You see, I usually show up to races with a mixture of nervousness, excitement, and fear with a healthy dash of self doubt. I typically require a pep talk from a certain Redhead before I feel like I can even toe the start line. I know I trained and typically know I’ll finish (with the exception of that first olympic tri) but I lack a certain degree of confidence and any amount of what I like to call “the eye of the tiger.” The latter being a killer instinct or will to kick ass. In other words, I am that quote. I’m happy to finish and scared to push myself to the next level.
I’ve shied away from the BQ question both internally and externally simply because I don’t want that pressure but honestly, I also don’t want the let down and the sadness if I can’t attain the goal. Obviously to run Boston would be pretty cool and I just assume I’ll get there one day, but it’s another example of me not pushing myself to the greatness because I’m ok with the good.
I certainly don’t want to come across as whining about my abilities because I know I’ve come a long way and I know a lot of folks would be thrilled to just be able to run, so don’t take this as whining or poo-pooing, I just feel that sometimes I give up mentally before I even start physically. In addition, to get better physically at this point is going to take some “eye of the tiger” mentally.
I know I can run a 5K and I know I can run a marathon but sometimes I feel like my mental game hurts me and I’m not aggressive enough and certainly could work on my confidence. This is particularly true right now during tri season. I look at some of my fellow triathletes and once they hit the course they are “on.” It sometimes takes me a bit to get to that point of being a “competitor” in my mind during a race rather than just a “golly, gee, I’m here to take it easy and just finish.” Because quite honestly, I’m not here to take it easy. And I don’t think many of us are. Part of the reason we all do these races is to push ourselves and see just how close we can get to our version of “greatness.”
So what does this all mean? Well it means that I’m going to be watching Rocky a whole lot. Just kidding. It means that I’m going to challenge myself to push back the self doubting thoughts and get tougher mentally so that I can get closer to my version of greatness.
Care to join me?
“What I’ve learned in my years as a competitive wheelchair athlete is this–what separates a winner from the rest of the pack is not raw talent or physical ability; instead, it is the drive and dedication to work hard every single day, and the heart to go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others think it is.” —Linda Mastandrea