In the winter time, I do some short track inline speed skating up in Kansas. About 10 times per practice, every practice, I hear shouts of “Champions train like champions!” We laugh now, because we hear it so often it has become somewhat of a joke; but it is a true statement.
The fastest skaters there are the ones who work the hardest. After skating with some of the best in the world, and riding with some of the best in the region, I’ve observed some things from people I consider “champions.” They might not always win races, but they always put in 100%. You can tell that they have a heart of a champion. Feel free to add more in the comments if you are inspired to.
- A champion trains like a champion.
- A champion doesn’t quit the workout before it is over. If they are supposed to skate 4 sets of 500, they skate 4 sets of 500. If they are supposed to cycle 3×20 minute intervals, they don’t quit at 2. If they are scheduled to swim 25 sets of 100 on the 1:50, they don’t stop at 15.
- A champion always has time for a workout. Even if that time is 5:00 am before his family wakes up, on the trainer in a cold garage. Ask Chad Hodges. He’ll tell you what that feels like, because he’s a champion.
- A champion doesn’t make excuses. They try again next time.
- A champion may not have have the best equipment, but they make the most of what they have.
- A champion isn’t afraid to sit out in the wind in a group ride. He/she doesn’t just follow wheels on a training ride. He/she risks getting dropped because they realize if they didn’t get dropped by the end of the ride, they probably could have ridden harder.
- A champion pedals through when it’s his/her turn to pull through, even if it is only for a few seconds. Champions don’t just coast on the front, especially when a breakaway is up the road and they don’t have a teammate up there…and I saw this happen multiple times this past weekend.
- A champion strives to be the best they can be. It isn’t a short term goal.
- A champion finishes the races they start. You don’t see champions on the sidelines unless they were pulled from the course, forced to abandon due to some mechanical, or unable to make further forward movement.
- A champion doesn’t skip a key workout because it is cold outside. He/she puts on an extra layer of clothing or trains indoors.
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