WednesdayZenDay: An Observation of a Tour de France Champion

I was riveted to the Tour de France TV coverage as usual this year. Yes, I may’ve watched it two or three times a day. It was everything I hoped for – incredible views, amazing race footage, new talent and old favorites. One thing that caused me to have a double take was listening to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin as they discussed how sport psychologist Steve Peters had helped Bradley Wiggins. According to a BBC article, “Steve Peters has been key in getting the Sky riders to conquer their emotional "inner chimp" and stay cool, focusing on the process not the outcome.”

Sounded very much like the advice I’ve been getting over the years from my Zen Coach in meditation. Being present and being mindful comes from being in the now. Of course, with some things it’s easier said than done. But a few minutes of meditation a day does help.

As I was thinking about focusing on the process more in my own training, I realized I’m a real mixed bag. Even in one master’s swim workout I am a mixed bag. Last night, I struggled again with learning flip turns for a good 15 minutes before moving on to the rest of the workout. I know when it comes to this new skill I am way too focused on the outcome of successfully flipping my legs over my body. But then a few minutes later when Coach Hanna gave me sculling drills on my back, I was totally focused on the process. It’s also very much a new skill for me. I enjoyed being in the moment, staring up at the sky as dusk took hold and feeling the sensation of my hands doing small figure eights and the movement of the water.

What about you? Where are you focused on the process? Where do you need to tame you “inner chimp” and not think about the outcome?