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Flanman

Reaching your Potential

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I was looking for some old tri results for a friend (circa 1998) and started going through a number of results that I have kept. These date back to the early nineties (Kurnell, Sri Chinmoy, Callala, Canberra, Forster, RNP, Vanuatu plus 10km, half marathon/marathon results). I started comparing SBR times - right up to 2019. This got me thinking about great results and reaching your potential. How do you know that you are near/at your potential, no matter what age you are? How do you measure ? Can you ?

I have my own thoughts but would be interested in reading what other people think. I am not wanting to get into a debate, just people thoughts on trying to achieve, near achieving or achieving your potential.

Over to you

FM 

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Something I’ve often thought about myself, but not in a sporting theme, I don’t think I’ve ever reached my potential or gotten near it in my life regarding school, work, relationships and I haven’t figured out how or what I need to do to reach it.

in a sport sense I have not been active long enough to reach potential, but from the results I do have, I can guarantee that I have not gotten near my potential.  Self sabotage is one thing I’d have to conquer to unlock one of the pages to reach potential

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I don't think I ever came close to my potential as a young sportsman.

I haven't done so as an older sports participant either, and I'm a long way off now.

I can still imagine it though.

But, realistically, I'm too much of a drifter type to get close.

I tend to have the dream, but not the believe, achieve :)

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For me it is not about achieving my full potential. It is about about being the best triathlete that I can be given my current work/family/friends situation.

This year I maximised my training opportunities and lost ~5kg. Given my current work circumstances I feel that I reached my potential for Kona. 

If I trained full time I am sure that I could take 3+ hours off my Ironman time. However I have to work, I have a family and friends so I feel that I have achieved my potential with a 14 hour IM.

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Not really sure I ever reached my full potential but as I’m turning 50 in 2020 I am resetting my pb’s over every distance this new year. I’m sure I’ll still be well short of my potential but at least I can break my pattern of disappointing results in comparison to past performances. Maybe as you age you may get closer to your potential just by finishing. Or maybe you’re just an old slow guy trying to stay positive. Who knows? Good food got thought though. 

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For me endurance sport is an escape and freedom.

To reach my full potential it would have had to become the focus, the opposite to the why.

Perhaps also I grew up where you job paid the way, therefore that was a key focus and sport/hobbies were something extra. 
Have I reached my potential probably not, but happy

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"My Potential" is a pretty abstract idea. How do I work it out?

Do I say, "My potential for IM racing was 8:xx"? If that's the case, then I never reached it. On the other hand do I say "My potential for IM racing whilst working 45 - 50 hours a week building a career, studying, plus doing additional part time work, was 9:30"? If that's the case, then I exceeded it.

A lot of people see "potential" as the best you could do if you forgot about everything else. If you are going to be world class, then that's an option for you, but for the other 99.5% of us, is it really worth trying to achieve?

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Racing well,  but having some other achievements along the way (eg this week I picked this up (M. EdSt))

Cert and court.png

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20 hours ago, Flanman said:

I was looking for some old tri results for a friend (circa 1998) and started going through a number of results that I have kept. These date back to the early nineties (Kurnell, Sri Chinmoy, Callala, Canberra, Forster, RNP, Vanuatu plus 10km, half marathon/marathon results). I started comparing SBR times - right up to 2019. This got me thinking about great results and reaching your potential. How do you know that you are near/at your potential, no matter what age you are? How do you measure ? Can you ?

I have my own thoughts but would be interested in reading what other people think. I am not wanting to get into a debate, just people thoughts on trying to achieve, near achieving or achieving your potential.

Over to you

FM 

In mid forties so as long as I can keep doing times within ball park of my late 20's early 30's I'm happy. Could say I did not make the most of things earlier on. 

As I get older I'm less about the time and measure by did I enjoy the process, though I loathe 5 k run times over 20 mins and 10 K times over 40. Anything less than 300 watts FTP is a source of training motivation.

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I realise the OP was referring to sporting potential but as others have pointed out, nothing is achieved in isolation. Life is what happens whilst you are making other plans.

As I am now in my 70's it is interesting to reflect on whether I have achieved my potential in life generally.  Thus far the scoreboard reads:

marriage - tick

career - tick

parenting - tick

academics - tick

sport - tick

weight - tick

cardio vascular health - tick

mental health - tick

other physical health - no tick for you!

overall satisfaction - tick

So 9 out of 10 ain't too bad.

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I've done the same recently, after moving house three times I found a folder of results from mid to late 90's, in the good old days where they'd be printed and posted to you. I was surprised at some of my times from then, when it was more youthful bulk miles rather than smart training. After about 7-8 years of doing very little and now back in the groove, its good to look back at these and see how close I can get to them. Although being 20+ years older, I'm hoping to train smarter than I did back then and hopefully get close. Weight done, same or a bit lighter than back then. I do wonder though, current ParkRun for the 5k is 21:ss and that is on the limit, and I see at Hell of the West in '96 I ran 1:27 for 20k (sub 22:00 for each 5k) after a 35k avg for 80k ride. Also a 1:28 half marathon at Lake Macquarie and now I'm aiming for sub 1:45. Some way to go but its good to have some goals and nice to look back on what you have achieved. Also as others have noted, a lot in the mix outside of sport as well, married, kids, adult education, career etc are all solid achievements in that period as well.

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Along the lines of what Ex said,  I think I hit my potential in 2016 at IM Cairns when I KQed. I don't think I'll ever be that fast again. That makes me sad. It's easy to remember the results but even easier to forget how much time and effort went into training for that race, to get those results. Again if I didn't work and/or have a family I'm sure things would be different.

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1 hour ago, Paul Every said:

I'm just happy these days if I can do Parkrun at a quicker pace than my PB for 100 km. 🐌

Reaching your potential to enjoy sport more..?. :)

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For the first Sunday in ages I didn't train, I had a sleep in, special cuddles with the Mrs, cooked pancakes with the kids, relaxed on the couch for a bit and then enjoyed a non lethargic day with the fam and it was farrrrgin awesome!! 

I don't think I really give a sh!t if I get within 5 hours of my potential. Life is to much fun!!

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