About 4-5 years ago, I decided I was going to train and compete in a triathlon.
It seemed logical to me.
I was around 30 years old.
Played and competed in all kinds of sports my entire life.
I had been training clients now for 8 years or so, so I knew the science side to it all.
Hell, I had even bought a new road bike and got comfortable walking around in spandex.
But, what I hadn’t accounted for was my mind. I wasn’t ready. And about 4 or 5 weeks into training… I QUIT.
Blamed in on my achy knees and ankles.
Told myself I would never be “runner,” I was too big. Too muscular, I should just focus on power lifting and “cultivating mass.”
Why? Because I was scared.
Was I scared of failure? Or was I scared of success? I don’t really know… but I was scared so I QUIT.
Maybe I couldn’t finish the race?…
And if I do finish then maybe people will have this whole new level of expectation of me and I’ll never live up to the hype as a “triathlete?”
Maybe people will think I’m fat in my tri-suit…
I told myself every excuse imaginable to not do this race half a decade ago… and unfortunately at the time I was of a weakened mindset and I actually listened to the bullsh*t stories and I QUIT before I ever really began.
Fast forward 5 or so years to this past summer.
As many of you know, since early 2015 I have been a journey of self discovery and expansion.
My goal is to constantly push myself to expand and create the greatest life imaginable for me and my family. In order to do that I have to constantly push myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to grow.
And for me personally, it starts with pushing myself physically first. So the time came for me to set a new physical goal for myself. And thinking back, I realized there was one conquest I never quite finished because I was too scared to go all in. One competition still hanging it’s ugly head over me… My triathlon.
It was clear to me then, as much as it is clear to me now that this was THE GOAL I must complete to continue to move forward.
So, I found a race. I set a date. And I trained for it.
Barring any nicks and bruises, sore muscles and achy joints, learning to swim and run and ride a bike again, I trained my ass off… then it happened…
Doubt once again set in.
Fear showed its ugly head again.
The stories began in my mind again…
“You can’t do this.”… “You’re not ready for this”… “C’mon fat boy, you’re going to make an idiot of yourself”
And even though I knew they were just stories and only I could give them power over me, I found myself actually talking myself out of competing in the race again.
In fact, because the race I was registered for was on my birthday weekend, I even tried to use that as an excuse with Mikah to let me off the hook and just find another race to do later in the fall.
But Mikah stood firm. She said “NO, you’re doing this race… period!”
And thank God she did…
So I did the race.
I swam (way better than I thought I could).
I rode like a bat outta hell up the hills of NW Arkansas.
And I ran… I FINISHED… despite all the negative thoughts… I FINISHED… I AM A TRIATHLETE.
After it was all said and done, there were a few lessons I gathered from my experiences during the race and the events leading up to the race:
- I am a still an Athlete. I can train like an athlete. I can compete like an athlete. I’m not the overgrown, ogre of a trainer I used to be.
- I enjoy competition. I enjoy competition with others and with myself. This fuels me to push harder and train more when my mind says it’s time to quit.
- I am of sound body and mind. There were plenty of opportunities to quit… and I didn’t.
- My supporting cast (Mikah) are key to my success in life. Just like she pushed me to compete, the people you surround yourself with will ultimately determine where you go in life.
- My kids are my WHY… I am always striving to lead and love by example with my kids. They were yelling and hollering “Go Daddy!” the entire race and I was not going to let them (or myself) down this time. I want my kids to realize they can accomplish any goal they set out to do… just like Dad.
What’s your goal?