Times like these

Times like these are scary and uncertain. Times like these tend to erode your confidence.

There are a lot of unknowns.

While a Coronavirus pandemic is not the same as toeing the line at an Ironman* race, it's interesting how closely aligned the uncertainty in both can feel.

Both induce incredible feelings of panic and fear. The uncertainty involved in both situations can be debilhitating.

Athletes can debilitate themselves months before they even begin training. The public (or an individual) can buy all the toilet paper at the grocery store before they even understand what the virus is (side note: I bet with all the panic it's hard for these people to poop, so they probably aren't using any of that TP right now anyway!).

*I'm using Ironman as a catchall for any number of endurance events like ultra marathons, bike races and so on.

Nick's surefire way to deal with the unknowns of Ironman and a global pandemic.

The answer lies in having enough resources and information to be able to navigate ambiguity with a reasonable amount of direction. Resources like friends, family, news outlets, doctors, coaches (me!), and access to history. While many of these resources are falible you can't often be steared wrong by history.

Whether it's your own history or that of people who have come before you. There is much to be gained from understanding what has already come to pass, like other global pandemics (or just general virus information) and other races and athletes.

You see, pandemic or Ironman, there is going to be some pain and suffering. There will be trauma. So the goal becomes positive growth, post trauma. It's not about overcoming, nor winners and losers. It's about positive growth.

In times like these it's best to frame your life for positive growth. What can you do right now amid all the uncertainty, to grow?

The surefire way to deal with the unknowns of Ironman and a global pandemic is to:

  1. Frame the entire situation around aiming for positive growth
  2. Pick anything, literally anything to move toward a goal

Pandemic ideas: washing hands per CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing (or sheltering in place like I am), working from home, wearing gloves, not touching your face, not physically visiting with elderly relatives for a few weeks (if possible), buying a sensible amount of healthy food.... and the list goes on.

Ironman ideas: Go for a walk or a run (EVERYONE walks during an Ironman at some point), take a spin class, go for a swim, lift some weights, walk the stairs, do jumping jacks, hire a coach, eat some veggies, buy a watch, read a book about training... and this list goes on too.

PENGUIN GIF###########

Anything from those two lists can begin movement toward positive growth. You don't need any one particular thing to get started but you do need to do something.

Let's circle back to our resources: friends, family, news outlets, doctors, coaches (me!), and access to history. This short list has a ton of options to help you pick an idea from the lists above. You've got social, professional, and personal accountability, learning and information on your terms, and everything that has come before this moment, to create this moment.

Nothing will be perfect. You can not control the future. You can only manage right now.

Aim for positive growth.

Learn from those around you. Choose one tiny action to create movement.

If you are scared, do something that makes you feel strong (maybe some pushups?)

Feeling uncertain? Do something that brings certainty (you could put on your favorite outfit or do some math equations!)

If you are unsure how to handle the unknowns, know that the good days are good because you know what a bad day feels like. You can't know things without also having the unknown. Do something you know.

Bring certainty to your life by knowing that if you apply yourself in even the smallest way you will see positive growth.

In times like these, today is a good day for positive growth.

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Nick Brodnicki

March 10, 2021