Taking A Toll...

Recently I have been working with a few athletes/friends that are going through some things that I know are not that uncommon. How do I know this? I know this because I have gone through so many of the same things and seen others go through them too.

Triathlon is a great sport! It is a healthy lifestyle, it is made up of fantastic people and teaches us that we can do so much more than we thought possible. For the most part, I find that the sport is made up of very hard working, nice, goal oriented people. From our first race, we want to improve...go faster, push more watts, do better than we did on our previous time out.

This can be a good thing in that it is what great performances are made of. But there is also a downside. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the sport (actually this is true of many things in life, but I will stay on track here) that we let it become more than just something that we do. It starts to define us...it becomes us. We are happy when we do well, we are down when we don't, life is over when we are injured, we feel bad about ourselfs if we aren't at race weight,we are successful when we PR and we fail when we go slower. We place so many expectations on ourselves in what we think we "should" be doing, that the sport goes from something that enhances our lives, to something that drags us down. We forget why we actually got into the sport and somewhere along the way, we lose the enjoyment of it.

We tend to view the world in a way where we are at the center. Everything revoles around us, when in reality most people are so concerned with what is going on with themselves that they have no idea/or care what is going with you. Not saying that this is the everyone, but it is the majority. All of the expectations that we create regarding how fast we need to go, or thinking we are going to let others down if we don't, are a mirage and created in our own heads.

Triathlon is JUST swimming/cycling/running in the end. At some point, we will have to be OK with letting it go. Whether it be 20 years from now because of life changes, or much sooner because of something else...we need to be OK with it, ready for it or not! It is OK if you never go a second faster, never PR again, or never qualify for that race that you want so badly to do. Remember, no one judges you, or thinks you are any less of a person.

Now the last paragraph might sound drastic to some, but they are valid fears and thoughts for many in our sport (including myself), other sports and demanding careers in general. In the big picture, triathlon (these things) is a big part of our lives, but it is NOT our life. It is not ultimately what makes us happy and is not important when compared to the things that really do matter.

So if you start to feel the pressure....the pressure that you have created yourself and placed on yourself....take a step back. Focus on the things that really matter in life....Family and those who are closest to you... Do your training, work hard, enjoy it....but then leave it at that. Do your best and take what you get. I think that you will find you are not only happier, but will be racing and training much better! Sometimes we have to take a step back, before we can take a step forward.

That is all for now....on the health front, I am healing up ok on this end and will still be racing this coming weekend!

Have a great week everyone!



Matt said…
great post, definately a good read before a race for me! I have found this to be true, I have had to do this with other sports, take a step back and remember why ya love it!!
Unknown said…

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