Thursday, December 31, 2015

You Laughed at Those Waves!


A few months ago I was dealing with some adversity and going through some especially rough times. I guess that’s called life?? When you’re going through something, at times it’s hard to think of anything else. Even if you don’t want it to be on your mind, it can kind of linger there and be hard to shake. Analyzing a situation can help to a point, but at times overanalyzing does nothing but harm.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed one day when I decided to get a ride in to try to clear my head. This is what’s so great about training… having a bad day? Go do something. You’ll feel better, I promise! Having a great day? Think big, set goals, go crush your training session and make it even better. Anyways, I was about halfway through my ride when a metaphor popped in my head. The thought was “You laughed at those waves. Why not laugh at this, too?” This was the clarity and reminder that I was looking for, and has greatly helped since.

For a little background, my first Ironman was the highest DNF % in Ironman history, with almost 1 out of 3 not crossing the finish line (I believe it may still be the highest… I haven’t heard of any higher, but to be fair I’m not 100% sure). In a nutshell, minutes into the swim the calm waters turned into a massive windstorm, causing huge swells. Completely out of the blue, not in the forecast or anything. People were clinging to buoys, several hundred were pulled from the water, and most of the volunteers either capsized or panicked themselves. In many cases athletes were helping to keep the volunteers calm as they clung to a paddleboard or kayak.

I had some moments of panic as well, and wasn’t sure if I could do it, when all of a sudden my fear turned to me literally laughing in the water. Laughing at the waves as they crashed down on me, laughing at the wind and the whole situation. Thanks to this attitude, an interesting thing happened… I calmed down. I was able to swim normally, and even have fun out there, enjoying the craziness of the moment. The mind is a powerful thing.
1:19-1:22 gives the best indication
You often hear people say “if you can do an Ironman you can do anything.” I used to kind of chuckle at that type of language. But I’m learning there’s truth in it. And it’s not just an Ironman, of course. Lots of physical challenges have parallels to real life challenges, giving you confidence that you can draw on. For me, triathlon provides the ability to go tackle other challenges as well.

So remember that. Whether it’s an Ironman or the local pool swim sprint, Triple Threat Triathlon encourages you to get out and do something new in 2016! Your training will not only make you a better athlete, but will make you stronger in every way.

Regardless what personal challenges you may face, you’re more resilient than you think!

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