Behind the Kit p/b Stolen Goat: Tim Panagis – Motivation

Hello Goaters!

It’s been a long time since my last post and for that, you have my apologies. I do have a pretty good excuse though because in late August I got married to the love of my life and then soon thereafter headed off on a 10-day honeymoon to the Azores Islands in Portugal (which were INCREDIBLE).

But enough about that, let’s get back to the topic of this blog post: Motivation. It’s something we all have but in varying degrees and in varying forms. Like a sine wave, it seems to ebb and flow; day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute and second-to-second. With so many outside influences and pressures that we experience throughout the day, it’s hard, really hard to stay motivated. If you read my previous blog post you would know that I’ve had several serious offs while out on my bike but still, I come back fighting hard. So, how do I do it? How do I stay motivated at work, at home and on the bike? A quick disclaimer here: these are just things that I have found that work for me. They might not be the best for you and that’s okay, we’re all different and we’re all dealing with different things right now in our lives…as I always say, you do you. I am in no way pretending to understand the pressures and emotions you are going through, but I hope that on some level you can take the themes for each of my methods and extrapolate beyond cycling to different aspects of your life. As I see it, I am no different than any one of you. I have no athletic pre-dispositions for excelling in any form of sports and I in no way deserve to be a MENSA member. One thing that separates me from a majority of people is I work hard, really hard. So, excusing my verbose introduction, here are the ways I stay motivated:

Find What Works

– John swears by chocolate chip protein bars and Jane doesn’t eat any solids on her ride, only liquid energy. What works for John and Jane might not work for you.  Take some time trying new things and find what works best for you and your body. We’re all different, inside and out.

Break It Into Little Chunks

– When I have long interval or long ride, I play this mental game where I break down the time or miles into smaller chunks and just focus on getting through that.  “Anyone can ride five miles.”  “I can hold this power for another five minutes.”

Focus On What’s Left And Not How Much You Have To Go

– These two things sound nearly identical, but there is a nuance in the mindset that you take for each.  By focusing on what you have left, you acknowledge the fact that you have made it this far and sub-consciously build confidence in yourself to make it to the end. By focusing on how much you have to go, you have placed doubt in yourself to make it to the end and will mentally struggle to get there. I have found that in combination, (2) and (3) are really powerful.

Be Regimented

– I am regimented to the point where I drive my wife insane at times, but, in many aspects, it can be used as a strength.  For example: after every training ride, I drink 8 ounces of coconut water, have a recovery smoothie with plant-based protein, whey protein and blackstrap molasses and then stretch and roll for at least 10 minutes. Try to find areas where you can be regimented, whether it be your diet, your recovery, etc…Taken in conjunction with (1) and you again have a very powerful tool.

Be Okay With Failure

– If there is something that we can all relate to, it’s failure.  It’s a nasty word and it never feels good, but you have to accept that it will happen. Someone much wiser than me said something about learning from your mistakes and it just so happens that they were right. Do your darnedest to learn from and reflect on your failures, accept that they will happen and be okay with it.

Grind It Out

– My cycling coach and I use this phrase all the time. There are some intervals where I don’t meet my power target from second 1, BUT, instead of stopping, I switch the page on my cycling computer and just go. To me, that’s difference, that’s where the good become great, that’s how you improve.  Accept that you will fail, put your head down and grind it out.  Push yourself and you just might be surprised at just how far you can go.

Like I said above, these are the things that work for me. Whether they work for you, I cannot say, but I hope it was an enjoyable read and maybe, just maybe, there was something useful in that text.

Happy adventuring and G.O.A.T’ing!  Talk to you soon!

-Tim Panagis