Social media is fascinating to me; it can be such a wonderful platform for so many things, but can also be a place of "hey - look at me!". As an athlete, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are often filled with reports of how many hours people swam/biked/ran, at what pace/how many watts/wearing a Superman cape, etc. Its so damn hard not to compare yourself to what everyone else is doing, even when you know it's not possible that so many people are training 65 hours a week while juggling 86 children, 3 jobs, and no baby-sitters. Ever.
This journey to Ironman is one that I chose to take for my own reasons. I chose a coach who I fully believe will get me to that starting line healthy, happy, and ready to slay the Ironman dragon. I have put in a ton of work, and the confidence in myself grows each week. There is no room for me to be worrying about what everyone else is doing, how everyone else is training, or at what races other people are peaking.
All of this "noise", ironically, was at the root of my meltdown yesterday. "What if it takes me XX hours to finish this race? What will so and so think of me if it takes me 9 hours to ride my bike 56 miles? Will I be a total loser if I run a XX half marathon? Why am I not faster?" And it left with me with a choice - choose to follow the race plan, trust my coach (and myself!), and execute my own race, or spend the next 4 days (and the entire race) worrying about what "everyone" will think of my if I don't finish in under XX hours. I will never be the fastest athlete out there (spoiler alert: I'm not winning Sunday!), but I train and race with my heart, and this sport is something I absolutely love adore.
I made my choice - I have spent the past 5 months ensuring all of my "life buckets" are equally full. When I'm with Caitlyn, she gets 100%. Family and friends - I make phone calls, and make the time. I'm fortunate that I love my job, and when I'm there, they get 100%. And when I get in that pool, on my bike, or in my running shoes, I give 100%. It's a way that I have chosen to live my life, and I rarely compare my day to day life to anyone else's. In which case, why the hell would I care to compare my training/race times to anyone else?
On Sunday, I am going to follow that race plan as close to the letter as I can. I'm going to smile often, and make it a point to give out as many "thank yous" to the volunteers that I can. I'm going to be thankful that I have the opportunity to race, and be proud of this journey that I have chosen.
While being a bitch to your coach is never a great idea, that moment gave me the huge kick in the pants reminder I needed. It's me versus me, and nobody else.
"Courage starts with showing up, and letting ourselves be seen."