The Kiwi Mindset And My Morning Workout

No whining–not even the thought of whining. No hesitation. The old Nike slogan–“just do it.”

I was scheduled to do a paddling workout this morning. But, thunder and lightning storms were (and still are) rolling continuously through our area and I thought it safer to avoid being on the water. It would have been very easy to turn off the alarm and roll over–catching some more much needed sleep. Instead, I laced up my running shoes and went for a run in the rain.

In 2001, I had the opportunity to do my first expedition adventure race (Raid the North Extreme–Newfoundland) with a racer from New Zealand (plus a former Navy SEAL and one tough lady). The team’s attitude was solid–do what it takes to keep moving forward no matter what the conditions. That mindset (and the boiled potatoes), kept us moving through the TAs and helped us be the last team to complete one paddle section (while most of the other teams were re-routed or pulled from the water) and put us in a solid eighth place.

My second encounter with a Kiwi teamate was at Primal Quest Lake Tahoe (2003). It was during our emails with Kevin and our conversations during the race that he outlined what he thought was the major difference between Kiwi and American training techniques. The undertone was that Americans had gone soft–that if the weather wasn’t right, the trails were too muddy, the wind blowing too strong, they would cancel a workout. In contrast, he said that most Kiwi adventure racers just shrugged their shoulders (if that) and headed out into the storm–taking what they were given, because, in a race, they would have to keep moving in all conditions.

So, whenever I’m training seriously (and, I think I’m at that point again) and the weather makes me hesitate even slightly, I think about my Kiwi teammates standing on top of some craggy ridge in a torrential downpour with packs full of potatoes and a very big grin on their faces.

~ by kipwkoelsch on July 1, 2009.

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