My mother walked into the kitchen wearing this hideous bright lime green shirt. She appeared to be very proud of it, though I wasn't quite sure why. I smiled and nodded my head and went back to writing my story about the Niagara hockey team's placement in the NCAA tournament field.
"Look," she insisted.
The bright shirt was emblazoned with "Team Mo" with the phrase "What time is it?" on the front and "Game Time!" on the back.
Seems my sister-in-law designed the t-shirts for my family to wear as they cheer me on at my first triathlon at Keuka Lake in June.
OK. Reality check. This was tremendous.
First of all, the shirts are supposed to be ugly. She designed them like that on purpose so they'd stand out in the crowd.
Second, the "What time is it? Game Time!" is something my brother and I have done over the phone before my training races. Yes, we have covered way too much college basketball in our day. And yes when people see me yelling "Game Time!" into my cell phone they look both confused and disturbed. Then again, my brother and I are used to getting those looks. When put together we immediately revert back to being 12 and 8.
Which frankly, is a good thing.
It helps keep me loose. It helps me remember to have fun. Occasionally on training runs the thought of "Game Time" will pop into my brain. I smile. It's a touchstone for me, one that helps me relax and focus at the same time.
Keeping the fun in my training has become one of my weekly goals. My coach encourages all her athletes to write weekly summaries. In it, you discuss the week that was (what went well, what didn't) and your goals for the upcoming week.
It has a purpose for my coach who takes the information to help devise the next week's training plan.
For me, I get a chance to reflect on the previous week, to note improvements, where I was too hard on myself or where I was too easy on myself. This week I was extraordinarily pleased with my training. I hit all of my scheduled workouts, managed to fit some extra yoga into my week and generally felt great about my intensity and focus.
Goal setting for the week can be as basic or complicated as you want it to be. Mine always includes hitting my scheduled workouts -- doing what my coach asks of me. This week, I also have a goal to be easy on myself if things get out of sorts as traveling back to Albany for the NCAA hockey regional could pose a few training snafus.
And one of my goals this week was to remember to have fun.
Yes, sometimes I have to remind myself of this. Because fun can come in a lot of different packages that we don't always recognize at first. It can be in verbal banter decipherable to only my brother and myself. It can come in finishing my swim workout feeling like I was gliding through the water. It can come in the random compliments I get from people at the gym.
And sometimes, it can come in the form of a bright green t-shirt.