Well, after my whiny post the other day, my friend Carolyn gave me a tip to write down why I’m doing this. Also, today Carolyn sent me a very well timed article by Meredith Kessler. Meredith talks about overcoming that “hump” of motivation. You can read her article here. (Btw, Meredith was totally the Ironman Champion at Ironman New Zealand 2013, nbd.)
And so…I started writing down all the reasons I LOVE doing triathlons. So here is the list I compiled:
- Each day, each work out, each race is a new challenge in itself. Even if it is the same work out that I’ve done before, it is never the same. Each day is unique. There are always different circumstances be it the weather, how much you ate or how much you have prepared. I’m going to feel different on certain days. Sometimes I kill it, sometimes it’s a complete sufferfest. But what you do to get through it and how you persevere is what makes it the challenge.
- Pushing my body to the limit and seeing how far beyond that I can go into what I now call the “pain cave”. Doing these races or work outs is mostly a mental game. You can go as hard as you are willing to push yourself mentally. When I crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Tahoe, it felt like I was floating outside my body. I think I was in so much pain, that as a defense mechanism, I wasn’t completely inside myself. One of the volunteers at the race asked where I was from and I couldn’t answer. That’s how much pain I was in. That’s how deep into myself I had dug in. This has always come natural to me coming from a swimming background. I can be so deep inside myself and just go to that next level of pain or potential. It’s actually sort of scary how much pain I am willing to make myself go through.
- Accomplishing goals I set for myself. Even though other aspects of my life are not really where I want them to be (i.e. having my dream job or Mr. Right), I can always accomplish the physical goals I set for myself. Even though I still don’t know “what I want to be when I grow up”, I know that I can PR on that 5k or take minutes off my bike split of an Olympic Distance Tri. This is the one thing in my life that I know I am excelling at.
- One of the things I love about triathlons is that I am in control of my own destiny! Nobody is going to do the work for me. I am solely responsible for my own results. There is no one to blame but myself. But when I accomplish something I have set my mind to, there is nothing more rewarding.
- Being successful at something I love doing. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never been this good at something in my life before. I made it to the Junior Olympics and Far Westerns in swimming, but that was on the cusp of where I am performing at now in triathlons. Over the past year, I have been consistently placing in the top 5 of most of my races. This is kind of a big deal and sometimes I don’t even realize it. Racing in the National Championships is a qualifier for the OLYMPIC TRIALS. Not that I will probably ever be that fast, but seriously guys. Wtf? And almost qualifying for the Ironman World Championships my first walk in the park. That’s unreal. Even to me.
- Beating boys! (And girls for that matter) But it’s so much sweeter when I pass boys. Sorry guys, there is nothing more exhilarating to me than charging past boys and picking them off one by one. Especially lately in the run. I get passed by soooo many people on the bike that it is completely awesome to reel people in. #yougotchicked
- Not always being the best, always striving to do more, always striving to be better. In no way shape or form am I the best. But I can try to be the best me. There is always room for growth and improvement which is proven to me each and every day. No, I’m not the fastest swimmer in the pool. I’m actually kind of shit on the bike but I’m working on it. My run has been steadily improving and it’s actually my favorite of the three sports right now. However, there’s always room for me to tweak something, work harder or push myself further.
So, there you have it people. I’m slightly obsessed with triathlons and I’m not going to stop doing them anytime in the foreseeable future. Why do you love doing what you do?