It’s not the hill that’s the problem…

…it’s your physical and mental training for the hill that’s the problem.

Wintervention 2020 was obviously a little more domestic this year than usual. Our initial plans of London, Sicily, New York and San Francisco obviously needed a COVID adjustment and became Byron Bay and Noosa.

Anyone who has been to Byron Bay probably knows of the Cape Byron lighthouse – the most easterly point in Australia. It’s such a captivating lookout and you’ll often be lucky enough to see whales and dolphins doing their thing. It’s totally worth the view once you get there. Of course getting there is certainly not the easiest exercise. Whether you take the road or the stairs, it can only be described as steep. I’m sure many people include some other colourful language to describe the ascent but let’s just go with “steep” to keep this blog appropriate for all the family.

Many of you reading this know I’m a runner so naturally a large part of my exercise when in Byron is the lighthouse run. Now I like to think I have a reasonable level of fitness when I hit Byron, but every time I do that run on my first day……well……it hurts……a lot. So I could have a very negative mindset towards the hill, or I could just realise it’s not the hill that’s the problem, it’s my training for this hill (or lack thereof in this case) that’s the problem.

So while I was on the hill, it got me thinking about a few key principles about the hill that can be adapted to other areas of work and life.

Mastery is a journey – not a destination

As I continued to do the lighthouse run while I was there, it certainly got easier. I would never describe it as easy but, definitely easier. I found it hard the first time and then the next time I found it less hard, that’s progress. You don’t start the journey being perfect at something and that’s half the fun. In fact, perfection isn’t even the destination. Mastery is an ongoing process.

Manage your mindset – pain is temporary

I managed my mindset so that I knew that the pain was temporary and that I would get better at running the hill. There was no point to beating myself up about my first lacklustre run. Nor was there any point to thinking I would never find it easier. Of course that wasn’t the case. I just had to do the work and the results would follow.

The only true way to train for running the hill is to actually run the hill

I already had a pretty decent level of fitness on hills – but not that hill. The specificity of training principle states that the adaptation of the body is specific to the type of training undertaken. Put simply, if you want to get better at training steep hills, you need to run steep hills. If you want to get better at swimming, you need to swim. This is true for so many things. People often spend so much time preparing to do something such as going for the promotion or starting the business. The truth is, you can only do so much preparation before you actually need to just go for the promotion or start the business or whatever it is that you are keen to do.

So sometimes we all just need to just start and know that we will get better.

If you are keen to start your journey of mindset mastery, please do get in touch.