I’ve always viewed exercise and sport as a vehicle with various meanings. One is the pure and basic opportunity to challenge oneself, push boundaries and find out what our bodies (and minds) are capable of. Another is that it simply makes you “feel alive”. It’s not always easy to get out the door, but once you do, you find through movement & exertion you begin to think through things in your life if even subconsciously; your perspective changes and once you’re done, you feel a little renewed. As I’ve moved through many years of triathlon and sought to compete at the highest level of the sport, I found myself seeking something else out of my purpose with competing.
“The ‘I’ come from down in the valley…you’re laying claim to that character’s experience. You’re trying to do right by it, as a song writer. You take the risk of singing in that voice. Your job is to faithfully imagine the world, and others lives; in a way that respects them, sort of honors them; and records them in your own way, somewhat faithfully.”
Confidence breeds confidence. It’s long been said, and I firmly believe it to be true. When we witness ourselves master a task, we feel good; our sense of assurance goes up, and often times we want to do it again; do it better. In the sporting realm, I’ve also found that racing elicits incredible fitness; gains that can’t quite be matched by training (that is, if you know how to race “hard”; take risks, go to places unknown and realize your potential). In the span of my triathlon career, I’ve always loved to race. Some of my best years I’ve raced as much as once a month; and often at minimum, once every 6-8 weeks. Of course as we age as athletes, we have to adjust recovery accordingly; and the more we do Ironman racing, the more we must respect not over-racing. I’ve had to step back this season from racing due to the not uncommon issue of niggles. Hence, less racing than I would prefer. I feel fortunate that the latter half of the season, my body is coming around; giving me the chance to toe the line more frequently. I can feel myself racing a little more aggressive each time; remembering how to dig deep, embracing the pain of competing, and appreciating that it doesn’t come easy. But you know what the hardest part has been? Having the deep-seeded, without a doubt belief that I can be as successful as I want to be when I step out there.