The "Demon of Doubt"......... Do I belong here??
|Descartes The Demon of Doubt|
There have been many times during the course of my training that I wondered what I was doing. I mean I know why I was doing it. For the experience. For the pleasure. For the discipline, For the challange. To test myself and my strength and my fortitude. To do something that less then .05% of the human population has ever even attempted to do. It was the next logical thing to do after my stint of running marathons.
But what was I doing?? Do I belong here?? I'm not built like a typical good triathlete. When I swim, I feel like I am a battleship plowing through and making waves. Certainly not a smooth streamline swimmer piercing through the water. I have a hitch in my kick that creates a ton of drag, I breathe to one side, I can't seem to bend at the elbow and push the water behind me, I constantly need to remind myself to follow through with my stroke, tighten my core and don't allow the legs to drop. Instead of long and lovely, that I hear every day in the pool, I am short and squat. I suffered from panic attacks in the mass start of my first three attempts at an open water swim. I have to say Nokk 3 times so the Demon of Drowning doesn't get me.
Yadda yadda yadda yadda.....Let's not get into the bike or run as I may slit my wrists. Ok a bit over dramatic but you get the picture. I know I have put in the work. I know my spirit and my soul will carry me to the finish line but I still have that little teeny tiny voice back there that compares myself to others and wonders if I am strong enough to finish this race. My coach talks about Goblins and not if they catch you during the race but when. Will my knees hold up? Will I propery take care of my nutrition needs on the course? In my head I say this body was not meant for speed. So, will I make the swim cut off? Will I make the bike cutoff? I went for a very easy run today. I sweat more in those few miles then I have over the last month of so of training. So then I question.... am I ready to perform on this stage? at this level? am I good enough? do I belong here?
I look at the father son duo of the Hoyts. A constant source of inspiration. I think about all those people I've watched after I have crossed the finish line in all my races and how humble I have felt knowing that we all have different stories and it has taken each one of of some sacrifice to get to the starting line. I see people of all shapes and sizes and athletic abilities and ages and it is so aweinspiring to me. I think about the fellow racer from the Steamboat Olympic Tri that was a wheelchair bound. Truly there is no I CAN'T from any of us. We all CAN. We just allow this Demon Descartes to sneak into our lives and take ahold of us. We allow it to plant the seeds of doubt and then we allow those doubts to become reality. It is what we make of it. It is our lives and we can do as we please. But sometimes allowing those doubts to take control is actually the easy way out. Those doubts become the excuses so we don't have to work hard for what we say we want. Do I have doubts?? The answer is most certainly yes. I wrote a letter today to Jonathan, a great guy that help start me on my Iron Man path. The same guy who told me never to wear board shorts to swimming class again as I tell the story in one of my first bogs. Here is a piece of that letter.....
I feel like I am in a good place mentally to be here. I always wonder if I could be in better shape, be faster, be stronger, have better technique and the answer is simply yes to all of them. But I am here today with what I got and I hope to enjoy myself the best that I can. I know it'll be tough and I know I wont be the smiling idiot the entire race. I know I can't look around at the other athletes and compare and contrast me to them. I'm not in the same ballbark as most that I have seen thus far but I am not racing against them but rather racing for myself.
Its an interesting feeling being down here, I want to get it done with right now and right away and I'm also hesitant to step up to the starting line. Two polar opposite thoughts. And in the same breathe I feel so chill and relaxed
The Question.......Do I belong here?
My Answer.........There is no place in the world that I am supposed to be right now but here.