Happiness Leads to Winning. Not the Other Way Around.

When I woke up this morning it was snowing. When I went to bed last night it was snowing. This winter it just keeps snowing! This has led to a lot of skiing. Which has been SO awesome, but also fatiguing. When I woke up this morning I also felt tired. More than usual. I haven’t been super structured with my training since we started skiing and I’ve just been trying to get as much volume in zone 2 as possible to build a really strong Aerobic Base. This has led to several 15 hour weeks in a row. Most of the time has been skiing, with a little bit of running, biking, and strength work mixed in. But after several 15 hour weeks, my body is finally saying, enough! So, now that we’re halfway through the week, I’ve realized my body has been calling a rest week! So I’ll keep it pretty chill the rest of this week and then I should be good to return to high volume again next week.

On Monday I was forced into rest because I left my keys at home and so I couldn’t ski. Because of this I did a long slow run, which felt harder than normal. On Tuesday I didn’t have a ton of time (around 2.5 hours) and so I did a short tour up Rock Canyon. Today John and I both felt tired and so we didn’t go that far. Still decent, (3678 ft, 5.8 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes). Tomorrow I might take the entire day off, but I’ll likely do yoga and then do a short tour on Friday and Saturday, dropping total time to <10 hours which will be good.

What happens with a rest week? Motivation drops dramatically. I felt strangely burnt out today and didn’t feel like doing anything. When this happened it reminded me a of a trainer-road podcast I listened to last year where they talked about this. If you’ve built up fatigue correctly and you’re actually in need of a rest week, it’s normal for you to feel a lot of fatigue and feel burnt out. This is what’s been happening to me. My legs suddenly feel tired, even though they haven’t for the past several weeks when I’ve been doing way more. This is because the fatigue is now coming out, as the recovery and adaptation processes are taking place.

To shift gears a little bit, I want to talk about how I gained motivation and energy when both felt really low on todays tour. Even though there was 9 inches of fresh snow in upper LCC where we were skiing, the stoke was low. It was gloomy, cold, and a lot of the snow had been wind blown and so it wasn’t skiing that great. We’ve had such an incredibly consistent good winter this year, that when it’s not perfect, it’s easy to become disappointed. This is what happened today.

After skiing East bowl, we started skinning over to West bowl because we figured lower angle would ski better because of the wind (which was correct). I went ahead to do an extra lap on West and decided it was time to turn my attitude around so I started thinking of all of the things I was grateful for around me. After thinking of about 10 things I immediately felt my energy and stoke level rise. It was awesome! A grateful heart is a happy heart. And a happy heart goes fast.

I wasn’t trying to go fast today, but I wanted to be stoked on skiing like I normally am! And this switch to grateful thinking helped dramatically. Give it a go the next time you’re doing something you normally love and aren’t feeling as happy as you normally do.

Also practice with everything else in life. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for the past 3 years and it has helped me to be more consistently happy, despite really hard days. This happiness has definitely helped me to be faster.

My opinion is that happiness leads to winning. Not the other way around.

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