I took part in my first triathlon last week, the Salty Sea Dog Sprint distance race, less than three weeks after having ever ridden a road bike. I basically had next to nil experience ridding a road bike, and I didn’t have much experience swimming in open water neither. I was scared.
Thanks to a coupe of amazing friends – the most caring and talented triathletes you could wish to know, I found myself at the start of the race wondering what to do with my bike and all this kit!
I had to let go of perfectionism to find the confidence to chase my dream and push myself beyond my comfort zone. The race was absolutely incredible. I experienced a combination of fear, adrenaline and shear excitement. My emotions were so powerful and kept me going. I know I will be stronger next time. I made so many mistakes, I have to be. And some of my mishaps are quite comical and highlighted my inexperience:
- Swim: I was so scared to drown during the entire swim battling the kicking and elbowing from the other competitors, that I settled into a rhythm which felt safe but was too conservative. I was genuinely relieved to still be alive when I finally saw the shore nearby after the second lap! The positive is that my cardio vascular system felt completely fresh once I was out of the water haha!
- T1 (Swim/Bike Transition): I felt completely disoriented after the swim. I wobbled through the transition to get to my bike. It took me 3 attempts to get my leg over the bike to mount it, and then I zigzagged my way out of T1 with encouragement from bemused spectators!
- Bike: I was completely petrified of falling off the bike or having any kind of mechanical issues (I can’t even sort out a puncture at this stage!). I appeared to have been so focused on trying not to fly off the bike that somehow I managed to go off course during the bike leg 🙁
- T2 (Bike/Run Transition): I started running with my bike helmet still on! So I ended up having to go back to my transition space to drop it off! More bemused spectators 🙂
So with an evident lack of cycling, open water swimming and transition technique, I got around the course on pure will power and determination. I was happy and smiling the entire race though. I think I must have won the price for the biggest smile whilst racing 🙂
Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you for pursuing your dreams or holding you back. And don’t wait until you are ready. Life has taught me there is no such thing as being ready. Sometimes, you need to jump now or you might lose a precious opportunity. Use what you can and what you have now, do what you love, go make it happen, enter the race, begin somewhere, be bold and take risks. And whatever life throws at you, don’t forget to smile and laugh. Along this journey of life, we are all growing and learning to become ready!
A special thanks to Sophie and Nick for their inspiration and tremendous help, Will for always supporting me with my training despite me deciding to enter the event only two days prior, Mel for her generosity, friendship and for lending me the kit including the most useful DVD ever 🙂 (open water swimming for dummies, watched the night before the tri), Ali for his continuous help with S&C training, mentoring and friendship, Judy for her encouragement. And of course thanks to Rob and the Bears for always being there for me and accompanying me throughout my sporting journey.
#followyourpassion #dare2dream #dare2be #triathlon #totallywonderfuel #deltanutritionandfitness #9endurancecoaching #cimalp #teamcimalp