For the last month I have been following my Wisconsin Badgers on their run to the Final Four (and seriously neglecting training and this blog). It’s been electrifying, nerve wracking, and draining. They took me to some very high places, but ultimately I settled into a low after they lost to Duke in the National Championship. The feeling hasn’t consumed me, but it has lingered and once again reminded me that sports can be a bad emotional investment . . . unless you’re investing that time in energy into something you can control.
I got a couple texts this morning. One from a friend that said the winning 10K time was sub-30 minutes in the recent ITU race, another that said a 10-year-old girl swam sub 2 minutes in the 200 freestyle. What the fuck has been going on out there while I’ve been in a hoops-induced-fog?
I’m quite sure these people weren’t spending hours watching basketball and surfing message boards for the latest insight on March Madness. They were getting up early and crushing workouts, even if it was the last thing they wanted to do. They were motivated.
My motivational force has to be something big. Something as big as doing an Ironman was in the first place. Something that consumes my brain, keeps me laser focused, and takes me to places I can’t imagine possible.
I’ve written a lot about “having fun” in training and taking things as they come. Living in the moment, etc. But there comes a time in competitive triathlon when you have to push your own buttons. For me, that is by setting a frightening goal.
This is not about making a statement or some cocky proclamation, it is about finding a way to take myself to the place I want to be. A jolt of a wake-up call for my body, brain, and soul.
But finishing in the top 4 of my age group at Chattanooga isn’t going to happen by writing about it (though it will have an impact). This will not be easy, but I have seen enough “normal” people qualify that I have no doubt I can do the same.
I’ve set lofty goals in the past, but kept them to myself. I have decided to make my goal public as motivation, because frankly, I’m afraid of settling for mediocrity.