What the….? I had at least 1000 words in my head every day last week and now this week….nothing. Blank. I checked my phone to see if I’d taken pictures of anything in the last few days…..nothing. What the heck has been going on? Just….hanging out. Early morning dog walks, morning coffee with the husband, working (sort of), sitting in the sun (except today in the bucketing rain), making and bottling kombucha, taking the dog to the vet, cooking. All the things that make up a life….that are dead dull to write about!
The weather has been a bit spotty this past week, overcast, on and off cold, on and off rain, darker in the mornings that it was even 2 weeks ago. It got me thinking about fall and winter (I KNOW, we’re not even to August yet, there’s still LOTS of summer to go) and what I might want to do in the fall/winter. I thought maybe I would get back to cross stitching, I used to really like that. Or maybe reading more regularly? Maybe my sister could teach me how to knit? Or quilt? None of those really spoke to me though. I kept trying to drown it out but over the last week a little voice that I’ve been beating into submission for years, somehow gained some strength and started getting a little louder.
“Do it. You know you want to. Do it. You can totally do it. You have always wanted to do it. There is no reason you can’t do it. Other people do it all the time. Stop being scared and just DO IT!”
What is “it”? [Seriously….cannot believe I’m about to put this out into the world]…………the “it” that I have always wanted to do and have always been too scared to try….is a triathlon. A sprint distance triathlon; 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run.
It’s terrifying to contemplate; swimming in open water with tonnes of other people, the transitions, the training, fueling, what to wear, swimming, the cost, the swimming….all terrifying. I’m totally going to do it though and I’ve already picked out my triathlon and my “support crew” for it. The one I want to do is in mid July in Penticton, about a 3 hour drive away. My support crew is my sister and as I said to her, being my support team involves travelling there, checking out the venue/package pickup the day before, helping to calm my nerves, standing around for 2.5 hours waiting for me to finish, taking pictures and then celebrating afterwards. Pretty easy job, if you ask me!
So the things that are freaking me out?
SWIMMING – I know how to swim. Errr….I knew how to swim? Once? A really long time ago? Errr….I won’t drown immediately if tossed into deep water? Ya. There’s that. I have no background in swimming for sport or exercise. But I have basically a year to figure it out and practice. And, I’m very lucky because we have a huge aquatic centre about a 5 minute walk (or 2 minute drive) from our house.
I’m a tad unlucky thought because right now their schedule permits lane swimming between 6am – 7am and 9pm – 10pm daily. Not the best hours and I’m hoping in the fall the schedule changes a bit…but even if it doesn’t, I could actually make this work. There’s also the problem of open water training, learning to swim in a straight line, sighting so you don’t get lost, not panicking. Again, I may be lucking out in this, there is an open water triathlon drop in coaching group at a lake about 20 minutes away who have coaches in the water and on paddleboards giving assistance and training.
TRANSITIONS – these are where you change gear between swim and bike and between bike and run. From what I can tell there is a bit of an art to doing it and since I have no frame of reference, it freaks me the hell out. Fortunately there are thousands of blogs and articles on the internet that give tips and tricks and training on how to set yourself up.
TRAINING – this doesn’t really scare me like swimming and transitions do…but it’s always been a hold up to committing to doing it. Where would I find the time? And the commitment? How long would I have to train for? Am I going to die? There aren’t enough (daylight) hours in the day, do I really want to make this sort of time commitment against my evenings and weekends? Because while I want to do a triathlon which would take up a weekend of my life and, acutely, 2-3 hours, “doing a triathlon” actually involves “doing it” for several months. Right now I’m planning to learn the swimming over the winter months (October – March), and then focus on practice/training the bicycle March and April and focus on training the run in May and June. Since I’ve basically given myself an entire year to get prepared for this I feel more comfortable with being able to have a more relaxed “training schedule” rather than trying to cram it all into three months, 6 days/week. Not cool, I already know I would be unlikely to succeed at that.
FUELING/WHAT TO WEAR – again, because I have no frame of reference, it’s all a bit of an unknown…but not enough to make me not do it.
COST – this is going to be pricey. A swimming pass for 4 months is going to run me $175. The drop-in cost for the open water coaching group is $15/visit and I anticipate going 6 times at least ($90). The race fee itself is around $100, the fuel, hotel, food is going to be around $300 and I anticipate about $200 in “stuff” that comes up, swim goggles, bike shorts etc. So…..fulfilling a life goal is going to cost me a year in preparation and close to $1000 in cost. Once again, good thing I have a year to sort myself out!
The last thing that concerns me now (which never bothered me before….because I was much more insane back then) is the MENTAL ASPECT. Can I train and commit and fuel for a year in a manner that is respectful of my body and mind and not get sucked into an obsessive spiral of weight, fitness, appearance and perfection? Can I knock down the angry voice that tells me “why bother”, “you can’t”, “don’t waste your time” and the scared voice that tells me to sit on the couch and self-medicate my fear with chocolate?
I’m going to do it. I’ve been visualizing doing it, visualizing swimming 2-3 days a week in the winter, visualizing a healthy mental state, visualizing being excited about it and visualizing finishing it strong. I’m going to do it.