Last week, I rode and ran my triathlon loop to get a base line.
Here’s the scoop:
SWIM – My swim is what it is. 2013, the goal was to just learn how to swim and finish without putting my feet down. In 2015, I finally reached that goal. I swam the entire length without stopping and finished smiling. This year, the goal is to do that again, with more strength. Simple as that. I just swim, and transition smiling.
BIKE – My bike is going to be fast, damn fast. I’m going to push through flats like wind whipping around the corners of my house. I’m going to use the hills to my advantage. I’m going to learn to work the gears and cadence.
RUN – The run has been eating me alive. Although I began my triathlon journey the least worried about my ability to run, it has become the thing that has me jiggling in my seat. Everyone else is so unbelievably fast. They fly…I lope. So I persevere. I run and run and run. I sprint and sprint and run again. My knees ache. My asthma kicks in. I keep running. It’s painful. But my run, like my bike, need to be fast. I’m going to make it fast.
Here’s my beautiful graph that my partner/coach helped me put together. I was very discouraged by my baseline performance until I had the chance to see how much I have improved since 2013. The final point on the graph includes my swim time and transitions from the previous year, assuming they won’t change much. I took off twenty-minutes! Woohoo!
Only twenty more to go and then I have a shot at placing in my age group…
We are daily, hourly, weekly faced with challenges.
Some are inconsequential.
Some are thrown at us.
Some are thrilling.
Some we choose.
I want to know, as soon as I am faced with a challenge, which it’s going to be. But I can’t always figure it out. I can’t always know if I need to push through, or step back. If I should keep forging ahead knowing there will be a payoff in the end, or if I should change directions, take a new path. And if the answer is to pick a new path, I want to know when I should start forging that path. I rarely know.
In fact, maybe I never know.
It is the challenges that we choose that fascinate me. I am faced with challenges that I choose all the time. In the thick of those choices, when things get really hard, I can think to myself “self, just sit down and give up for a while. No one will know but you.” But I don’t. Because what about all the people faced with challenges that they don’t choose? Faced with the world and life being thrust upon them? They can’t sit down and give up. They have to keep going. And if they can keep going in a situation they didn’t choose, I can keep going in a situation I placed myself in.
Let’s be real. Have I faced challenges I didn’t choose? Life altering moments that really really sucked? Moments where I thought life might be better if I wasn’t in it? Absolutely. I hope I never face moments like that again.
But, at this moment in time, I choose my challenges. I take ownership over where I’m taking my life.
Since I have been gifted this privilege, I better tuck my chin in, power up my glutes, and do it with a smile.