How far do you look into the future? Are you someone with a clear 5-year-plan, filled with milestones and performance indicators, or is the future an intangible mass of possibility? Do you know exactly where you’re going, proceeding directly, or do you meander your way through, taking each day as it comes?
Dame Katherine Grainger went through 4 Olympic Games cycles to win a gold medal. Having won her first World Championship medal in 1997 and adding a fourth silver to her collection at her fifth Olympics, Dame Katherine had an illustrious international career, spanning 3 decades. In any sport, that kind of record takes not only talent and hard work, but an inordinate amount of patience and resilience.
I know that a career as an international sportsperson is well outside my range of possibility: I’m too old (now) and have never had that kind of patience. Committing to anything that’s more than a few months away is pretty frightening for me, so planning years ahead certainly isn’t on my radar!
Having said that, when it comes to my overall fitness, my two main goals are definitely long-term. I fully intend to live to be 150 years old and, as I do so, I want to be able to tie my own shoelaces for the duration. In reality, it’s the shoelaces bit I’m after most. Life could well throw me some health-related curveballs (so far, I’ve been lucky); when it does, I want to be ready.
By spreading my fitness activities around those that will help keep my heart and lungs healthy and those which will help me keep my mobility, I hope to live as well as I can for as long as I can. If I have a shorter-term goal in mind, I might make my training more specific for that goal, but otherwise, I make sure it’s fun, sustainable and winning at the long game.
How far are you looking into your future?