My struggle with anxiety has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my growing years with a shroud of worry covering my soul. These feelings popped up in different ways at different times, but my life was really more about managing the feelings rather than dealing with them. As I got older, I found that staying as busy as possible at all times was a way of drowning out the thoughts of fear and concern.
When I I hit the lowest point in my battle with the demon of fear I found triathlon. And I set a crazy goal of finishing not just any triathlon, but an Ironman at that. And for a long time, my anxiety was channeled into the sport. •
As the past year went by, my training became less and less about the journey and the fun and more and more about performance and the end result. The overwhelming fear of embarrassment and disappointment after putting my goals so publicly on display became debilitating. My love for the sport, my mental sanctuary, turned to fear and anger. My 5 hour rides became not about clearing my head and enjoying time to myself, but a multi-hour bash fest on what my numbers looked like and how my efforts would be perceived. My long runs were spent checking my watch every 12 seconds to make sure my paces were perfect. My first move after a workout was to upload and analyze as much data as possible and regularly do the math of : “if you run like that at Ironman, you will take ______ long on the marathon”. •
I was so in my own head I didn’t even enjoy what I was doing anymore. My love for the sport was completely drowned out by my fear and analysis of my performance from the minute I stepped foot on the start line. •
After Eagleman, I spent hours worrying about my friendships, my training, and my chances of making it to Ironman. After nights of little sleep, and days spent going over each move I had made, I knew something had to give. •
So, with less than 30 days until #IMLP, I am removing my expectations. When I decided on this journey, I didn’t care about time. I cared about finishing strong, and smiling. It’s time to get back to that. Soon, soon, I will be made of Iron.