Week 9 Update
What You Plan For and What You Don't
Four days of everything I planned for and three days of everything I didn’t. I was reminded on the importance of perspective and lessons on progress vs. perfection with an unsuspecting illness de-railing my hopes for Week 9, but not letting it control the narrative. Four days out of 365 is not very many!
Training Week in Review
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Training Week in Review
I’ve spent a great deal of energy on understanding when I’m in a ‘dip’ in my life.
It doesn’t really matter the context. Whether it’s in my personal life, professional career, or in a goal-based quest like Project Par; I’ve learned that it’s vital to hold the perspective of balance.
There can be no ‘good’ times without the ‘bad’.
There can be no ‘achievement’ without ‘failure’.
There can be no ‘light’ without ‘dark’.
It’s the dichotomy of life that we need the negative emotion, experience, THING, in order for us to enjoy the positive one.
If only “1% better each day” actually compounded like they told you it would!
But alas, this isn’t a bank and we’re not dealing in interest.
This is LIFE! Where curveballs and uncontrollable’s make it a life worth living!
On the heels of my trip to Colorado I thought I would just seamlessly integrate back into my routine. After a busy month of traveling in February I was ready to lock back in to my goals. There wasn’t even a second thought in my mind that it would be a smooth transition.
After all, that’s exactly what I had planned for.
What I didn’t plan for, however, was to come down with a viral illness (not COVID, thankfully) that would render my entire body useless for a few days.
Like I said though, I’ve made it a practice to recognize when I’m in these downturns.
It’s disappointing to know that I will have lost some significant strength gains; I have only resistance trained once since I left for Colorado, and my conditioning will surely be hindered by what feels to be a partial-respiratory infection; I also have not been able to practice and days lost can not be gotten back.
But, as I’ve learned to do, the only thing you can do is say, “Oh well.”
Oh well. I got sick. I missed a week of training. I won’t get that week back. It’ll take me at least two weeks to return to where I was pre-travel. Better get to it then.
Note: Will withhold my typical wins/losses commentary on this weeks update. I don’t want to apply a negative connotation (loss) to things that are out of my control (illness). It is what it is and I’ll be doing all I can to move forward from here.
The week started off great. I was putting at home, practicing chipping at home with foam balls, and got to the range once early in the week. Then things went south.
In order of day completed I did the following for physical training:
I usually stack a lot of my physical training and practice time into the weekend so it was really unfortunate to lose that time, but at least I was able to get two sessions in at the beginning of the week.
The three main physiological metrics I track are Heart Rate (HR), Heart Rate Variability via rMSSD (HRV), and Sleep Opportunity (SO).1
Quick legend: Gray bars are daily scores, blue line is trend line, and green range is moving average.
We’ve got quite the story to read in physiological metrics here. I’ve kept the markings from last week to demonstrate how you can learn to read these graphs (with your own measurements of course) like a story to better understand your body.
I had four great days of low RHR and high HRV on my return to Miami. By all accounts everything was in good shape and I was feeling great.
Then I had two days where my RHR was unusually high and HRV unusually low, but I had not done anything that would have elicited such a reaction based on how I know my body to respond. There’s a lot of pollen in Miami right now, and it hasn’t rained in weeks so I thought that my old allergies had returned for a short spell and this was causing my physiology to be under higher stress than it was used to. That was my hypothesis at least.
Two days of that and then on the third day I got the major red flag, a significantly elevated heart rate in the morning. At this point I knew something was up, but wasn’t exactly feeling sick. It’s kind of a strange feeling to think you might be sick but only based on predictive data with no evidence, just assumptions.
I was more tired than usual so I laid down for a little nap around 11:30, and when I woke up at 3p knew there was definitely something wrong. By nightfall I had a fever, body aches, and major fatigue. Dun dun dunnnnn. Yup. I was sick.
The good news is that I was able to get some really good practice in before falling ill.
I’m starting to reach a point in my practice where I’ve logged enough repetitions to be able to start to hone in on what I’m actually trying to practice.
What I mean is you can’t take someone who’s never practiced consistently and give them pro-level adjustments to start to make. They barely know their body-swing connection themselves and if you are able to accomplish change they might not reconcile that change with how they move.
Essentially there are levels to practicing and you can’t skip steps.
It’s one reason I was never concerned about the terrible range sessions that I’ve posted here where I was lucky to make flush ball contact 1 out of 20 times.
But now I’m starting to feel that I’ve got a better feel and understanding of what my body is doing and what I should actually be doing to improve.
For starters, and this comes from the constant reminder from my coach, I’ve got to get my hands vertical in the backswing so I’m not coming around so flat. It’s destroying my ability to shallow the shaft on the downswing and leads me to come into ball contact with an open face.
I’ve got little-to-no trunk separation. My shoulders rotate way too early in the kinematic sequence of the downswing and it doesn’t allow separation of the hip to occur for rotation of the swing. Another reason I end up “chopping” down on the ball otherwise I wouldn’t make contact at all.
External Rotation of my trail shoulder. I don’t got it. And because I don’t got it, I feel like I can’t control the club at the top of my backswing so I grip it as hard as I can to out-muscle it which just feeds into Problem #2 and causes me to start the downswing with my hands/upper body instead of my hips/lower body.
I’m actually really pleased to be at a point in my skill practice that I can start to hone in on specific details that will make a difference in my swing instead of just repetition after repetition after repetition.
I’ve got some more thoughts on skill-acquisition practice but I’ll save those for next week. This one was certainly a doozy!
All in all, I recognize that it is about the journey and not the destination. I recognize that it won’t be up-only all the time, and I understand that there will be things outside of my control that will de-rail my mission for periods of time.
And that’s OK.
I’m comfortable adjusting course to take care of the pressing matters first, such as my health, with no extraneous stress being added from lack of perceived progress in the moment.
I have faith that things will end up exactly as they should be, and now that I’m on the other side and feeling better can start to progressively ramp back into go-mode.
My final words to myself is to let this stretch serve as a reminder that it’s not supposed to be easy and that the adversity overcome only lends itself to stronger achievements.
I’m looking forward to returning to the peak of progress and looking back at moments like these thankful for how far I’ve come!
But after that peak, comes another valley, and so it repeats…