Tyger Lyons talks mindfulness and marathons

At Cocobella we believe that small mindful choices everyday can lead to big changes in your life. In the pursuit of a more mindful life we chatted to one of our fave ambassadors Tyger Lyons about his epic efforts in France at the World Triathlon Championships – the mindset that got him there and the insights he brought back.

Cocobella: Let’s cut to the chase: was there any point in the race that you thought, this sucks maybe I should just stop?

Tyger: You betcha…I think everyone gets to that point in a triathlon. Whether they want to admit it or not, thereʼs a constant internal dialogue.

To be fair though, the course was a force to be reckoned with – it was the definition of mountainous as far as triathletes are concerned haha. The ride actually went up the infamous Col de Vence which itself is about 1000m above sea level! The views were incredible, but Iʼm not going to lie it knocked my socks off a bit, especially when I got onto the run…

“I remember only being 5 or 6km in and thinking it felt like Iʼd been breathing through a straw and my legs were pieces of overcooked spaghetti haha.”

Iʼd done my fair share of preparation so I naively thought Iʼd have a better race than I did. And despite what I told anyone, I did let myself get a bit too focused on the results and times I wanted. Once I realised that this course and event was a whole different kettle of fish to anything else Iʼd ever done (which was at about that 5 or 6 km mark of the run) I took a deep breath and took in the scale of what I was doing. And what it had taken in the past 18 months to get me to this point in the race.

In a weird way the day took on a bit of a different purpose for me from then on, and regardless of the pain I was in I was able to genuinely just enjoy the event for what it was!

Thousands of people lining the Promenade des Anglais, which stretched pretty much the length of the run course definitely helped. That was quite a unique experience.

Cocobella: We’ve heard these things are as much a mind game as anything. Can you give us an insight into how you keep your mind strong generally?

Tyger: You heard correct alright haha. Itʼs definitely physically demanding too, but silencing the mind is the answer to strength I reckon. Itʼs a pretty powerful place, if you can find it. And being conscious of when the mind wanders is the best way to bring it back.

For me, Iʼve come a long way. Transitioning from the travel vlogging days to more of a focus on the health and lifestyle space has been a tough 12-18 months mentally. Itʼs really shown me whatʼs important and what it feels like to be on the right leg of my journey, regardless of how far off I may seem to my destination in most peopleʼs eyes. This is generally where the mind games set in – Iʼve learnt that the hard way thatʼs for sure!

Weʼre living in an age where the short term or overnight success is what is assumed to be the goal and subconsciously engrained in all of us. But what Iʼve got a whole new appreciation for (with the help of triathlon) is that the overnight success mindset isnʼt the productive mindset at all.

A life in pursuit of fulfilling your potential and achieving something truly special is not an overnight success story, so embracing and enjoying the journey is the ultimate place to work from. This is the thought that generally brings me back to peace of mind.

In my preparation for the 70.3 Triathlon World Championships I was constantly searching for that sweet spot, so I guess thatʼs what kept me present and strong mentally on race day but more importantly in day to day too.

Cocobella: What got you up and out the door to training every day?

For a long time I was obsessed with progression: everyday had to be better than the day before…Harder, stronger, more…But to be honest I think that was a pretty naive approach to progression and in turn to the day to day.

Obviously succeeding in a goal is what we are all driven by, whatever that may be, but what is too easily brushed over is the journey to get there.

“It sounds exciting to talk about where we want to be, what we want to achieve etc. But the fact of the matter is its a longggg road to the shop for a sausage roll haha.”

Today might just be a show up day, tomorrow might be the same, but before you know it thereʼs been a few days stacked together and the foundations have been laid, which ultimately is the forward step. Iʼm not saying that a turn up is the best result, but Iʼve found for me that once I show up and get started, Iʼm away and all in for whatever is in store. I guess my note here is, that it was the “show up” at all costs mentality that got me to the start line everyday, and in the long run thatʼs what counted.

Cocobella: In your day to day life what does being active mean to you?

Moving my body. For a while I was obsessive with quantity – what did I do, how many kilometres, hours etc. But I definitely found that to be a more unhealthy place to be than just waking up with the intention of moving my body and getting the heart rate up. Some days that means a long run, or a ride. Other days itʼs simply a stroll down to the beach for a jump in the ocean and a coffee. Itʼs definitely a tough topic as there will be a lot of people that would disagree with that, all you have to do is jump on social media and see some of the workouts people seem to be doing and itʼs easy to feel a bit guilty for an easier day. But if we look at the long term to define an active life, I think a jump in the ocean or a surf instead of a high intensity 45 minute work out or long run on some days, or even most days is the unfolding of an active life, but more importantly a happy one.

Cocobella: Have you tried the new Cocobella Active pouch? What are your thoughts?

I sure have and Iʼm a big fan. I love the convenience of it. Itʼs the perfect snack for a bit of fuel on the road. I was all about the vanilla flavoured coyo, but Iʼve gotta say in the active range Iʼm all about the fruity flavours…Lucky there arenʼt any questions about balance, because now is not a good time for me in that respect haha.

Cocobella: What would you say to someone who has lost their mojo a bit around living an active lifestyle that wants to get back to their best?

For me Iʼve found that thinking of the end result just brings anxiety, itʼs too easy to be unsatisfied with where youʼre at in terms of where you want to be.

Bring it back to that “turn up at all costs mindset”, then turning up is a win and makes it easier to get going again. A couple of turn ups in a row will bring about a bit of rhythm and routine and thatʼs where the key to my mojo has always been. Having a little something to look forward to about the turn up is a good idea too – for me thatʼs been making it social by meeting a friend for the activity or having a coffee, smoothie or muffin after. It might not be a sustainable option long term to rely on those strategies, because ultimately the only person that can find the mojo is yourself and your actions, but it sure helps when youʼre struggling to get into gear.

Cocobella: What things keep you happy everyday?

I think about this a lot…When I think about what I want in life, I think in terms of what it feels like and happiness pretty much sums up the emotion of it. Iʼve got big goals and dreams for sure, but from what Iʼve read achieving those things is more of a superficial satisfaction, still worth striving for, but not too reliable when it comes to beingʼ a happy chappy everyday. Iʼd agree with that, as so far in life Iʼve found so much of that happiness stuff in the little things that kinda feel like little pieces of a puzzle that make up an ideal day.

A cool concept I heard once that I really like is this idea of a 10/10 day. The idea is to write down a few things that you refer to as 10ʼs – things that no matter what happens in your day, if you did any or all of these things they take your day to a 10/10. For me a few of them are a having a hit of tennis, a dip in the ocean, cooking up a storm in the kitchen or sharing a cawfee with a friend…

“All things that I genuinely just love about life so much, they donʼt necessarily serve a purpose in terms of leading me towards my dreams and goals but they certainly work wanders when it comes to finding happiness everyday.”

Cocobella: Thanks Tyger. We’re heading off to plan some 10/10 days now. 

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