His writings are as dear today. We today celebrate his memory by publishing one of his texts. It was the starting point.
I discovered triathlon 22 years ago in my city of birth, Sète, south of France. Since I started triathlon, I have built my experience across the people I have met, races, trips, training camps and of course all those many hours spent swimming, on the roads and the dirt… in these chronicles, Trimes is giving me the opportunity to share these experiences with you.
Enjoy the read, Laurent.”
“have a cult for critical spirit” Louis Pasteur
THE PROCESS OVER THE OUTCOME
In 2006, I was selected for my first elite European champs for the french team. I was young, scored big numbers in the lab tests organized by the federation and my goal was the Olympics; I had the potential for it I was told.
I DNFed that day, I felt horrible from the start and a crash during the bike leg shortened my suffering. I was grateful ( I really was!!).
It was a hard experience and I had the usual » don’t worry it’s just a race » talk afterwards and they were right, it was just a race, sport is not a big deal. True.
In my case it was a failure. Surrounded by the noise I just lost my way and it was hard to face but I was following the wrong track and that was enough.
I was doing it wrong for too long.
How in the world could I say, my « goal is the Olympic race » without even being able to execute on a consistent basis. What was I thinking?
Probably not much, I was happy to follow the program my coach was giving me and it was really good. I was convinced of it therefore I could not explain my poor performances.
Coming back home, I discussed with my coach and I explained my thoughts. It was simple. I wanted to become a better me everyday. I told him, I never wanted to hear again about targeting a result at a race and from now I wanted to be only focussing on consistency, everyday, every race. « The results are just the normal consequences of what I put in on daily basis » I told him. If I invested in the process, the outcome would take care of itself.
For the first time, I decided not to hide behind my sicknesses, my federation, a busy racing schedule or any excuses but to take responsibility for my actions. No complaints, no explanations.
To reach my goals I switched from being focused on the outcomes to the process and this simple thing reshaped my perceptions of everydays ( social life and athlete life combined).
Training with David Hauss in Font Romeu
Level of commitment in line with the goal.
I started it simple because I had no idea about what was next but I knew time would be my best friend.
I had no expectation but believed I had all the physiological requirements to succeed, all I needed was time to figure out the « what and how ». I accepted that nothing would come easy especially when I didn’t know what to look for. I also knew it would not be anymore the pack and mix recipe from my » juniors days ». This time, I needed to look for the ingredients, my ingredients and not only the training week schedule.
( I won’t describe here all the changes that occurred and the great people I met in the next years because I believe they are individual and not relevant to be exposed).
Enjoying the off season
I understood that not being good enough now didn’t mean I was never going to get there; in fact it was the opposite, it was an opportunity I had to take action and shape my own way following my pace, no rush and no need to ever hit the panic button.
Working towards an athletic goal with the squat in NZ
By not being so concentrated on the next result, it suddenly gave room for improvement, satisfaction, I felt more in charge of my project and was enthusiastic on trialling new things and seeing what it produced. I wasn’t disconnecting with the present and « hoping » for a better future. Here and now became the focus. I could experience things, feel them. Racing became a challenge again because each race was an opportunity to give the maximum I had regardless of the circumstances. It finally gave myself the room for the « not yet ». I was free from any expectation, insensible from the regards of others, I was on a long term mission without limitation.
I also found in the process a lot of confidence because I knew it was the right way to develop solid foundations and eventually master my sporting abilities.
The long road ahead helped me to define the standards that all athletes needed to match in order to perform and I appreciated to its true value the performances of my fellow competitors.
Nine years from that day, I can say that « The relentless pursuit of athletic excellence », as Simon Whitfield calls it, is a road with no end.
BE PREPARED TO DELIVER THE BEST YOU HAVE ON THE DAY