A few years ago, when I was racing triathlons professionally, my coach and I decided that I needed to swim six days a week at 6 a.m. to reach my goals for the upcoming season. At that point, I was mentally struggling with my love for swimming. It was the middle of winter, and did I mention the 6 a.m. start time?
To say it was a challenge to get to the pool at all was a massive understatement. To put it bluntly, I dreaded that cold morning plunge. And as a result, the only thing consistent about my attendance those first few weeks of December swim training was the inconsistency of it.
Then, I developed a mental routine that began as soon as the alarm went off, got me to the pool on time—and without dreading it—and ultimately shaved several much-needed minutes off my Ironman swim. This routine didn't focus on the importance of each 5,000-yard workout or the swimming improvements I hoped to make during offseason or even my dreams of an Ironman podium.
It focused on just one goal: getting to the sink to brush my teeth.
Yup, lofty. I know.