Sunday, November 25, 2012

Think Confident. Be Confident.

*Display of Extreme Vulnerability. Proceed with Caution.*

I have got to stop beating myself up, minimizing my efforts and outcomes, and comparing myself to others or to my perceived view of what I think I should be able to do.

I hate numbers, times, paces, units of measurement, and tests...because in my mind I never make the grade. If I walk when I'm supposed to run... I fail. If I'm slower than I "think" I should be... I fail. If my times don't improve each time I test or train... I fail. I don't feel like I deserve to give myself credit for anything I do as my mind tells me it is always a mediocre performance. I down-play even the rare success I allow myself so I won't appear a braggart or egotistical, because being an imposter is almost as bad as being a failure. I get so confused by the numbers that measure my "worth" that unless I receive external affirmation that I "did well" I immediately tell myself that I failed with whatever I think the goal of my workout was. If I feel I've disappointed others around me by being too slow, having to stop to walk, not keeping up with the group, not getting faster, then I become disappointed with my performance. If I don't please someone and get positive feedback then whatever I've done must not be worth noticing, and if I do get positive feedback I either don't believe it or I minimize it. If I do pay attention long enough to accept the complement and let it "feel" good I shut it down in my mind once I start to experience the sensation of pleasure and external validation.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Different Perspective

This weekend I volunteered as swim support for River Roux, a 70.3 triathlon in New Roades. I have to admit, the irony did not pass me by. To think that I was now an official safety person in open water was kinda hysterical to me...considering my history with open water anxiety and not knowing how to swim.  Things have changed in the past four years. I have to admit I truly enjoyed being on the water in a kayak and watching the swim portion of the race unfold close up. I had a whole new perspective on what I must have, and what I currently must look like swimming. I was able to observe what a strong swimmer looks like, and what a weak swimmer looks like. I saw some people swimming, but literally not moving... or moving backwards due to an inefficient kick. I saw breast-strokers and bobbers. I saw the fast swimmers move effortlessly with a strong stroke and kick. I saw the weaker swimmers fight the water and struggle to progress forward. I watched what happens when you don't sight ~  the waste of valuable time and energy trying to get back on course over and over again.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Turning Blubber to Iron...Step One: Get Fit

I have signed on the dotted line. I am now an official registrant for Ironman Florida 2013! 

I'll admit, I waivered a bit this weekend after watching the efforts of 2700 athletes battle their way to the finish line of this year's event. The final questions of "why do I want to do this?" and "can I really do this?" went through my mind once more as I saw the faces of many athletes as I volunteered in the T2 women's changing tent and later as I cheered along the run course. But in the end, the positives outweighed the negatives, and the smiles in the finish chute washed away the agonized expressions from my memory, and motivated me that yes I can do this and yes I want to do this!. Seeing people's hard training finally come to fruition seemed to lessen the negative observations and make it all seem worthwhile. 

And so it shall be. November 2, 2013 I shall be a different person ~ mentally, physically, and spiritually. And the process starts today.

Rinny and The Coug
Watching the race process from start to finish, observing my friends preparations and performance, and studying how the athletes made their way along the route - how they transitioned - how they dressed - how they raced - were all a huge part of my race weekend. There were a few highlights however that made it extra special. These included meeting Miranda Carfrae (even though I acted like a complete idiot), watching my friends cross the finish line (some for the first time), and my volunteer experience in the changing tent.

I made many mental notes along the way and learned ways to perform faster and more efficiently: