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No Longer Addicted to Data...

 

Bmaddyshallows.pngy Maddy Pesch (From Facebook)

My story of letting go of data in triathlon and my life! Numbers can give information and be a positive motivator, but for me data took over in a negative way.

I started obsessing over data as a swimmer. In college, I had all my swim times memorized. Not only my best times, but nearly every time from every meet. I could even remember most times from practices years into the past. It wasn’t that I was writing these times down or looking up meet results. I just automatically memorized my times because they were so important to me. They were how I measured my success in the sport, but they also became how I measured my worth as an athlete and person. I was terrified each year at my championship meet that I wouldn’t go a best time. I equated it to failure of the year’s work.

I continued to focus on time my first few years in triathlon. When racing, I would check my time immediately after the swim. Fast times energized me, but slow times got me down and worrying I would bike and run slowly. On the run, I would feel fatigued and look at my watch to see my pace slowing. I would tell myself I didn’t have what it takes....

I finally let go of data when my coach, @sirilindley helped me see the mental block numbers impose. Letting go of numbers allows us to go beyond our perceived limits and reach new levels. So I began to train with less data and race without a watch. It resulted in reaching physical levels I never dreamed of but also growing mentally to become a person I didn’t imagined I could be: someone that takes risks, chases their dreams, and lives in the present.

Now, I am a minimalist in training data. I race with a watch sometimes to try new strategies and learn, but I believe I race best without it. I measure my progress holistically by reflecting on the new challenges I overcome to get to each finish line. The faster times and better placings happen consequently.

So remember that numbers (whether it’s tri data, GPA, salary, etc.) don’t define you unless you let them! And try leaving the watch at home next time. I think you will like the result!

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