Moments of truth through the race:
- The Swim- If you know me or have read my previous post…. I’ve been slightly afraid of swimming… especially in cold and deep water. My sweet cousin Hannah has been my rock as she has taught me techniques, while encouraging me and motivating me through the training. Over the past 2 months I have gone from terrified to go in the water alone, to going 45 minutes alone in the indoor 25 yard local pool. One thing about this pool is that it is warm, it is indoors, and it has no deep end….. So race time comes, I am in the 1st wave and they blow the whistle. I start going and all of a sudden I freeze. This pool is cold, this pool goes deep, and all my fears and doubts start coming back. My body physically could do 500 yards (with short breaks), but fear took over my mind. I stood up before it got deep and Hannah was on the side of the pool cheering me on. She saw the panic and knew exactly what to do. Her support pushed me. I started going again, but kept hyperventilating (not good for when you are trying to hold your breath). I flipped over on my back and started doing breathing exercises while I swam to calm myself down and then flipped over and took off. I honestly didn’t fully get a hold of my breath until lap 8 (out of 10), but I kept going. I felt that getting through that part of the race was accomplishment enough, but it was time to get my shaky self through the biking portion!
- The bike- I jumped on and started flying. Now was my time to shine. The worst was over and I had kicked fear in the butt! Then the hills started… Friends, I’ve been training in Fargo, North Dakota… there are no hills. When I got to the hills in Enderlin, my thighs started burning like no other. I promised myself not to stop or walk my bike so I slowly got up some of the really steep hills (honestly I probably could of walked faster on some of those). There were a few hills where I was out in the middle of nowhere and every derogatory comment that has ever been told to me started running through my head. Comments of me being incompetent, comments of how I should just give up because I’m not smart enough, strong enough, good enough, etc. Some deep wounds started coming to the surface.. things I didn’t even think were still affecting me. Then a thought came into my head. I am in this race because I have worked so hard to build my body. I am in Fargo because I am finishing my second degree, I am in an internship that is teaching me leadership and showing me that I CAN do hard things. My body and my mind CAN do anything I set out to do. AND I have done all of this even when people closest to me were tearing me down on a daily basis. So those thoughts can shove it, because I am worth it, and I CAN do it. There were a ton of tears in that mental battle up hill #439183 but I pushed through a mental battle that needed to be faced head on.
- The run- Lastly, the run. At this point, my legs were jello…. The new motivation to keep running was to get away from mosquitos….. So I ran, and I made it to the end and I did what every grown adult woman would do at the end of her first triathlon… I facetimed my main supporters- mom & dad.
When they started announcing winners, I was in such a daze of excitement that we did the race, that it didn’t fully process when they called my name as 1st place in the women’s division! Granted- this was a small race and there were not that many women BUT it was definitely icing on the most amazing cake.
So now that I am on cloud 9 from overcoming some major mental and physical battles, its time to set a new goal: Fully overcome this water fear thing and swim 1 mile without breaks.
What is your next battle to overcome?