Thursday, August 18, 2016

Because I Can (Do This Triathlon)

On Saturday morning, I will wake up early and head to Presque Isle State Park and compete in the 2016 Presque Isle Triathlon. It's not going to be easy, and I'm going to have to handle anxiety and concern during the open water swim and my bike ride and a sore left hamstring during my run, but I'm going to do this. I'm going to finish this race.

One of the ways I plan to handle these challenges is with a positive inner monologue. I am also planning to think of people I love and people that inspire me.

Positive Inner Monologue

  • Look, you're at the first buoy!
  • (Count your strokes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5….)
  • Now you're past the first buoy!
  • You are so lucky to be able to do this.
  • You are past the second buoy. You can do this.
  • You're done the swim!!! First victory!!

  • Nice and easy, get rolling and clip in.
  • First pedal. You're doing this.
  • Remember how great you felt on that duathlon? This feels good, too!
  • No hills. 
  • You are so lucky to be able to do this.
  • Another mile down. You can do this.
  • You finished the bike ride. You did it. Second victory.

  • Running. You know this. 
  • Nice and flat. 
  • Your legs are strong. 
  • Your heart is strong. 
  • You will finish, because you can. 

People I Love

1. I'll think about my youngest learning to ride his bike this summer and how happy he is flying down the road. He's even trying to ride with one hand. I could use that kind of bravery!

2. I'll think about my middle son learning to put his face in the water this summer and how he loves swimming underwater now. He's even talking about going off the diving board and considering swim team. Absolutely brave.

3. I'll think about my oldest handling everything from trying out for a new soccer team to having teeth pulled. Totally tough.

4. I'll think about my husband doing his first duathlon and pushing himself out of his comfort zone.

People Who Inspire Me

I know I am not an Olympian, don't worry. No delusions. But Olympians inspire me!! I'm going to think about these women while I compete in my own little race.

I want to be like Kristen Armstrong who is about my age, and won that gold medal because she knew she could do it. I will tell myself "I am biking in this race because I can!"

I want to be like Katey Ledecky. She said she had goals in the water, but one of them was to have fun. "It's fun to swim fast," she said. I love having fun.

I want to be like Sarah Robles. She won bronze in weightlifting. Yes, weightlifting is not a part of a triathlon. But she screamed before her lift and in an interview she said she did it to get the bad guys out of her head. She wanted her voice to be the loudest voice in her head. I want that, too!!

I want to be like Desiree Linden. She started the marathon at the London Olympics at 2012, but didn't finish. I know what that's like. (Sort of.) But she finished at Rio, and she finished in the top 10. TOP TEN. That's amazing. She said, "I can be proud of it now...Before, it was something that I didn’t want to talk about. I’ll wear the T-shirt now. When people ask I’ll have a story."

I love stories. I can't wait to tell mine.