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What's my potential / how will I know I'm close

Posted By: KP
Date: Wednesday, 4 June 2008, at 1:52 p.m.

In conversation with a client we talked about this question: "What is my potential and how will I know when I'm close?"

I have had some thoughts about that as it relates to me and I'll share a bit of them here. Looking back over the parts of my life where I think I have managed to become 'better than good' it has taken me 7 to 10 years, in some cases much more. As a chiropractor I am still developing a deeper set of tools, experience and knowledge after 25 years of practice. I am a better coach now than I was seven years ago and will be better still in years to come as long as I continue to have the passion to learn. As a parent I was better at ten years than I was at one year and am better at twenty years (as the kids leave to college) than I was at ten years. The same is true in athletics. It should be noted that it's not just the years. It takes years of passion and application. You can be a spouse or parent for 20 years and never develop the deepest of relationships. I think intent to learn and focused steps to make deep desires come true, consistently, over years time, is the key.

How do we know when we are near potential in sport? It's an ambiguous answer, but I think we begin to know as we approach. In the beginning, the old saying applies: the more you know about a subject the more clearly you see how far you have to travel to reach potential.

*Aristotle said, "The things we have to learn before we do them, we learn by doing them."

KP said "Lifeís a bitch that way."

Iíll take a stab at some specifics. In Ironman, when I began to training in way that taught me about myself and my tendencies instead of regularly going out and swinging for the fences, I began to know. When I mastered executing efforts, fueling and hydration at an IM I knew. When I am _very_ fit, I know.

I remember coming out of chiropractic school wondering how I would ever master a practice or specific techniques. I remember being a young man wondering if I could ever be the father I wanted so badly to be for my children. I have forgotten when those concerns began to wane but they did with years of consistent work and experiential learning. I knew. It is the same with athletic potential. You'll know if you ever really apply yourself over time.

coach KP

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