Commitment Phobic

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I think I might be a commitment phobic.

Not in terms of my relationship. I’m pretty committed to the Grumpster. And the kids. Possibly less so to the Hubstacle V1.0.  Looking back, there may have been some parallel issues with commitment back there. Oh, but I’m very committed to the dogs. Particularly the cat-dog. You ask the rest of family: they’ll tell you I’m super-commited to Lord Oscarmort.

No, I’m beginning to think I might have a commitment phobia to fitness.

Hamish and Andy were discussing the Australian Olympic team uniform the other day on the radio. They were extremely worried that the white shorts/skirt are at risk because the athletes will have to wait around for up to 5 hours before the opening ceremony, and “everyone knows athletes have to eat every 2 hours. That’s basic athlete knowledge”. So whilst waiting for the ceremony to start, they might spill their burrito sauce on the white. Which would not be a good Olympic look.

And that got me thinking about commitment earlier in the week. I could definitely be committed to being an athlete IF I can get a guarantee that I get to eat every 2 hours AND have the body of an Olympian.

And then there’s the other thing. I’m reading Triathlon for Every Woman by Meredith Atwood, which was very kindly loaned to me by the fabulous Lee, who doesn’t just help you get your life on course through her coaching, but also facilitates your dreams by sharing.

And I have to say, one of my favourite parts of any project is the research. The sitting curled up with some interesting reading matter. I like that a lot. So much simpler than the actual doing. (Meredith makes some great recommendations for further reading, and you can rely on the fact that I’m already on to it).

The only thing, though, is that I’m slightly scared by this book! Apart from Swim Bike Mom being coached by someone she lovingly refers to as Coach Monster, there is a certain fervour about her writing that is unsettling. Triathlon seems to be a very all or nothing sport. No half-arsing around. If you want to be a triathlete, you have to commit. Meredith mentions jovially that triathlon is an “obsession”, and that got me thinking. I’m not much of an obsessive. Well, at least, not for more than a few days. (Or unless it’s Lord Oscarmort).

I realised I am one of life’s enthusiasts.

Amy Cartwright illustration
Amy Cartwright illustration

Always committed until the next pretty butterfly comes along and distracts me…

In fact, I’m a bit worried that my running has become something you might describe as a bit of half-arsing around. I like to conserve my energy. I need to know I can make it through today’s session and have enough left in the tank to get out 2 days later. (This was particularly the case with Comrades training, because that was just exhausting). And I haven’t really got out of that mindset. I don’t want it to hurt. I don’t want to feel the discomfort that is otherwise known as GETTING OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. I have got lazy.

Or at least I had.. Until I found Swim Bike Mom’s blog. (The blog is less scary than the book).

Sidelined due to injury, it was suddenly nice to entertain the potential for different goals. There was a sudden freedom from chains I’d made for myself. And so I ventured to the gym to try (tri!!) swimming and cycling.  Wondering, wondering if I could actually give triathlon a go.

And suddenly, each session was about pushing past previous barriers. They weren’t very big barriers to be honest –  they were simply things like plucking up the courage to actually go into a Spin class with people I don’t know, or get into my swimming costume and be seen in a public venue. And to attempt not to drown for 25m of front crawl, rather than happily swim breaststroke for forever.

And you know what, I realised I was enjoying these sessions where I was no longer in my comfort zone. I found new joy in working in zones beyond Z1 on my Garmin.

Garmin 235All runs had been in the hurt locker zone, because my shin had been getting progressively getting worse. But now that it’s had plenty of rest, and I’ve taken part in a couple of races, I’ve found that for the short spells of running that I’ve done, I’ve been able to push harder. And my running pace is suddenly heaps faster than it has been for about 18 months.

So the question seems to be, do I want to “give triathlon a go”, which is more of a one-off commitment, or as Meredith preaches, do I want to “be a triathlete” and actually commit to the process?

And the honest answer is that I don’t really know.

But I do know that I need to start pushing past some self-imposed limits. I know I need to swim more than 2 lengths of freestyle before I reward myself with a couple of lengths of breaststroke. And I need to get outside and ride an actual moving bike on real roads where there are actual hills. And I need to build back my running fitness. Those things I know for certain.

And I also know that having a goal is a sure-fire way to work on getting out of my comfort zone.

So I’ve signed up for the Brisbane Half Marathon in August.

And whilst I haven’t got to the chapter in the book on enlisting the family, (so might have misconstrued Swim Bike Mom’s intentions), I decided to HELP the Grumpster get the most out of his gym membership by signing us all up for the Brissie to the Bay bike ride in June. Which I may regret as my bike is a crock of S#1T, (and if I go out on the roads, I always take Herbert’s bike that he got for his birthday). Please employment gods smile on me, then I can have some cash to buy a new one, because by “us”, I am including Herbert, which means he’ll want his own bike… 😀

This could be an interesting 10 weeks!!

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