“You wanna try this?” A simple question from my neighbor as we discussed the various running and biking races taking place over this past summer. A “Sure, why not” was my response which landed us overlooking a lake for the longest triathlon I’ve done to date. A 550 yard swim, 21 mile bike and 5 mile run in what was described as a picturesque lake setting and rolling hills. In reality it was a green, algae-filled lake and constant hill climbs on the bike and run. Couple that with 90 degree temps, crazy winds on part of the bike ride and you start to question your sanity.
Since music is not allowed and the fear of drowning on the swim was over, I was left with nothing but my thoughts and sound of my own breath as I went along in the next two events. Constantly I chewed myself out but since I committed to doing this race, I was committed to finishing. After 2 hours 17 minutes, I crossed the finish line. Sweaty, tired, sore, and mumbling under my breath I accepted my medal and ate the best banana I’ve ever tasted. I’d done something a lot of people don’t do. I was in pain, but I also felt a huge sense of accomplishment.
Since that day in July, I’ve used this success as a benchmark for other events. It motivated my neighbor to run her first half marathon in September, which I ran with her. I have also done a couple other races that weren’t long, but pushed my speed. Now, I have the confidence to sign up for a 26.2 mile marathon along Lake Superior that boasts 11k feet of elevation change. But I know I can do it.
Our paths are all different and some of us may experience pain. But remember, this pain is temporary and when you’re successful, it can be contagious!