I fall into the trap that everyone else does with pinterest and social media in our faces all the times! I feel compelled to do all that I can every moment that I am not dragging my kids to and fro their next activity. I have said no to travel sports for my kids because I just feel like they do not need to have that much pressure on them at the age of eight yet I continue to apply pressure to myself in other areas of my own life.
I competed in my first sprint triathlon this past weekend in over 6 years. In the training for my half Iron distance this October my schedule has a sprint and an Olympic distance to get me prepped and ready for the half. It was a small race locally here in the DC area but still fun and nerves were to be had come race morning. The alarm went off at 3:50 am...my training partner and I wanted to be there by 5:30 to get ourselves set up and give ourselves some time to relax before the fun began. It was a chilly morning and the thoughts of getting wet and then riding on a bike was not ideal but there was no other way around it.
I love going to these events, whether it's someones first or 50th race you see all walks of life here. There are many people with Ironman tattoos and swag and then you have a mom with her two kiddos wearing more spandex than she probably is comfortable ever wearing..and now she is out in public doing so. Every person has a story to tell as to what made them sign up for this race and what their goals behind this. This sprint tri could be the end of their story or just the beginning. I love the support this community shares with all the participants and the love and passion they show for the sport of triathlon. I was on a bike rack with two women that have been friends for some time and have been riding together for over 15 years. They were both in there 50s...one placed third overall and the other placed in her age group. The woman who placed third overall was ahead of me on the bike...she ate hills for breakfast...I passed her on the run and just lost out to her by under a minute, 4 seconds to be exact...every second counts in these events! She was beyond impressive.
|South Riding Tri 2008...Hagerstown Tri 2015|
So yes...I placed first in my age group and was the fifth woman to finish overall. I am very pleased with how I did and it feels good to know that all the hard work I am putting towards this goal in October is in fact coming together. I know as the races get more difficult and more seasoned participants are there with me, the likelihood of any top prizes are few and far between. As my coach (and hubby) and I were driving home he asked how I felt about the day. I replied with that I felt the day went well and was happy with how things shook out. I then started the knit picking that I always do about everything and said I wish I just pushed a little harder on the bike on some of those hills to gain back some time. I wish in the pool swim I went under the lane line as I swam down the lane to the next lane to save some time. I wasn't sure I did a hard enough sprint at the end of the run. All the little things I remembered from the day were right there with me to see and stand out like stain on a white shirt.
With that hubby says to me...so you got first in your age group, fifth female overall, ran the fastest you have run ever and it was okay?!?!? You are seriously sick Julie!
Why do we continue to put this pressure on ourselves!! I tried to explain to him that my personality is just overly competitive with myself. That is always how it will be. I want to always do my best in these types of situations and when it's all said and done I can find the holes where improvement needs to be applied.
So I need to relax. I sometimes worry that if I relax too much I'll lose my edge and start slowing down. I know my dedication to things in life and in my heart of hearts know that really won't ever happen. Every success should be celebrated...every personal victory acknowledged! Making the choice to start a process to uncover a new you alone is a success. That first step is the hardest one! So don't beat yourself up when you step on the scale and it only moved .5 or even stayed the same. You have to trust in the process and start to teach yourself that sometimes that alone is enough! You are enough and you are doing the best you can do each and every day. You are a work in process. Loving your kids each and every day is enough. Saying yes to carrying your four year old down the stairs in a huge bear hug is enough because pretty soon she won't fit or ask to do that anymore. The little things are enough.
So let's stop the beat ups, the comparisons, the pressure and let's start celebrating, encouraging, accepting and motivating. We all have an end date some where down the road...life is way to short...and as wonderful as it is to push yourself to new limits you sometimes have to realize that it's okay if you just miss that goal. You did an amazing thing just trying and being present in the moment. You challenged yourself...you made that choice...you were ready. You gave it all you had at that moment.
I write this not to try to impress anyone with my pace at which I ran or the miles per hour that I biked...but rather to show you that if your heart is in the right place and your mind wants to follow...you can do whatever you want to do...and that is enough.
Embrace the suck...choose you!