I’m not sure anyone really cares, but a couple months back I made a big declaration that I was going to give it my all to qualify for Ironman World Championships at KONA. It was a bold decision and rooted in the fact that I needed motivation.
About two weeks after that announcement, I fell off the rails. My training was sporadic, I slinked over to Knoxville for an average (for me) performance in the Challenge Olympic . . . then I got depressed.
Even though I didn’t crush Challenge Knoxville, the effort wore me out. I slept a lot the following week and I still hadn’t signed up for Muncie 70.3 even though I “planned” to do it.
I was “this” close to throwing in the KONA-towel and casually slipped it into a conversation with Rebekah. I thought the words may slide by her.
She has always been supportive, but on this day, she got in my grill.
She agreed that it was my option to give up, but reminded me that I have been crafting my life and lifestyle for this moment. I left my job, built a sustainable business model on my terms, and created flexible training situation.
She got a little firmer.
“You have the time, desire, and most importantly, you have the ability. There are a lot of variables, but not everyone has the opportunity to get to that level. You have the talent to be in that conversation. Do you really want to look back and regret that you never gave it your best shot?”
One of my lifelong quests has been to use the power of fear, but far too often it uses me. The only reason death scares me is because I don’t want to be lying there regretting that I didn’t go after my dreams and goals. Not always obtaining goals, but honestly going after them.
The other night I was talking with my brother about our competitive softball days (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true). We always seemed to do our best in the biggest, most pressure-packed tournaments. As we talked it through we came to the realization that we excelled because once the games started we couldn’t hide. We were forced to use fear’s energy or crumble under it’s negative power.
I have tossed and turned with anxiety before every one of my races, but somehow I’ve woken up in a state of peace every time. It’s like I let go, drilled deep into the moment, and accepted the consequences. I imagine it’s similar to the feeling you get before jumping from an airplane or lying on your death bed.
And I think it’s that feeling we always want our lives. Calm, content, confident. An understanding that everything will be okay and there is no reason to be afraid.
Stephen Pressfield calls it “resistance.” Resistance is simple distractions that are far easier than doing the work it takes to reach your goals.
Since that conversation with Rebekah, I have turned those negative thoughts into motivation with a focus on Muncie 70.3. My coach has me back on a plan that challenges me to be better and I have given the workouts priority. It’s amazing how much things can change with a few weeks of focus.