It’s crazy the stages you go through when you are working towards a goal.
- YES. I GOT THIS. I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS. LOOK AT ME GO.
- WHY DID I EVER SIGN UP FOR THIS. THIS IS STUPID. WORST DECISION EVER.
- Ok, this is ok. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. It’s beginning to seem normal.
- THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER! I AM SO GLAD I DID THIS!
- I’m over it. I’m soooooooo over it.
- YAY I DID IT!
- Netflix and chill, baby. Alllllllll day.
I feel like I am on a continuous loop of these at the moment. Working towards this triathlon is one of the hardest things I have done (not the hardest, I’m gonna save that medal for TRANSITION TO PARENTHOOD). And really, I have already, in part, completed my goal. In March, I participated in a Mini Indoor Triathlon at the local YWCA, and it went something like this:
Pack my bags the night before. Should I bring an extra bathing suit in case I poop myself before it starts? Sure. Couldn’t hurt. Get there early in the morning, like 6:15 early. Spend a good ten minutes in the car cursing daylight savings time, as well as eating as much of a larabar as I can stomach. Which is not much. Three bites should do it. In we go. Get situated in the locker room and listen to the ladies compare stories of their first triathlons and/or ironmans and/or marathons. Wonder if I should tell them about the time I came in last in a 10k. Decide to just keep that one to myself. Hear one lady tell another that she loves being able to cheer on people doing their first ones. Close my eyes and imagine she is talking directly to me, feel encouraged. Out to the pool to have numbers drawn on me, which will stay on me for a good week. Consider this a war wound. Am feeling hardcore. Hop in my lane, first one in the pool. Consider doing a warm up lap, but then instantly decide not cause SAVE IT FOR THE RACE. Decide doing a back float while I wait for the others, listening to the silence of the pool and letting it melt my nerves, is a better idea. Other swimmers hop in in their Super Cool Suits. I pull at my post-pregnancy bathing suit I am wearing, that I cut the wires out of. It’ll do. Wait for a big SOMETHING to start the race, and man says, “ok go ahead” and I start about 5 seconds after everyone because, Oh, Was that it?? Ok. Swim swim swim. I switch back and forth between the front crawl and the breast stroke. I seem to be able to not lose my breath as much with the breast stroke, so it tends to be my recovery stroke. I get into a rhythm, back and forth, back and forth, probably losing seconds every time because my turns are slow. On one turn, the person counting my laps gives me the signal… one left. I nod and go. When I reach the end of the lap, I hop out awkwardly because it’s still hard for me to crawl out of the pool without a ladder, and thank God that the part I was most worried about is over. I run to my transition area, and realize how I set it up is not efficient IN THE SLIGHTEST. I take my time, really drying off, since I definitely don’t have a quick dry suit on. I end up taking about 4 minutes, but I don’t care at all. I hop off the mat and run to the stationary bikes, and hop on the only empty one at the moment. I felt really cool running to the bike, cause we had our own little lane and people were starting to come to the gym to do a NORMAL HUMAN WORKOUT, and I was all, LOOKOUT. I’M TOTALLY FAST AND COOL AND DID I MENTION I’M ABOUT TO BECOME A TRIATHLETE? Mental high-five myself for being so cool. Anyway. On the bike. The guy next to me is Super Hardcore Triathlete and I attempt to make my legs spin as fast as his. NOPE. Get into a rhythm and start to go. Regret bringing my phone and headphones with me. These bikes are different than the ones I am used to, and they have nowhere to put anything. Chalk it up to a learning lesson. I flag one of the volunteers when I am at my last mile. When I hit it, I attempt to peel off and make a quick transition to the track, which the bikes are right next to. Foot gets stuck in the pedal. Cannot get off the bike. Takes a good 15 seconds to get my foot out of the pedal. Feeling less hardcore. Mental high-five myself for being here despite my lack of hardcoreness. Finally release my foot and off I go. I run past the table and dump my water bottle, small towel I didn’t need, and my phone. I think the excitement of almost being done gets to me, and I realize that my pace is definitely too quick for me to sustain, so I do what maybe was the hardest bit of the whole thing, and calm myself down and settle into a slower pace. I have a volunteer that shouts a number at me every time I go past him, and it takes me two laps to realize he is counting me down. I instantly become his BFF. 8 becomes 7, becomes 6, becomes 5, becomes 4, becomes 3, becomes 2. I start to get emotional on the last lap. I am almost there. I am not dead. I am not even dying. I wanted to do this THING, and I am almost there. I am pretty sure my legs were tired, but honestly, I don’t remember that at all. I just remember looking out the windows at the top of the building, watching the sun come up and thanking God that He meets us in moments like this, to find joy in our bodies and in our commitment to action. I cross the line and gather my stuff. No fanfare, but my insides are reeling. I did it. I did it. I did it. I grab a cup of coffee and sit by myself at a table, watching other people trickle in from the pool and run on the track. I cheer on my lane buddy from the pool as she finishes her run. She is in her seventies and does these as sort of a hobby. She is amazing. My scores are posted, I write them down and head slowly back to the locker room, where I cry for a while in the shower, get dressed for church, and leave to start my Sunday.
My big triathlon is in July, and I am still working on building endurance, since that one is about three times the length of the one I did in March. But I DID IT. That was one of the most deceptively quiet and amazing moments of my life, sitting there, drinking coffee, letting it sink in that I am a triathlete. And I am so excited to do it again.