Monday, February 1, 2016

2012 Lessons Learned - Let it Go

by Gina Kehr

I have been thinking about the topic of “lessons learned” for quite some time and there are so many lessons to be learned each year. Whether it is personal or about training, there is always some sort of nugget one can take away from his or her experiences throughout a given year. I think there are several types of lessons, both specific to individual circumstances, and macro, which can be applied to many aspects of life.

The other day, I learned a specific lesson. I had to get a 30 minute run in order to stay on par with my cohorts of the 30/30/30 (30 minutes, 30 runs, 30 days) challenge we have going. I also needed to get a very important errand done before my kids got home from school. I learned that one can run to the bookstore, pick up “The Elf on the Shelf” book and run home while holding it like a football (good thing I have been watching a lot of college ball this year). BAMO! Lesson learned: training can be an efficient way to get errands done, especially very important errands.

I can go on regarding all the specific lessons I have learned this year but that could be a long list so I have summarized a few of my favorites below:

  • Plantar fasciitis can be dealt with many ways. There is no one right answer.
  • You can physically train a lot but when it comes to race day, your head will be the one body part that will get you through. Make sure to train it in addition to your body.
  • Recovery is always a good thing.
  • Forcing something leads to a “crack” in something else. An example being: When one forces a workout that is not going well, you are feeling way off for some reason -- typically that athlete ends up injured or sick post the workout.

All of the lessons above are ones that you may have learned on your own at some time. You may have even learned them more than once. But of all my specific lessons I have learned my number one lesson learned is a big picture lesson. I learned it for the first time in 2006 and since that time it is continually taught to me in all aspects of my life -- through training, family and work.

My No. 1 lesson of all time: Let it go

Relax and believe and trust it will all work out. I can’t tell you the number of athletes who get worked up over a bad workout or race. It can linger for weeks where the athlete is literally stuck on that one workout to the point that it affects the ones others that followed. Before I learned “letting it go,” I could go in a tailspin that could affect the rest of my week. Now, when I recognize that I am starting to circle the drain, I throw my hands up, and give a sigh and within a short time frame, things start falling into place.

I am no master at it, but I definitely recognize when it is time to implement the strategy; what may have derailed me for a week in the past is now is just a hump and every time I am amazed at the result. I have brought the “let it go” phrase into my coaching business and continue to teach athletes to lose some control and let their body perform the way it can.

2013 can be your year, just let it happen and let it go.

Gina Kehr has been a professional athlete for 15 years, competing in events ranging from Olympic Trials to Ironman World Championships, where she achieved five Top 10 finishes in her career. She coaches athletes of all levels and all distances. Her experience comes from her journey as a novice age group triathlete who quickly worked her way to an established professional triathlete. Gina also works with the Stanford Tri team, is a coach with Stanford Masters and leads a squad of short and long course athletes. You can read more about Gina at
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