... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Friday, April 18, 2014

Inch by Inch, Mile by Mile

Well, my last post was great, but it's easier said than done. I have made some very, very modest progress. I've cut a lot of the excess processed food and sugar out of my meals, I've gone running several times, I've been swimming twice a week, but the cycling is just scaring the crap out of me for whatever reason. What is it about where I'm at in life right now that makes me feel so far away from the tough, strong warrior that triathlon brings out? Why am I so weak?

I'm asking these questions not because I'm overly frustrated, but rather because I feel like it's important to look inward when struggling with motivation. And I know I'm not the only one who struggles. I suppose that the first question is this: what feeling is it that keeps me from taking the first steps of a run or from getting on the bike? The simple answer is just that I don't feel like it. I feel like cuddling into the couch, drinking tea, and writing. I feel like going to the beach. I feel like relaxing. I feel like taking a bath with lots of lavender. But why? I am tired, and I know that. I don't feel like I have enough time in the day. But these are not the ultimate reasons that I'm not following my training schedule.

On my days off, I can go running in the morning and still go to the beach and take a bath, but I don't. I could do a two-hour bike ride, then drink tea, write, and cuddle into the couch, but I don't. In fact, my days off seem to be when I am least likely to get my workouts done. Why?

I know that part of the problem is that I have been too vague with myself about my workouts. I wrote my schedule down in a place that I am not forced to look every day, so when I plan my next morning's workout I'm not thinking "4-mile run," I'm just thinking "run." Visualization is important, so when I don't know how far I'll be running (or where, or what route) it's too easy to get out of. Same goes for the bike. If I have to plan these things in the morning, it just doesn't get done and I end up sitting around for too long.

In addition, the weather keeps giving me (lame) excuses not to get on the bike. The wind around my house has been insane -- gusts of 40-50mph, and since I'm already weak and out of shape, this just intimidated me out of riding. I know, excuses excuses. There are plenty of people who ride through anything and I should be one of them, but I'm pathetic and scared. So, to counteract this excuse, I got a trainer. Now I can sit in my living room watching Friends or It's Always Sunny pedaling away to my heart's content. Realistically, riding outside is more fun anyway, but this takes away all of my excuses. No excuses.

And that, right there, is really the key here. NO EXCUSES. None of it matters. I can do anything if I really want to get it done. If I'm not getting it done, it's because of me and nothing else. I have to keep reminding myself that all of those other things I want to do -- baths, writing, relaxing, reading -- will be more productive and more satisfying when I know that I have accomplished my goals for the day.

In the words of Chris McDonnell, a Kona 2013 finisher: "Look up. Move forward."

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