To Tri or not to Tri

Training Diary 2 Comments

I think I have a case of the post Road Trip blues. My tri training has gone off the rails. And I’m in a bit of a funk.

I’ve read 2 inspiring and empowering books, Triathlon for the Every Woman and A Life Without Limits, and rather than feeling uplifted, like I did when I finished reading them, I feel flat.

I am so full of admiration for Meredith Atwood and Chrissie Wellington. They are brave. They are dedicated. They work hard, consistently. They push themselves. They kick goals.

I want to be like them.

But I’m not.

I’m me.

Under the jolly exterior, there is someone who is flaky. Who sleeps in. Skips workouts. Gets by on a wing and a prayer.

Since getting back from South Australia, I have done NOTHING. (Well, not nothing. I applied for jobs). But NO MOVING.

I know I should. But I haven’t. I have just stuck my head in the sand, my fingers in my ears, and started singing “LALALALA” at the voices trying to gently nudge me out of the door to be active.

And I don’t like that person with her head in the sand.

Which made me ask: ” Do I like me?”

Is the whole question of “do I want to try a tri?” really about something entirely different?

I liked the person I became when I ran a marathon.

I wrote on my year book at the end of uni that I wanted to run a marathon. Then never did. And as every year passed by, it reinforced the nagging doubt that I was too flaky, too soft, too lacking in determination to ever run a marathon.

That was a lot of years of negative self-talk and saying cruel things to myself. And Katie is exactly right when she writes that you believe what you tell yourself.

But with the help of Operation Move, I started telling myself different stories. After years of trying to go it alone and beating myself to a pulp every time I missed a training session, I was part of a group. And saw that lots of people have the same struggles. And a couple of bad/missed sessions doesn’t mean that you have to jack it all in and go back to believing the same old clap-trap of rubbish I kept telling myself.

So I kept trying. I kept pushing forward. And I ran a marathon!

I still beat myself up for anything less than 100% adherence to plan. But I had reached a goal. A goal I’d begun to think I could never attain.

And that allowed other dreams, deeper, darker, scarier dreams to surface.

Maybe I could run Comrades.

And to run Comrades I would have to really stick to the plan. No skiving. No sleeping in past the alarm. No dodging workouts. I could become a different person. A person like Meredith or Chrissie.

And I did run Comrades.

And I did miss workouts. And I did sleep in past my alarm (sometimes). But I did most of the work.

And I ran 87.7km in under 12 hours. I went to South Africa and brought home a Comrades medal.

Comrades medal

I didn’t come home a different person.

I was still me. Just a very good version of me. A version of me that I liked. A lot.

And the last couple of weeks have shown me that I like swimming. I like cycling. I like finishing a run.

And I like the person that emerges at the other side of the workout. The version of me that tries to be better. The me I can be proud of.

So I realised that it isn’t a decision about whether I try triathlon. It’s about whether I want to try to like me.

And that’s a project I want.

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