Innovation is one of the most important elements of life. It means change. It means getting better. It means moving forward and not backwards. It means learning from your mistakes and making a difference in your life. Innovation is all about success.
As a two-time Olympian, I think one of the most important things that I’ve been able to learn from my competition is how to adapt and change to make new ways of succeeding possible. After the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where I won two gold medals, I would have thought I’d have been satisfied with my performance. (Search: Ryan Lochte Fitness Tips) However, I woke up the next day and realized that if I wanted to get better, and I wanted to be the best swimmer in the world, I needed to make changes and find new ways to reinvent myself and my passion and commitment to the sport of swimming for the next four years.
The first thing that I did was make a commitment to myself to eat healthier. No more fast food every day because it was just the easy way out; it was time to learn about nutrition and understand the importance of eating protein and carbs at the right times. But it’s not just nutrition that can make a great athlete, I also needed to become more innovative and try new ways of strengthening my body. (Video: Innovations that Changed How Lochte Swims) That’s when I turned to my trainer Matt and we embarked on a new training program called “Strongman competition workout.” This workout is not only intense and difficult to maintain each week physically, but it also takes extreme mental commitment. This type of training includes flipping 850-pound tires, lifting chains, pulling ropes, and throwing heavy kegs into the air. The importance of this type of training is that it works the core, which is one of the single most important body parts for a swimmer to be successful.
The Strongman competition workout is a very innovative way for a swimmer to gain strength; I hadn’t heard of any other swimmer using it to work out and get stronger in the pool. Thus, I had to trust my trainer and myself to know that this was truly the most innovative and best way for me to become stronger and faster in the water. My trainer and I embarked on a brand-new way of training and thankfully it has worked out for the best.
Related: Workout Routines for the Pool
Innovation is really about trying new things and being a trailblazer in your life, in your sport or whatever it is that you want to do to become successful. You have to innovate. You have to change to get better. I have found that many people are afraid of change; they’re afraid to change their routine because it’s always worked before in the past. They may be afraid to change jobs because they don’t believe in themselves. They may be afraid to change trainers because they’re used to one person. But I have found that in order to succeed you cannot be afraid of change. In order to get better you must innovate.
Make a commitment to yourself today…try something new, make a change for the better, and always realize that deep inside yourself is an innovation waiting to be found!