The Trait of Peak Performers

Peak performance is not a day job where you punch the clock and are ‘on’ only while training.

In a word, the pursuit of peak performance is obsession.

Peak performance is an obsession, to which 24/7 is devoted by those pursuing their potential. Its not just the decisions made and actions taken while training, its every decision and every action 24/7 that matters.

Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon)

Chrissie Wellington (triathlon)

Being an Ironman is a 24/7 job,” Wellington says. “It’s not just training, which I do up to six hours a day; it’s eating right, it’s recovery, it’s massage, it’s injury prevention and it’s sleep. That doesn’t leave room for the other things I enjoy.   The Guardian 2011-Jan-02

Michael Phelps (swimming)

Leading up to the Athens Olympics, Bob Bowman set an expectation on Michael… 5 years straight, no days off, everything comes second to swimming. When Bowman said everything, he meant everything… birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, you name it, it was second to swimming.

Lornah Kipligat (athletics)

Sometimes its not the training that is all consuming, its everything that goes into ensuring that the training of one day doesn’t compromise training of the following day.  To allow the body and brain to integrate all the training, to fully recover so that training tomorrow starts with a fresh awake ready and hungry body and brain requires FULL recovery. Lornah Kipligat was known to sleep 16hrs during peaks in her training.

Adharanand Finn (author of “Running with Kenyans”)

When they [Kenyans] run, they run.  When they are not running, they are not doing anything. They rest. No, they don’t go out with friends.  No they don’t go out to the mall (the fact that there is no mall in Iten Kenya likely helps).  No they don’t go eat out with family. They rest.

Roger Federer and Andy Murray (tennis)

After getting in training sessions, both on the court and off the court, eating and travel time, there isn’t alot of time left when you sleep 12hrs, but if thats what it takes to be seeded #1, then thats what those who seek top seed will commit.

Loads of people work hard, but never end up at or with their goals.  The difference is not working hard, its being obsessed with your goal, your dreams, your vision translating into every moment of every day; where your goals are the deciding factor in what you do and how you do it.

Deciding to meet up with friends? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

Deciding to stay out late at a party? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

Deciding whether to have a drink? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

Deciding how much to sleep? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

Deciding how much to nap? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

Deciding what to read, to watch on TV? How will it impact my progress to my goal?

You want to experience your peak potential, but are unwilling to make the decisions making your goals, dreams, and visions priority, so much of a priority that everyone and everything that isn’t leading to progress comes second… then stop fooling yourself, stop pretending.  You ain’t gonna experience anything but frustration and disappointment, because your one foot in one foot out hokey-pokey dance ain’t gonna cut it. Stop beating yourself up, if you aren’t gonna give your goals 100% of you, then how can you honestly ever expect 100% in return?

Your potential deserves all of your attention, your focus, your energy, all of you.

You want to fist pump like Phelps, you want to have your own trademark move like Usain Bolt, you want to run screamin’ across a soccer pitch like Christine Sinclar while your teammates chase you so they can pile onto you in celebration, then you need to commit, wholeheartedly, without limits, conditions or constraints.

When you do commit, and when you do achieve your goals, you will not ask yourself if it was worth it. Because that would simply be a ridiculous question.