Thanks to some friends of ours we were able to take in some short track speed skating (stss). And man was that ever fun! Of course while I'm watching it I'm thinking how does this apply to helping you achieve your optimum health and performance. Here's how.
Stss is on a much smaller surface than long track. And different from long track there are multiple athletes competing at once. In the case of the relay there were 16 athletes flying around plus 3 officials and a few others on the ice at the same time. But here's what you can take from this sport and use it to your benefit.
1. Stss involves skating around a hockey size arena making left hand turns. There are no right hand turns or changes in direction to go clockwise. All of the motion is in the same direction on the same course.
Just as consistency is a huge part of stss so too this plays a huge part in your health and fitness. You will make better gains when you make consistent efforts. You will have a greater likelihood to stick with your program when there is consistency. And you will know you're body better when you have consistency.
2. In order to win in stss you need to have intensity. On such a small track the opportunities to pass on a straight away are virtually non-existent. And with multiple competitors going at the same time there is less room to manoeuvre. Plus add to this the fact that disqualifications are a common occurrence if a safe and fair pass is not made.
In order for us to succeed to there has to be some intensity as well. If we are prepared to walk on the treadmill for an hour and won't entertain the idea of breaking a sweat then we can't really complain about our health. We need to be prepared to push it every now and again to reap the rewards of better health and performance.
3. In stss there are lead changes throughout the race the starter's pistol through to the finish line.
Sometimes in our own efforts we can feel like we are winning and sometimes we can feel like we're always on the losing end. This is normal. Everything doesn't always go our way. Some days will be better than others and getting through them feels like more than we can handle. The key is to persevere and keep working even on the days when victory isn't as obvious.
4. In stss there are a number of falls. But you always see the athlete get up and get back in the race. And if they get lapped by the rest of the field the head official still signals how many laps are left even once the rest of the field has finished the race.
With our efforts, the only time falling off the wagon can really hurt us is when we don't get back right on track asap. We will only pay the price when we dwell on it too long or give up for not being perfect. Everyone is going to fall sometimes. The winner gets up once more than the number of times they fall.
If you're curious what stss looks like check out the following video. It's from a previous Olympics and even if you're not a huge fan you can't help but feel inspired and motivated to win. Thanks TS for sending it along.
All the best,