For me, being in the game is what matters most…
Putting this into practise yesterday, I did the BraceBridge Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500 m swim, 40Km bike, 10Km run), with very little training. This event is a provincial champion qualifier – so, it brought out the best athletes in Ontario. It is very likely that I could finish last. To say I was out of my comfort zone is an understatement.
However, I figured that I would feel like more of a loser if I didn’t do the triathlon, than if I came in last. I am thrilled to say I survived and as always am better off having been in the game than worrying about where I placed.
These are the lessons I learned:
- It’s Way More Fun to Be at the Back of the Pack – we have time to chat, get to know each other and encourage us to keep going. The guys up front are breathing to hard to have a conversation.
- No one thinks you are a loser if you are at the back. I got many head nods from the guys at the front of the pack…and when the race was all done, John Salt the race director shook my hand and congratulated me on a fine race. Today, when I was in the Gravenhurst Arena Parking lot, a random stranger came up to me and said “congratulations – great job on the triathlon yesterday”. How great is that…If I had been in the middle of the pack, I might not have been noticed!!
- It doesn’t matter if I train or not, I will always suck at the swim portion. Seriously. I have been in the water 5 times this whole year – and my swim time was just a few minutes slower than when I have swam 2 – 3 times the entire year. Hmmmm…what is this telling me?!?!?!?!
- Always stop to help a cyclist who has mechanical trouble. My friend Janice, who was in the event. got a flat, and for the first time ever, changed her own tire (in 18 sweaty minutes). Not a single person stopped to help her. I have stopped in other triathlons to help cyclists with a flat tire. It’s just what I do and now, for sure, I always will. Yesterday I only saw one guy with a flat, asked if he needed help, but he said he was well on his way fixing it.
- Recognize and celebrate your friends and supporters. Janice, who I have already mentioned, was a huge positive influence on getting me to do the event. Janice did a Swim/Bike – she doesn’t run as she is injured – at first she suggested that I do the run portion and we enter the triathlon as a rely. I thought about it and figured, if I was going to get sweaty running, I may as well do the swim and bike – so, 3 days before the race, I told her that I was thinking of doing the whole thing – despite my slacker training over the summer. She was all over it. So much so, that she slept over at my cottage the night before the event to make sure that I showed up! I also have to acknowledge my guardian angel Nerina – who I first introduced in my blog “Cervello Riders Rock”. Nerina is doing the Ironman in Penticton, BC in less than 3 weeks, and when she found out I was going to do the Bracebridge triathlon, she said she would drive up and come and cheer me on. At 5:45 am yesterday morning, Nerina was texting me to get out of bed, not to change my mind, that I could do it, and she would be there cheering me on! How AMAZING are these women. Thank-you so much!!! You ladies are GREAT!!