7 days before the World Championships

3:45am, the alarm goes off. A message appears on my cell phone screen, “I am the fastest triathlete in the world. I am unbeatable”.

3:49am, it’s been one minute since the start of this cold shower. Four minutes to go.

4:10am, tea, protein shake, two eggs and one almond/avocado sandwich.

4:50am, I leave home. The day I want to ride my bike on the highway and go for a time-trial, I know at what time to do it.

5:33am, I am paying 75 Euros to have my bike transported all the way to Chicago, with lay-overs in Madrid and New-York.

5:49am, the security agent tells the guy in front of me that he needs to take his laptop out of his bag. The guy says, “What??!! Really??!!”

6:37am, “Passengers going to Madrid are required to come to gate 25 for boarding”. I don’t understand people who stand up when they hear this announcement and rush to the gate only to line up. Maybe they don’t understand this guy still sleeping near the gate who suddenly wakes up at 6:45 while everybody’s waiting in the bus for him 😉

8:27am, I am in the plane and I suddenly woke up. I just dreamt I was in my garden with a saw and that I was supposed to perform a thoracic surgery on myself!

10:22am, in Madrid, drinking a hot chocolate with a cinnamon and a raspberry buns. I started a new diet this week. It’s strict 6 days out of 7 and then freestyle on Saturday (today). I feel like I already lost 2 pounds of fat and gained 4 pounds of muscles. Goodbye veganism.

11:29am, “Passengers going to New-York are required to come to gate 74 for boarding”. I don’t understand peoplewho stand up when they hear this announcement and rush to the gate only to line up 😉

11:51am, here is one guy who understood everything. He just stood up and at 11:53, he’s on the plane.

2:30pm, I just made it to NYC and obviously the only question you wanna ask me is, “What movies have you watched in the plane?” Answer: The Hobbit, Get hard and Inside out.

3pm, I thank God I have a connecting flight. Someone took me to the customs and I just skipped a 800m line.

3:50pm, I don’t thank God I have a bike because I’ve been waiting for it and the 800m of passengers all went by me.

5pm, taking off from New-York.

7pm, landing in Chicago.

8pm, charming the luggage assistant because my suitcase and my bike are still in NYC. You know how I function. There must be a great reason why this is happening. In my opinion, it’s because tomorrow, to rest is what I need the most. If I had had my luggage and my bike, I would have gone for a 2h bike + 30’ run brick session.

I have been training hard and translating like a m**o for weeks now. I feel like I am on walking the edge of cliff. I sleep 5h a night and take micro naps throughout the day. If I sleep this way, I survive and can do what I need to do. If I sleep one minute less, I fall from the cliff, break myself, don’t train well or translate like a zombie. So yes, tomorrow I’ll rest and take a few steps away from the edge of the cliff.

9:30pm, I get to the apartment, located near Hyde Park. This is where I’ll stay during this week.

10:30pm, I finish my nutritional freestyle day with a pizza while watching Rocky 4. When I turn the TV on, Apollo Creed, who wants to fight again says to Rocky, “Man, you and me, we got this killer instinct inside of us, it ain’t no switch we can turn on and turn off. It’s there”.

I am telling you this because I have had a problem this summer. Something weird happened to me and I told everybody around me about it. It took me weeks before being able to properly articulate it, “Ever since the European Championships, I lost something. It’s as if I am missing blood. As if I lost my rage. As if I lost my killer instinct”

Is there one activity in your life where you feel this? Personally, I’ve always felt that there was a devil, a genius, a killer inside of me when I compete and when I do sports. It’s great to work-out and to have an athletic goal but it’s only when I compete that my inner-killer can express himself. And God knows how much he needs to express himself. I’ve never heard anyone talk about his or her own killer instinct. I’ve never heard Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant describe their own killer instinct. Maybe that’s just a journalist’s expression…So I will try. I can’t be sure you’re gonna like it but one thing’s for sure…my killer needs to express himself.

My killer instinct makes me feel something very precise.

I get into a very deep state of concentration. No, not the same as when I meditate but rather as if I had a red laser coming out of my eyes to target something. Yeah, just like a sniper on top of a building. I am only thinking about one thing but furthermore I think about it with a very high level of concentration. My focus is ultimate. I cannot hear anything around me. Nothing can distract me. Not any noise (people talking), not any pictures (athletes or pretty girls walking by). My breathing becomes slower and deeper. I can only hear and feel one kind of information: the sound of my breathing, the way my fingers move, my tongue against my teeth, the oscillations of my neck. All of a sudden, everything happens very slowly.

The killer instinct therefore seems to be the ultimate level of concentration. Many sports psychologists say that being in the zone is firstly being highly focused on what’s happening right now. It seems to be the same thing.

The question I have now is, can I turn my killer instinct on and use it while I do any other thing?

I realize that my killer instinct is also at full power when I participate to a public speaking contest. It’s exactly the same level and kind of concentration. But once again, it seems to be related to competition.

But could use my killer instinct while I am translating a document? Or while stretching? Or while writing this blog? While I do the dishes? During each training session? Could I use this super concentration power in all aspects of my life?

I’d love to because when I am in this state, I feel like I am doing the one thing I was born to do. There is a very high level of connection associated with this. I feel like my body has been designed for this moment. Furthermore, when I am in that ultimate state of focus, I don’t give a d*** anymore about what you might think about me, if you look at me or not, if you’re gonna come to me or not…and suddenly, all the stress inside of me flies away. I am locked in the moment. I am in a bubble. There’s nothing else around.

11:59pm, jet lag is catching up on me. Even my killer needs to sleep. Good night. World Championship in 7 days.

 

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