PART 3 : “ The wake up call “
Exactly 4 weeks into my journey it was time to take stock.
I was advised by numerous, very close and very credible friends that it would be in my best interest to sign up for a “Sprint triathlon” before the big dance so that I could feel things out and get a little taste of the tri life, so to speak.
Originally, these suggestions were met with typical cockiness and confidence by me. “I have a lifetime of fitness behind me, this stuff is my jam, I don’t need no practice run”, I thought to myself.
Thankfully, my ego subsided for a split second, the laptop was fired up and I signed up for the Shoalwater Classic Olympic Distance triathlon.
Ahead of me lay a 1500m ocean swim, 40km road ride and a 10km run. To the naked eye, not so daunting. I had been training hard and putting in work, well, that’s what I had led myself to believe anyway.
Race Day! I woke up excited, still confident and the fire in the belly had me good to go.
Everything was sweet until we offloaded our gear from the car and walked up to the registry. I was surrounded by people, everyday average people, mums, dads, elderly and from all walks of life. I was in disbelief. How could this be? Wasn’t I unique? Isn’t this the survival of the fittest? Isn’t this stuff for the hardest of the hardcore? I thought to myself.
I had a moment of realization and wasn’t proud of it. I realized that the past 4 weeks of training my internal dialogue revolved around blowing my own trumpet, telling myself I was doing it harder than everyone else, that I was special and that only the most mentally and physically tough could survive what I was endeavoring to do. Essentially, putting myself on a pedestal. I was a hero in my own head, and it was destined to hold me back. My “why’’ for doing this had lost its way completely and my actions and motives were no longer aligned with my original and truest values. I needed a slap in the face… and boy did I get it, I hadn’t even stepped foot in the water yet either.
The race itself crushed me but it made me so much better in so many ways.
Out of 131 competitors I was 111th out of the water. In the process though, I overcame one of my greatest fears by getting in the open water. I felt totally exposed and vulnerable in the process, however, when I emerged from the water onto the sand, I couldn’t help but give myself a massive fist pump… my day was already made overcoming this obstacle.
The ride I was able to make up some ground finishing 83rd / 131 though my back was locked up from the outset… another underestimation that taught me a lesson.
Finally, the run leg, the discipline I was looking forward to the most and scared me the least, until I got off the bike. Never in my life have I been crushed by running like this, this was a whole new world of fitness.
I managed to get it together for a respectable 61st / 131 in the run leg which I was happy with.
By the end, I was completely and utterly Fkd! How could I underestimate something so much…?
The answer to this is easy, I lost touch with my mission!
The race reinforced to me something deep down I already new. When you do something, you not only need to define why you are doing it from the outset, you also need to sustain that same “why” throughout despite the many distractions and resistance that will come – mainly from yourself. Don’t do it for the validation of others, don’t do it for the praise or the recognition and don’t feel like you are entitled due to circumstance. When remaining authentic and aligned with your mission, the process becomes constant, enjoyable and most importantly, achievable, for YOU.
I can say with 100 percent truth that my motivation and drive is well and truly realigned with my mission once more , the “chip” is off the shoulder and I am enjoying every element of this process, no matter how much temporary discomfort it provides or how inconvenient the daily challenge may initially seem.
I am of the mindset now that I am blessed to be able to take on this personal challenge and appreciate every minute of effort that I am able to put into training. I have a wife , a 3.5 year old and 4 month old twins at home. My goal is definitely not convenient for them but there is no questions asked, just love and support, this has been vital, I am truly lucky and grateful.
At the end of the day now, their simply is no bad days in this process for me, only opportunity , growth and appreciation.
8 weeks down – 4 to go – She’s starting to feel pretty real now thats for sure.
Next up, we talk about “The Grind” if there is such a thing….. And the accumulation of “reps”. Plenty of nuggets in this one …