I woke up tired this morning and scrolled through my phone under the covers rather than getting up. I missed my 7 am planned start time for a training session and then needed to help my wife testing some technology before a call. I had an hour and a half ride on the turbo planned, and the daily stand up with my team at 9:30 so the ride move to lunch.

I did not get back to my desk until 14:00 and then spent the next few hours catching up. After work, I had a trip to the supermarket, dinner with my wife, and then a later than planned weight session. I got to my daily blog at 20:30, clean the kitchen and sorted the recycling for bin day tomorrow. I will hopefully be in bed for 22:00 to hit my 7 am training ride in the morning.

While I was putting off the inevitable cold outside of the covers, phrases from sportsbooks I had read teased me. Schedules matter, as soon as one thing is late, the rest of the day is late too. If training starts at 7 am, you are ready at 6:50; you give yourself the leeway to fix it if you have a problem. You treat yourself as a professional in terms of preparation, attitude, and skills. You develop a personal regime and culture of professionalism. I am impressed by professional athletes who reach the top of their sport, but I am more impressed by the ultra-amateurs, like Roger Bannister. They achieve exceptional physical feats but are dedicated to their work in a profession and treat training as a secondary pursuit.

When your main focus is your profession, your training has to fit around your job. Training is put before everything else for professional athletes, but most of us do not have that life, and if we are honest, do not want it. So we wake up a 6:00 to training before work and then again after we finish, and save energy and time for our family and responsibilities. But in that hour or two when we train, we focus on nothing else.

I choose to ride and lift and write. I choose to focus on being great at my job. I choose to spend time with my wife. I choose to have a clean kitchen every night before I go to bed. Training is not a job for me, but it is more than a hobby. There is something deeper to the pain and the effort than getting a 6-pack and staying young for longer. The physical goals I set myself and the training I go through to achieve them become a part of me but when the next day comes around it is my role as a husband and an educator that matter. The pain is just a bonus.

One thought on “Ultra-amateurism

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