I am afraid.
Afraid of what? Of failure. Around August of last year I started discussing the possibility of doing a Half Ironman with some of my girlfriends. It was a fun idea to talk about, but now it’s becoming more of a reality. I haven’t signed up for the race yet – why - because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of lots of things:
· I am afraid that my shoulder won’t hold out and that I’ll train and train only to be disappointed in the end and unable to race.
· I’m afraid I won’t physically be able to bike for 56 miles. I remember all too well my first (and only) 50 mile ride and how I thought I was going to die before I finished.
· I’m afraid that I will be too slow and get “swept” from the race. How disappointing would that be?
· I’m afraid of new injuries and the fact that I’m not sure my body is up for the challenge.
· I’m afraid of the training time and commitment.
· I’m afraid of getting a flat tire in the middle of the race and not being able to fix it.
· I’m afraid of finishing dead last.
· I’m afraid.
This isn’t my first big event. Over the past couple of years I’ve had several “firsts” – completing my first half marathon, first triathlon and first marathon. So why is this one troubling me so much? I do think my biggest fear is my shoulder. I’m still not certain that I am physically capable of doing the training to get to the point where I can swim 1.2 miles. I still know in the back of my mind that surgery has been recommended. I know that I’ve been swimming again for a month, but have seen little improvement. I don’t want to commit to the very hefty $250 race fee only to find out that I can’t race. But am I using that as an excuse not to move forward? I don’t know. If my shoulder was out of the equation, would I still be here?
I keep talking in terms of “if I train for this Half Ironman” and “if I do this Half Ironman”. I need to stop saying if and start saying when. I already know that I don’t have to commit physically to the race (i.e. sign up for it and pay the fee), but I need to commit mentally. I need to say I am training for a Half Ironman, I am going to do a Half Ironman in July. If at the end of the day my shoulder is an inhibitor, well it just is, that stuff happens, but I can’t keep letting that get in my way and give me an excuse to not try.
So friends, I’m saying it to the world. I am training for a Half Ironman. My journey begins February 27. I hope you will all be here to help me along the way. I know I’ll need your support.
What do you fear? Do you let it stop you?
“The miracle isn’t that I finished, it’s that I had the courage to start” – John Bingham