Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Augusta 70.3 2011
"How many people in the world, know what it's like to truly achieve their potential in anything? How many people in the world have even tried? Truly dedicated themselves to it -- shed all distractions, moved into a plastic bubble, spent all day thinking about it, answering questions on it, trying to learn about it, baring their whole lives to the world so that there is no question/no doubt about what it takes. We can debate about the GI of wheat germ, on drafting, on whether 85kb of code is showing off, on whether to use 10K or 5K race pace for intervals -- or we can buckle down and train all out, every day.
So, our "potential" is a moving target. What I do is try to train myself to the best of my ability. Then I work on mental skills and race execution so that I am able to race to the maximum potential of my fitness. True satisfaction comes from working towards a goal and then performing to our potential given the circumstances.
In training, build your race mojo.  Don't spend it."

Did you reach your potential last season, will you reach you potential this season?  How will you know if you've ever really reached you potential?  A few months ago an aspiring professional triathlete friend of mine brought up "potential" during our conversation.  I didn't have a whole lot of thoughts on the topic.  He was the first to introduce me to the idea that we may never really reach our potential, because our potential is a moving target.

As I've pondered potential, and of course my potential for this season and the years to come in triathlon, and read more triathlon books than I thought existed, I've realized that as I grow so too does my potential. As I peaked last season and had some of my best races, had I reached my potential?  I don't think so, I think my potential grew - giving me more room to improve and develop as an athlete.  So is there ever a point where your potential becomes stagnant?

Stanislav Krylov at DC Tri 2011
As Coach Gordo said, Our Potential is a Moving Target.  Never settle when you are passionate about something until you are satisfied.  A fellow DC Tri Club member said 'I'm full of potential" - which is a nice compliment, but isn't everyone full of potential?  What matters is our ability to tap into that potential, to push ourselves past the limits we thought existed, our passion for our sport, and our willingness to train when no one else is watching.

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." -T.S. Eliot


  1. Great post Hollie. I know for myself that I never do enough speed/interval work to really see how fast I could be...

    Oh and on a side not you logged so many miles for the USAT challenge!

  2. I think a person's potential can only be limited by their own way of being. Given the proper amount of training and the right attitude, anyone, theoretically, could win a Gold in London. Only one man and one woman will have the resolve and the tenacity and attitude to actually do it.