

Yes, they do.

Having stopped her Ariel hoop and Pole Dancing Judith found that her core strength and muscles were seriously weakened, and I was concerned that this could impact upon her performance.

In fact, it wasn't long before Judith started noticing changes in herself, she wasn't herself. Her mindset was different and her physique took on a different shape. Notably, her flexibility suffered due to the intensity of the training, as she commented "I need to stretch after every run or cycle or I will lose my splits.
As I believe stretching is tremendously important during any physical activity I arranged for us to have a private yoga session with the fantastic Rebecca Bryson who teaches at the Factory London. I noticed that this had a fantastic effect on Judith and her mental state. Even a few days after the session her attitude had changed completely and she had a far more positive outlook and was able to deal far more effectively with "off" days – where you feel as if you could have done better, or trained harder. I felt as if the inspiration that she gained from her hobbies was brought back again.
Her messages, after both yoga and massages were far more positive and forward focused than when she had neither.
  • 3.Be realistic
I always want to follow my client's journey in their entirety, to truly make sure that their massages are effective and targeted. During a number of our conversations Judith would seem disheartened as she hadn't stuck precisely to her planned schedule, and whilst I must admit, I can also be extremely hard on myself, there is no doubt that this darker side of ambition can impact upon that all important positive mental attitude. Judith is a busy working professional with her own jewellery business who was undertaking a tremendous task, and she should have been extremely proud of her commitment and energy despite any minor setbacks.
  • 4.Don't burn out
Overall Judith finished 20 seconds slower than last year. Which was an interesting result considering her running time was 4 minutes slower than last year. I can't help but think maybe if she had spared slightly more energy during the swim and cycle rounds that she may have been able to improve her running time. However, after the Triathlon she mentioned " Legs just didn't want to run". In which case it may not have been a struggle in energy, but rather a struggle in finding her stride!
  • 5.Never stop learning
Marina - "We did a lot of work massage wise leading up to the triathlon…did you find that any of it helped and I'm happy for you not to necessarily say anything positive."

Judith - "None of my usual pain points hurt and I think that is directly linkable to the massages we did, although my knees f***ing hurt during the cycle ride."

I feel incredibly blessed to be able to help my clients accomplish their fitness goals and so after the race Judith and I had an incredibly frank conversation about how she felt I could help her more through massage. Judith felt that the massage helped the 1,000-mile bike ride far more than during the triathlon and that perhaps more treatments, with more direction from myself could have helped iron out those everyday niggles. She also felt that had she maintained her hobbies, she perhaps would have had a more robust positive mental attitude. I hope that this information will enable me to support Judith next year Judith as she plans to do an iron man where we're going to have to do some serious work!

I believe Judith should still be proud of her dedication. She sacrificed the things she loved which took a lot out of her and yet she still managed to follow through. We learnt a lot from each other during this process including what we could do better next time.
My final conclusion is, keep the hobbies that inspire you even during intense training sessions. Don't give up on the things you love because in the end those are the things that will keep you going, keep you motivated and maintain your PMA. (Positive Mental Attitude)


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