Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford
This weekend has stirred an immense amount of self reflection in my heart and sould. It’s forced me to really look at how I act, how I think, how I train. It’s allowed me to see how I react to a fairly personally devastating situation. This meant so much to me, and honestly I’m not quite out of the hole yet. These three seemingly useless articles are both a painful reminder and a stepping stone. They sit on my desk, and likely will for a long time, but they don’t bring as much sadness as they do determination.
On the bike, I was feeling so miserable, and in my misery I kept talking so hatefully to myself. I quit before I even finished, in a sense. I vowed to never do a triathlon again. I cursed what I was doing, I cursed myself for not facing the mental and physical battles more head on during training. I felt as though I had wasted these past 10 months…what was I even doing? Apparently my head was up my arse. Right then and there I felt the dream and desire to do a full ironman slip through my fingers.
These self doubting thoughts are 103% absolutely paralyzing. They creep out when you least expect them to and suddenly you cannot think any other way! How do we get these sickening, demeaning thoughts to go away?
By simply succeeding.
When you fail, you feel as though you are useless, weak…that whatever you do or think you may want to try is now forever out of your reach simply because self doubt has taken over. OH but when you simply succeed…when you banish the voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough, smart enough, fast enough, strong enough, or dedicated enough to succeed, you become invincible. Suddenly the seemingly impossible becomes possible…you, a simple human being, becomes super human in your own unique way. For me, trying new, dificult things is both terrifying and deeply rewarding. Why shouldn’t I strive to be the best I can be? Why should I conform to the ‘norm’ of being average, of being timid. I don’t want to be average…I want to challenge myself in new ways, better ways. I want to learn and grow and succeed MORE than I want to feel safe or comfortable, average or ‘normal.’
Often the best thing that can happen is to fall flat on your face. It is through failure that we truly learn.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I think that what happened this weekend is exactly what I needed the most. It was almost like I was asleep, blindfolded, for the past ten months. I knew I wanted this, but in a way, I wasn’t entirely convinced that I wanted to work as hard as was necessary. My blindfold was ripped off on Sunday, and I had to face the reality of the situation. My eyes are open on what I want, what I’m willing to work for, and what I’m capable of.
I gained a lot of new followers through this ordeal—I welcome you!! Sometimes I am lazy, sometimes I gripe and complain and whine, but I am always passionate. If anything, this only intensified my desires to succeed, to train like an animal, to be the absolute best I can possibly be.
So when just Sunday I felt hopeless and lost about what my athletic future held, today I feel as though my plans are tentatively set in stone. The next year of my life will be nothing short of incredibly busy, likely stressful, but 1070.3% exciting and rewarding. It pains me to feel as though I’ve ‘wasted’ the past 10 months on what I feel was useless training, but I believe it is what I needed the most. I know now what it takes, what it requires to be included in the small population who puts themselves on the line for this type of event. I know what I need to work more on, what I did well on, and what I want to perfect.
In a way I still feel as though my plans are up in the air, but I know what I want to achieve in the next 12 months. I’d like to lost fat, gain muscle and strength starting now and into winter. I’d like to do the turkey trot under 28 minutes on Thanksgiving day. I’d like to keep up with my running and continue to grow in it…tossing a few half marathons in, including the Rock Canyone 1/2 marathon on December 1st. But most of all, I plan on crushing past doubts, overcoming bumps in the road, turn failures into successes…I plan on signing up for the entire Boulder Triathlon Series…3 races, a sprint, an olympic, and my nemesis, the 70.3…I plan on training harder, smarter..getting myself into ugly places during training so I know how to bypass them during the race. I plan on spending more time on the bike, doing things I don’t want to do, but know will make me better. I plan on signing up for open water swim clinics. Everything I was too timid to do the first time around will be crushed the second. Like I said, I wish I would have done it the first time around, but that won’t change the outcome. I can train harder and smarter this time around, and give the 70.3 such a whopping case of whoop ass payback…the second time, if a success, will be a success, will be sweeter anyways.
I’m a student athlete. I’m passionate and strong. I know what I want in life, I don’t mess around, I try to be the best I can be, I strive to walk tall and have confidence. I plan my life around the activities and milestones I want to achieve. My peers, and even those older than me look at me like I’m crazy and odd, like it’s a crime to have such a drive and know what I want at such a young age…they look at me like it should be the other way around..like I should revolve my dreams around my life, and I just look at them and smile.
It’s what I love. It’s who I am…and I never want it any other way.
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