Happy Easter, Homies!
Don’t panic; I haven’t turned into an American hipster over the course of the long weekend (although I did have a nightmare in which a really rich potato with a toupee was running for president and I had an uncontrollable desire to vote for him, so…)
I’m still an average-Joe Queenslander. It’s just that I was sitting here, staring at my screen ready to type and had no idea what else to write except ‘Happy Easter, Homies!’
Which is when I realised that I am trying to avoid a certain topic. A topic that is actually unavoidable on a triathlon blog.
It’s about my running. You all know the saga, which involves me being spawned from the loins of a fantastic runner, growing up believing that anyone can run, then suffering the tantrum-inducing revelation that actually I couldn’t run at all.
Sidenote: I am beginning to think that indeed anyone can run, if they are taught how to do so properly. Not everyone is born with the ability to run – even the children of runners.
And let’s not forget the more recent running discovery: it actually sucks.
Unfortunately, running is kind of a big part of doing a triathlon. I had to persevere.
So persevere I did – and this is where the story gets a bit icky and I got stuck. Because I have experienced a huge personal triumph – a massive success for me!
There haven’t been many massive successes along the course of this triathlon journey. And I feel really proud of this one. And the problem is that success plus pride equals WHAT A B*TCH which makes me think I should not rub it in anyone’s face. Because that’s not what I want to do. I am very conscious of how intimidating other people’s successes can be.
But I’ve done this 6 or 7 times now and dare I say it – it’s getting easier.
So after realising that only drivel can follow the opening sentence ‘Happy Easter, Homies!’ I decided not to avoid the topic anymore. Let’s get it out in the open and move on.
I can run 10km. In less than an hour. The time actually doesn’t matter much to me – I measure it only to make sure I’m getting better rather than worse. I also find it interesting to see how much faster I can go in cooler temperatures (please Autumn, hurry up and cool down some more so I can go faster!)
But the real thing is the 10km. That distance. I run that. Every week – sometimes twice a week. These big old tree-trunk legs that creak and moan and cramp up at the slightest hint of incorrect running form. This sweaty, heaving, sloth woman that dreams of a parallel universe where she is sitting eating cake and drinking beer instead. This crap athlete who only ran 10k once before in her 32 years on this planet. This triathlete.
It has taken hard work to get to this point, and really in the grand scheme of things it’s not even that impressive. But for me personally it is huge. Every time I set off, I think to myself ‘Surely today I am not going to make it, surely this time reality will catch up with me, because surely this body is not the body of a runner?’
But an hour later, there I am back at my car, guzzling down some water and wiping the snot and spit from my face (there is a sh*tload of snot and spit involved, honestly after the first 10k run I thought someone had actually thrown something on me and I hadn’t realised but no it is just the disgustingness of running)
So, yeah. I’m doing it. It’s really exciting for me and I’m coming to terms with the idea that I might actually be able to do this half mary I signed up for. Not like, struggle through it and walk some of the way. But maybe I can actually get to a point where I am ready for it.
And it is right to share this with you all on here because 1) you would be really surprised if I rocked up to the half mary and just suddenly ran the whole way having only ever mentioned the 7.2km run I did when I last blogged about running and 2) because hopefully it is inspiring to see that obstacles can be overcome. That challenges can be met. That mistakes can be learned from. That doubting yourself shouldn’t stop you from trying.
Woah, I’m even inspiring myself here.
So, a note on the intimidation factor. I know there are plenty of people out there who are thinking ‘Big whoop. You did 10km in less than an hour. I can do double that in half the time after completing a 7000 metre swim and 94 kilometre bike ride. Next!’
Big whoop. So what. Next!
But I also know there will be others who do think this is impressive! I hope there are anyway…. and if there are, maybe my little achievement seems intimidating.
In which case, I have to ask that you ignore what I do. Who am I to you? I am a nobody. I have no impact on your wonderfulness. I have no effect on your happiness. I do not matter. Forget about my distances and my pace.
Because it really isn’t about being the best at anything, or even about being better. It’s not about finding you have hidden triathlon talents (no human has hidden triathlon talents – maybe aliens do though so beware)
A triathlon journey (or whatever journey it is you’re undertaking) is about finding out who you are – finding out how strong you are, how determined, how brave. It’s about testing yourself, pushing yourself. It’s about living your one and only life to the fullest extent you want to.
Life isn’t about paying the bills on time and having a clean house. You will not care about that stuff when you sit on your La-Z-Boy when you are an old fart preparing to be whisked off to heaven. You will care about the times you were scared and did the scary thing regardless. The times you smiled so hard it hurt. The times you thought something was impossible, but tried to do it anyway.
I know sometimes I need to take my own advice on this, because I saw someone swim 10,000 metres on Instagram last week (yes for real, in a 25m pool of all things) and her pace was quicker that I can swim 100 metres. And I thought ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ because if you are unaware, I am a super slow swimmer.
But I am on a different journey to that lady. Her time has no impact on me. I am no better and no worse for her achievements. I am on this adventure for me – because I possess a wonderful life and I am free to do what I like with it. And the same goes for you.
Next up is the 12km. I’m planning that for Thursday if all goes well (it probably wont) and hopefully I wont feel like too much of a show-off if I share the experience with you afterwards. Feel free to leave a comment below if you still feel intimidated – I am genuinely interested in making sure this blog is inclusive rather than intimidating so any feedback is appreciated.