“This race is one big Rorschach card. No matter what your sense of yourself is, your character flaws, your view of the world, what you think you know about yourself or don’t know about yourself, what you think you are capable of or don’t even know what you’re capable of, this race will show you, will force you to look at it, will take all your insides and put them right out there for you to see.” - Larry
Today I had a day. I had a day that ruins the Ironman party in my head (you know, the one that’s all “finish lines and medals”) simply by slipping in a moment of reality where, in a quiet moment (for me it was in the shower) I suffered a subtle but devastating lapse in self-assurance and overwhelming desire to quit. And today, I want(ed) to quit.
The funny thing is that it had nothing to do with my day’s workout. Matter of fact, the workouts were great. I wanted to quit because I was overtaken with fear. That’s it. Sounds so simple. And when it comes down to it, it is not even the race itself that scares me. Nope, for me it’s the training. I am f-ing terrified of the training. I said it, I own it, and I can see how shameful it can be right there in black-and-white. Quite honestly, I don’t know if I can make it through the winter here in Chicago, with a snowstorm 24 hours away, and four months of long, painful rides and runs that will, undoubtedly obliterate my already tentative self-esteem.
In the front page of my blog, I state that I procrastinate because I am lazy. But the sad truth (ready?) is that I am just afraid. Afraid, really, of everything. I purposely don’t do things because I am afraid the they will hurt, that I will fail, that I won’t win, I will realize I am really not good enough, I will be rejected, I will not be fast enough, insert a million other reasons here. Wanna see how big my fear can get? My first ½ Ironman there was the threat of rain, and I prayed that it would be cancelled due to weather, even as I stood on the shore line water for the starting horn. Prayed. I stood there, surrounded by all these people in wetsuits, all talking and laughing, predicting their times, and I thought, “Maybe I will get kicked in the head and drown, then I won’t have to do the bike.” So to deal, I would rather laugh it off by creating a website about my laziness, then admit that I hide from life because I am just really a coward. Today, however, the fear is so great that I am not laughing.
Larry said tonight that if it really mattered, I would overcome the fear. And the realitiy is, when ANYTHING matters to me, I overcome it. I overcame my fear of failure to complete graduate school, my fear of “not knowing enough” to be a supervisor, my fear of "not being good enough" to tackle 12 years of an eating disorder, my fear of rejection to be in relationships. That's the hard evidence. So boy, does this race matter.
I “tri” to give myself goals, or else I probably wouldn’t get off the couch and my fingers would be stained with Cheeto cheese. I train because it keep me healthy, and after 12 years of said disorder and 10 years of smoking, I am healthier (body and mind) than ever. I train because I can leave “it” all on/in the street, path or pool and not on other people. It matters because I am afraid of life, and I have to keep challenging myself or sometimes, I think I might never leave my bedroom. And sadly, that is not a joke.
So my moment came, sort of passed, and is still kind of lingering and wanting me to acknowledge it, so I am trying to get rid of it by writing about it, putting it out there, in the hopes that it will just leave me alone again to train as needed.