Thursday, May 22, 2014

9 days!

Only 9 days left until ToughMan, depending which countdown app you use.  The one on my blog says 8.  Either way there are not enough days.

I'm not ready.  I didn't train enough.

Even if I had trained enough, I still wouldn't be ready.

My new mantra is "Everyone else says I can!  Everyone else says I can!"

I am in a word:  TERRIFIED.

Not of the race itself, daunting as it may be.  I'm terrified of what this race will say about my true self.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Jeff Matlow that appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of USA Triathlon magazine:

"Triathlon isn't easy.  It's not meant to be.  In fact, that's the entire point of it - to challenge you and bring you out of your comfort zone.  When that happens, there will be pain.  But pain isn't the key issue here.  It's about suffering.  You will succeed the moment you realize that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

When there is pain - emotional or physical - and when that pain is all encompassing, these are the moments that our true character is revealed.  And therein lies the truth of triathlon; it peels back the layers of your character and shows you exactly who you are when times get tough.  You see, it's a misconception that triathlon defines you.  It doesn't.  There is no magical multisport elixir that will miraculously transform you from Clark Kent to Superman.  Triathlon doesn't change who you are, it does not make you a better person.  Triathlon simply is a vehicle that reveals your true self."

As my training sessions have gotten longer and longer, and harder and harder, I keep thinking of this passage.  I'm afraid of what the revealing of my true self will look like.  For decades now I have known that I am at times overenthusiastic about things, and have a tendency to over commit.   Not always, but at times I have not been able to live up to my commitments.  Is that who I really am?  If I can't handle the pain and suffering that will come 9 days from now...am I destined to be this person forever?  The one who talks big and makes empty promises?

This is what terrifies me.  What the hell am I doing?

I keep trying to visualize crossing the finish line, but every time I do I get overwhelmed with emotion and end up on the verge of tears.  I want this so much.  I can't even explain to myself why it's so important to me.  But I'm terrified I won't be able to pull it off.

But enough whining.  In 40 minutes I will meet my friend Quyen to do the full bike course.  She is one of many who think I can do this.  Right now I am choosing to trust them.

If you happen to be in Richmond next weekend, I would love it if you came out to watch the athletes.  I would love it if you cheered them on.  I would love it if you would scream at me "YOU GOT THIS!!"  Because I need all the encouragement, prayers and faith I can get right now.

And if you happen to be there at the finish line WHEN I cross it...could you please carry me to my car?

9 days.


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