Monday, May 7, 2012

Persistence Hunters

I hunt persistence. For breakfast. Every day I get up and execute the routine:

I say thanks. Because sometime over the next 24 hours I will place myself in harms way looking for an accurate accounting of who I have become. This is a proving ground. If there is to be value to my hunt, there must also be danger. Today could be the day that my rifle jams as the rhino charges, turning the hunter into the hunted. I vow readiness. 

I drink water. I eat some fat and carbohydrate, usually peanut butter and honey on whole wheat. I have a cuppa joe. 

In my backpack I stuff a clean cycle jersey, socks and a headband. 

I check e-mails, and surf three news sites for the headlines. 

I head out the door and start the hunt. I hunt persistence and today I will track, relentlessly following my game, until one of two things happen:

I quit.
It quits.

In persistence hunting, when the game quits, you have won the battle. You (and your family and tribe) can eat now. You have gathered nutrition to sustain life. It simply doesn't get any more basic than that. 

The same basic principle applies to the way I look at training and racing. I am the hunter. I hunt consistency, power, speed, endurance and the confidence that provides successful race day strategies. To me, the metaphorical value of a successful training plan lies in the kill. A medal, a PR, qualification or by simply reaching another rung on the fitness ladder, are my big game trophies or the delivery of life sustaining meat to those depending on my successful hunting acumen. 

As discussed this morning, we can practice this. Putting off fatigue. Making it quit first. Hunting persistence. We must first get to that point where it is found. With the paradox being that the better we get at it the harder arriving at that point becomes. So we add the intangibles: Intensity, duration, wind, distance, distraction. We become masters at the art of the chase. We invoke the circumstance that allows rapid acceleration of growth. That that challenges us. That pushes us. We team up with guides, Sherpas and like-minded others seeking similar goals. We fight. We endure. We share. We find things along the way that all seem to fit. We get what we need. We find compassion. We share suffering. We laugh together and together sometimes we cry. We grow. We see the light and move towards it with courage and focus. 

We become persistence hunters. 

It will quit before I do. 

Well, there is the morning. Keep going. Persist. Happy hunting. 

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