Do triathlons define you?
It’s funny, when I started running nearly seven years ago, I ran for fun. I didn’t care how fast I was and I certainly didn’t notice that I was in the back of the back. All I thought about was getting to the finish line and accomplishing my goals.
For some reason, when I started to do triathlons, I started to think it was important to me to get faster, get better, get stronger, and potentially podium. I let triathlons define me.
If I did poorly on a training or on a race, I would think poorly of myself. If I aced a training, I would think that I could potentially podium my next race. And, when the next race came and I was in the back of the pack, I became depressed. I would think, “I’m really not good enough to go on with this…” And that, I found would affect everything going on in my life, my business, my family and me.
I let triathlons define who I am.
I know I’m not alone. I see people’s posts on facebook, twitter and instagram, saying the same thing (but not in the same way). They need to prove something to themselves or to others. I guess I was feeling the same way. Triathlons will do that to you.
I need to focus on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come as an athlete. I need to stop telling myself I’m not good enough and comparing myself to other people. I need to just enjoy the journey and not just the destination.
When I was in Atlanta, Billy Mills, Gold Medal Olympic Athlete talked about how he was depressed and how he never felt as if he fit in. That resonated with me as I know it did others. He said, “the journey, not the destination, empowered me as an athlete.”
As 2018 gets underway, I need to remember what he said and just enjoy the journey, because that’s what it’s all about. Going the distance and finishing strong, even if finishing strong means you come in at the middle, the back or you finish last… at least you finished strong!