Writing your thoughts down on paper is a luxury, a surprisingly intimidating luxury. For me it feels a tad ‘self important’ for blogs are predominantly written by my talented friends and hubby who are ‘artists’, or ‘elite athletes’ – specialists in their particular field. You find yourself hanging off their every word inevitably being taken on a journey filled with invaluable wisdom.
Hence my hesitation in writing a second ‘more personal’ blog!
Now here’s some food for thought- ‘A lacking of confidence, our emotional patterns and belief systems are sinister evils we all struggle continuously with, subconsciously instilling fear which in turn affects each and every outcome in our daily lives’.
Yep you guessed it! You’ll be taken on a journey (of sorts) into the above. How letting go of (my) belief systems of ‘I haven’t done the training’, I don’t deserve these once in a lifetime experiences’, and ‘I don’t measure up to these amazing personalities I am meeting’ etc etc can help!
I was able to conquer my mind and ultimately the Philippines 70.3 last week (well to an extent) by exterminating those sinister obtrusive evils and truly believe in myself (sounds absolutely corny I know):)
Throughout my sporting years from swimming, playing netball, touch, softball, surfboat rowing etc, I relished in the team environment. I am naturally competitive and social although have a constant voice in my head (as you probably do too) questioning ‘can I do this? You better slow down otherwise you’ll crack”, “I haven’t done the training”, and “I don’t deserve to be doing this” etc etc.
In every training session in and out of the surfboat I wanted to be the best, the fastest, the strongest, the quickest. Swapping to triathlon was lonely (for years I rowed with best friends whom I love) although I had a couple of great training partners in close friends in Sydney. Learning to push yourself with the knowledge that it will only benefit ‘you’ and not a team as such is not as motivating hence why I have yet to do a bike effort, or run effort, or push hard in a triathlon race.
A couple of weeks out from Cebu Pete and I went to Noosa Hill to do reps. I was blown away by the fact I did a proper training set (although still couldn’t get the heart rate up and call them ‘efforts’). My confidence grew. I then ran 20km with Jess and Nick Crofts group for the first time in a year loving every minute of it. My confidence grew some more.
We arrived in the Philippines for the 3rd time for me, 4th for Pete. Talk about Location Location, The Shangrila Mactan Resort and Spa (emphasizing AND SPA) where reefs starfish, lionfish, clams (yep saw a Dory and Nemo kids) would rival our much loved Great Barrier Reef.
It poured early race day morning with version of events (at least in my head below).
5am Wake up from a restless anxious sleep, devour a tea, banana whilst listening to Daft Punk.
6.30am Get to transition with ‘positive thoughts’ of ‘if I race really fast I might get the end of the buffet breakfast in’ running through my head.
6.35am Whilst attempting to fix the seat height I forget to unclip a shoe so stack it on the bike in transition. Positive thoughts of ‘at least I got a cut so there is proof’ and ‘my hair stayed in its pony tail’ run through my head. We then run madly down to the swim start.
6.40am Kiss Pete goodbye as he swims out to the start line with ‘have fun’ and ‘love’ being the spoken mantra.
6.55am Swim start – well wouldn’t call it a swim, more like a tread for water on the backs of the previous wave of competitors whilst ‘having fun’.
27minutes later with 1.9km swim done I am onto the bike.
Highlights on the bike: Seeing Pete a few times. Food for the soul with the 90km bike course lined with locals madly cheering to rival any loyal patriotic Lakers fans! Speaking briefly to Andrew Messick (IM CEO) and blowing kisses to the locals. When in Cebu right?
Last leg: A 21.2km run course weaving through the local villages which once again are lined with charismatic local souls.
Event highlight you ask?
Soaking up the energy from the cultural experience – The best explanation is “It was surreal, a similar feeling to the result of marrying the emotions of participating in an Asian cooking class, whilst viewing a gospel choir with the adrenalin of sky diving all thrown into one crazy experience! Culminating in the form of the Cebu 70.3! Crazy explanation I know, but trueJ
The biggest highlight of all though was not culturally based or result based. It was a personal mile stone. I believed in myself that day and the weeks before, I learnt from Pete (always learning from Pete as much as I hate to admit itJ) about how believing in yourself and your natural ability can work.
I believed I deserved to be there and believed I had a few good sessions under my belt. I channeled the ‘Noosa’ guys and gals that I have been running with here through the National Park and just HAD FUN!!! I threw all my fearful thoughts out the window never once questioning my ability or worthiness in the event.
Don’t get me wrong there are still holes in this saga, I felt fresh crossing the line and still yet to do an ‘effort’ or have a truly honest hard race. BUT I had FUN and learnt to control my negative thoughts of self doubt.
So there’ll be no more showing up to races with feelings similar to when you wear a frilly dress and flats to an event only to see a stunning model in a tight black dress wearing red lipstick and a push up bra seconds later.
This girl is now equipped with an arsenal of belief!