The Long Game: Sport is Not the Place for Our Instant Gratification Tendencies

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

It’s tempting to think differently, but there never has been and never will be a substitute for hard work, dedication, and consistency in sport.

But can we really blame people for trying? I mean, it’s everywhere we look… We can push a button and receive almost whatever we want within a short period of time. Need groceries? Push the button and you’ve got them, delivered to your door! Need childcare? Download the app and push the button! Need new clothes? Go online and push the button. You get my point.

I’ll be the first to share my personal experiences with this. I came into my sport late and wanted to make up time by working extra hard at it. I learned the hard way that this simply doesn’t work. Muscles take time to develop. The composition of your blood takes time to change. Even your cells need time to morph into more efficient energy-producing structures.

And although we (coaches and the body of sport science) can make some pretty educated guesses, we really don't know, although frustratingly so, how long that time is for each person.

We also never know how each individual athlete will respond to their workouts and training regimen. Sometimes, this involves a bit of experimentation until we learn what works best. Most often, and wisely so, the methodologies used are based in science and what we know to be “tried and true”.

And on that note, it is true that science changes. And this is yet another reason why I’m so excited to be a part of the cutting-edge era of bio-hacking our hormones in women's sport. It was just in 2016 that Dr Stacy Sims released her revolutionary book, ROAR, which, by the way, if you haven’t read, you should! She’s not the first to study hormones and their functions, but is the front-and-center lead researcher in leveraging women’s hormones in fitness and sport.

I wish I could come up with something more clever than "You get out what you put in" when it comes to fitness and training, but honestly, I can't, because there has never been a more true statement than that when it comes to this concept. If your training feels hard to you, then the chances are, you will reap at least some type of gains over time. Substantially, this is where our intrinsic motivations come into play.