I signed up for IM Choo 23 and decided I would TRAIN for it... and then all my excuses started popping up...I'm SO BUSY. I'm SCARED of a brain disease relapse (this doesn't feel like an excuse, this feels VERY real), I'm SORE, I need to focus on teaching and coaching and race directing...the list goes on...
I basically stopped training the week before Thanksgiving....Okay, if I'm being really honest, I wasn't really training before then either. I was doing good to get 2 swims in a week, no running and the only biking has been when I teach Spin. But I did start going to Hotworx...and I LOVE it. REALLY LOVE IT!
But Hotworx doesn't really get me to the start line of IMChoo ready and prepared.
Then after the marathon was over (the one Dwayne and I direct) I got sick for a week. And then there was Christmas and New Years....
I kept telling myself I have plenty of time to get started. The race is in September. But I KNOW I NEED to at least be swimming. But swimming is SO FREAKING HARD.
Then Blair told me about an Iron Tribe Prime program for triathletes he wanted to test out with me as one of his guinea pigs. The idea terrified me but I agreed, with the plan to start the first week in January.
In case you missed it...that was this week. (Insert picture of me at Iron Tribe on Tuesday)
Yes, I did start the program. Yes, it is "hard"...but somehow also (ridiculously) simple sounding on paper.
I "know" in my coach brain that swimming is the perfect adjunct to strength training, but my athlete brain said "NO WAY" this week.
And then I got a message from Coach Tom. I knew it was coming I just didn't know when. It's like when you are watching a scary movie and you KNOW the monster is going to jump out any second...but it doesn't so you exhale and relax...and then BAM there it is!
He called me out.
He did it gently. And he was right to do it...but I won't lie...I called him some names in the last 24 hours. (Insert the pictures of me telling Dwayne that thanks to stupid Tom I'm going to swim today)
But I also got my butt to the pool this morning for an unplanned swim that I needed. (Insert photo of me telling Tom I hate him)
We are going out of town next week....so I got on GoogleMaps and MIRACULOUSLY found a YMCA with like the most amazing pool of any YMCA EVER just FIVE MINUTES from our hotel.
That sucks. It means there's no excuse for me to not swim this week.
This morning was funny...I did NOT want to get in the water. I did NOT want to swim. But when I started my music, song number one was "I'm Ready". I had to laugh. Then about the time I started thinking "I'm going to die right here in the pool"..."I Will Survive" came on. Then about the time I started thinking "This whole thing is dumb. I'm old and I've already done two full IMs...why do I care about doing another one?" the song that will forever be my IMLT13 song, "Anything Can Happen" came on. That song was playing the first moment I stepped into Lake Tahoe's Ironman village. I found myself in awe of how far I had come to get there. There's a part of the song that says "I'll give you everything you need but I don't think I need you"...that part always makes me think of my excuses and inner critic. I give them fuel. I give them life. I give them space in my head....but I do NOT NEED THEM. They are like cement blocks on my feet pulling me into the depths of agony and doubt. The end of the song has this part that says "I know it's going to be" several times then "OVER...but I don't think I need you". When I hear this song during a training session I always imagine the finish line. The training and the race will be over...it will come to an end one way or another.... and I think to myself "I don't need that critical voice, or the excuses I make, to get there".
But they just keep coming.
My why: I am strong. I "believe" there's a strong athlete inside of me. I believe she has always been there. But she was never given space when I was a kid. She was squashed under doubt and fear, and some circumstances out of my control that I won't go into here. I hit young adulthood believing I was simply incapable. But God kept telling me I am strong because He made me strong. Strong-minded, strong-willed AND strong in body. But to live out that strength really does take work. It takes commitment. It takes consistency and effort.
I'm telling you--whoever may read this--I am committing to training this year. I'm committing to putting in the honest work. I'm committed to listening to my body with a very honest ear.
I can't promise that fears won't win the battle every now and then. I can't promise that the critical voice will be squashed (it sure as heck wasn't today after my swim today....Dwayne had to hear the self-hatred spewing out of my mouth like old faithful, and he did his very best to cap the geyser). But I can promise that I will face these challenges head-on and I will keep moving forward.
That is Ironman mentality.
But, there is a BIG difference between "finishing" and "competing" an Ironman.
I intend to compete. Against myself. Against my excuses. Against my self-critic (the hag in my head that lives like a non-rent-paying squatting bed of roaches!). I will run the race so as to win the prize.
Because God made gives me strength. Every. Single. Day.
I hope anyone who reads this will be willing to keep me accountable. Feel free to ask me how training is going. Feel free to ask me if I'm honestly listening to my body or if I'm listening to the excuses or the self-critic.
It's going to be an interesting year.