Challenge yourself and have fun!

There's a lot to balance in life when you choose to train for a competitive sport as an adult athlete. As kids and young adults, there are still responsibilities in life for student athletes but life certainly becomes a lot more stressful as you grow up. 

But despite all the stressors in life that we face on a daily basis, there's something so special about moving and using your body to relieve some of that stress. Many times the mind becomes relaxed at the start, during or after a training session. Other times, a tense body becomes relaxed at the thought of the upcoming opportunity to workout. 

Regardless if you are training or working out for fitness gains, it is important to have fun with what you are doing.
My advice is to change up the scenery every now and then to keep things fresh. Perhaps go to a new location to train (even if it is driving 10 miles down the road or maybe spending the night somewhere that is 2+ hours away), join others on a new route/activity or discover the new place that everyone is talking about.
In a busy life, it's very easy to get burnt out of something that you know makes you incredibly happy simply because it is just one more thing to add to your busy schedule. But because activity can help you live a more quality filled life, never convince yourself that you are too busy to move your body. Spend a little time every day on yourself and when you have the opportunity, go venture out of your normal routine and have some fun doing something new or different. 

Challenge yourself. Yep, that's what I will be doing with Karel today on our 85-mile ride. My body has not seen this much climbing in a long time (maybe not since 6-gap in 2009) so I plan to thank my body a lot during and after this ride.
We will be riding from our home in downtown Greenville to Ceaser's Head and then doing a loop (which we did on Thursday) by Hotel Domestique and on the roads that George Hincapie loves to train. 
Life is not without challenges and if you are an athlete, training and racing/competition is not easy. Embrace a challenge every now and then and take yourself out of your comfort zone. Of course, always keep safety and your health as the most important priority.
Depending on your race/event course, there may be hills, descends, wind, crowded or bumpy roads and less than ideal conditions. Sometimes you should embrace the things that you can not control and face your fears. Every athlete should accept challenging situations by practicing for those conditions and improving your physical and mental skills. Don't let race or competition day be your first day climbing/descending on your bike, running on hills, swimming in open water, riding in the wind, etc. 
As you enjoy the beautiful sights and experiences and thank your body for what it allows you to do, accept the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable and the unknown and see what you can accomplish with your incredible body and mind.

Happy training!