Are you asking yourself the best questions?

I love biting off more than I think I can chew.

I love waking up in the morning, deciding it’s time to step up, and then saying YES to whatever the Universe decides to dish up.

I love closing my eyes in denial of my insanity when I hit the enter button.

It keeps me focused.

It keeps me sharp.

It keeps the adrenaline pumping just enough to ensure my feet hit the floor before 5 am every morning.

Which saw me out on The Cookie Monster in the early hours Saturday whilst neighbours were hitting the snooze button.

After a downpour of rain, I knew it was going to be muddy AF.

Okay okay, so maybe I had just a little bit of saliva forming in my mouth at the prospect of getting dirrrrty.

Approaching the single tracks, I found myself excitedly anticipating the post-storm change in landscape.

I didn’t have long to wait.

A mere twenty meters in, I came to a screeching halt as a fallen tree completely cut off the route.

There was no way around.

The height made it impossible to go over.

Which meant I would have to navigate the twisting branches, crawling on my knees, having to pick up TCM at crazy angles to get her to the other side.

Enter, the voice…

‘Hmmmmm,

if this is how the route starts,

it could prove to be a tricky ride.

It will fuck up my average speed.

Grrrrr, frustrating.

It might be impossible further down and then I would have to turn around and do it all again.

I don’t really need to train mud-running today.

I don’t really have to work on the technical travesties of mountain biking.

I can just go onto the stop-banks and hit out some intervals.’

Yes, she is a little bitch, and she can find excuses like a pro!

Then again,

“What would I do if this was race day?”

Dammit!

Scrape knees, knock elbows, kiss mud.

THIS is the power of the questions you ask yourself.

A strategy I learned years ago.

As I look back on my cycling wins, it’s clear that the races which ended on the podium, were the ones in the worst conditions.

Normally storms raged which had most competitors opt to stay in bed.

From those who started, few persevered to the end.

Constantly battling head-winds can feel like soul-draining traversing over a mountain top.

Rain drops turn into a razor-blades creating the sensation that your skin’s being cut from bones, talk about next level mind-fuck.

Small wonder that most eventually sacrifice a possible win for shelter.

Why did I get to the finish lines?

Because the months and weeks and days prior to the race,

when the weather was shit,

I would ask myself

“What would I do if this was race day?”

I understood that for me to race in any condition, I have to be willing to train in any condition.

I have to be prepared to get to the target, regardless of what Mother Nature and life throws my way.

Sometimes stress led to little or no sleep.

I would train.

Sometimes a sick child up all night would leave me feeling like a bleached dishtowel.

I would train.

Sometimes a rescheduled meeting would mean having to show up with no make-up and pony-tail hair.

I would train.

And so instead of asking myself “how can I make this easier?” or “what would be a more convenient time to do this?” or “what is everyone else doing?”

I showed the fuck up.

I did whatever I committed to doing BEFORE I knew what the conditions would be.

To this day, I honour these values.

I walk through mud when I can no longer ride.

I climb through trees when I can’t get around.

I cry unashamedly when it hurts and keep moving forward.

I scream out loud when the storm rages against me, and keep looking to where I desire to go.

Most people will think this is excessive.

I know better.

Because what I learn on the field,

I take into life.

Why don’t I give up when the shit hits the fan, when the economy goes down the toilet, when my website falls over, when the payment system goes down, when I don’t get public applause?

Simple.

I train resilience, purpose, passion, commitment on the trails and bring it into the office.

I know where I’m heading and I will show up every single day REGARDLESS of the circumstances.

Knowing no matter how tough it gets, I’m stronger.

Knowing that although obstacles can be frustrating, I will eventually find the solutions.

Knowing I will continue to break down to my knees, and my Soul will continue to rise.

None of this happens when I ask the ‘easy option’ questions.

When I ask the “hooooooooow” questions.

When I look around at others and draw comparisons, excusing myself because quite frankly, most people are lazy and weak of mind.

Instead, I choose to keep my head in the game and to draw from within.

Today I invite you to start paying attention to your questions.

Not just the ones you say out loud – you know, the ones you’ve thought through and voice thinking they’ll make you sound super intelligent or badass.

I’m talking about the ones that you’re unconsciously asking yourself before deciding on every single action:

What you put into your mouth;

What you put on your action list;

What you put on your body;

What you choose to believe;

Who you choose to talk to.

All of these seemingly inconsequential actions are preceded by a question.

And when your questions smack of little to no effort,

in other words the ones that reveal underneath the big talk you’re actually a lazy sloth,

understand that your results will reflect this.

If on the other hand, your questions are performance driven,

well Honey,

you know you’re going to be purring like a kitten when you go to sleep at night,

exhausted but satisfied.

You might have a few extra scrapes and bruises,

but you ain’t made to be wrapped in cotton wool.

If you’re serious about success, 

paying attention to the mind-details,

is simply

non-negotiable.

Only death is inevitable.

Thriving is the choice of the badass brave asking the questions that lead to peak performance.

With love and appreciation,

Anel