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Race Results and The Higher Purpose.

Saturday was a roller coaster day. A rare day off work was planned but harder to execute than planned with clients racing all over the place. A smartphone makes it hard to avoid contact / finding out results. Truth be told I like that most of the time – because I care about what I do, I care about peoples goals, aspirations and dreams and I work to help them achieve.
As the day went on results filtered in from various locations – a breakthrough performance at youth elite level, a nasty crash for another hard working technically proficient athlete, great racing and experience from the amazing kids that inspire me. A couple of folk struggling with health and specific elements of performance giving results that are hard to deal with. Then suddenly I was in a public place socialising and found myself just about breaking down in tears seeing a result. I had to leave for a minute and compose myself. Why?? Well for a few reasons – because it wasn’t what was expected, because the athlete concerned had worked so hard to achieve a stated aim and the result didn’t meet that and because more than anything I knew how much it means. My conclusion??….
Everyone looks at results – we all pore over online files looking at finish positions, timing splits and doing “what if” calculations. I’m well aware of many athletes online stalking rivals results so they know who is strong at what etc. etc. As a business I often appear to trade off results and people always want to hear the results and who did well. Sport and business thrives off positive role models and high end results. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is a much higher purpose that is often overlooked. People’s training, racing, goals and dreams are personal and A LOT bigger than just numbers on paper or a website. Results are the outcome of processes and to me the processes are what matters. As a coach I’m privileged to be involved in those processes and often know the full story (or much of it) behind the result. My line of work seems to attract pretty special people as the level of drive and commitment I witness daily is phenomenal, the barriers people overcome are incredible and mostly this is always done with humility and modesty. As a result I’m proud of my athletes and service users. Whether you are a novice terrified of swimming open water, a weekend warrior knocking out races every weekend, an international age group medal contender or aspiring elite. I’ve had people encourage me to be less involved and less emotional about this stuff that they term as just work, they say I care too much and it’s to the detriment of my own training and at times health. Maybe they are right but I wouldn’t change it for the world (and probably couldn’t anyway).
So take a step back – forget the internet results sheet, forget Johnny’s bike split , Jo’s swimming or that line of printed numbers. It’s just not that important. Reflect on you – what you do, you’re your circumstances are, where your sport is taking you and what you want to achieve. Be proud of that. I am.