Saturday, September 22, 2012

Know your why

For the past few years, I've talked to people who were new to triathlon. Immediately, (many....most) of them say that they want to do Ironman.

I would always say to them, "Before taking on that distance, make sure you know why you are doing it. Because it will be called into question during your training."

The most amazing thing happened today.

I figured out my "why". 

It happened in the most unusual way. 

Someone that I look up to, sent me an email asking me several seemingly harmless questions.

In answering her questions, I recognized something in myself. 

I have wanted do Ironman. I've written about it. I've also listed fears that I've had. Deep down inside, I knew everything that I said was a cover for something else.

I never knew "why" I wanted to go back. I just had this feeling that I needed/wanted to go back and do it again.

I don't have any need to prove anything. I don't have any need to hit a certain time. 

Because I didn't really know why the desire was there, I kept putting it off. 

Every time I think I get closer to my "goal", I change it, so I can put it off longer.

"When I hit 6 hours, I'll do ironman"

then there was

"When I hit 5:45, I'll do Ironman."

then finally,

"When I hit 5:30, I'll do Ironman."

All I kept doing was delaying my decision to register. 

So, I'm going through and answering these questions that she laid out, and I realized that the reason I want to do Ironman again is to close the circle.


It just so happens that when I was going through my IM training last time, there was also some really bad stuff that was going on. I realized today that all of that stuff is behind me.  I've "known" it was behind me, but sometimes it takes a long time to recover emotionally from a series of downward spirals. 

Here's the irony. It all started at right around the time of Ironman, but Ironman didn't cause everything to happen. They weren't even related. 

In my mind, it all started with Ironman, so now it can end with Ironman. 

Up until today, all my excuses up until now were just that EXCUSES, like placeholders until I figured it out. Little did I know, all it took was for a friend to ask the right question at the right time. 

I'm not afraid now. I'm ready to do it. I know my why. I won't change my goals anymore. No, I'm not ready right this minute, but I can realistically set goals.....and maybe not drive coach crazy anymore.

When I say I want to have a positive experience, you'll have to trust me that it has nothing to do with the training or the race itself. It has nothing to do with finishing or going sub 15 or 14 or 13. 

It has everything to do with closing the circle.