When I started this little adventure a year ago I was bogged down with limits… limits controlled every aspect of my life, especially my fitness habits. I grew fat and lazy because I saw no other way to live. I wanted my TV and junk food and I thought this was happiness. Occasionally I would go to the gym and lift some weights, loose a few pounds to eventually revert back to a life on the couch. I placed limits on what I could do physically: running not going to happen, people of my size do not run; triathlons are the most crazy and stupid thing one could do, not only do you have to run but swim and bike, I would never be able to do that; and on and on.. limit after limit I added more.
A year ago I believed I could never run a 5k now I have ran at least four. A year ago I believed triathlons were for other more fit and naturally abled individuals, now I have completed my first and I am on track to complete four more. Besides potentially expanding my longevity on this rock we call Earth, the last year of fitness and triathlons has given me more than just life and fitness it has given me the gift to live life without limits and artificial restrictions.
I reflect on this now as the other day I was discussing training and triathlons with some of my coworkers. I was surprised at how many of them thought the act of completing a triathlon was some mythical feat, carried on by ultra-fit gods. I realized later that my triathlon blindness condition has hid from me the difficulty involved in training and preparing for a triathlon. Just a year ago I shared the same view as my colleagues have now. Back then I had limits on what I could and could not do. Back then I thought it would take a miracle for me to complete a 5k running race. Back then I had defined limits.
Triathlon has broken my traditional view of limits. Now I see things as possible with enough training and preparation. Ironman or half iron – not this year or next but if I train enough I can get to a point where I could enter and finish one. Its this mind set that is truly required for any individual getting into triathlons. How else does a person justify multiple hour workouts around work and home life schedules as being sane.
For me I think it has been a very gradual process. When I started I thought a 5k was impossible. But I figured maybe I could finish one and started training. As I trained more I started to have more confidence in finishing. With triathlons I had huge mental limits I placed on the event and my initial attitude often reflected the words ‘if I finish’ or ‘I will be happy to finish’. As I trained and got into better shape mentally and physically this attitude changed. The limits eroded and by the time I did my first triathlon, I knew I would finish.
To me this is the greatest gift all this training has given me… the ability to live without limits, in a world where anything is possible if you are willing to train, sweat and work to get there. Until I started this journey I did not understand what it was like to want something so bad that the limits were meaningless excuses or barriers put in my way to hold me back,blocking my path. I accept that there are things I am not able to do beyond factors in my control, but I honestly know now which ones are real and which ones are my very own fabrications. For now I believe I can achieve and do amazing things, that I can perform with grace and skill in running, biking and triathlons. It might not be the most athletic effort, but its my effort without a limit to hold me back. Til next time.
- Assessing My Last Triathlon and Looking to the Next (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Where To From Here (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- Allatoona Triathlon Week 1 Review (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)
- ‘Other’ Changes (chatterdoesfitness.wordpress.com)