Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ready for the Fight

The training is done. The weight has been lost. The expensive bike stuff has been bought. And now it's time to fight.

Since my fighting days, I like to approach competition like a fight-it just works for me. There's nothing like the lead up to a fight. Much like training for races, it takes a LONG time to get in shape. Hours and hours are spent working on form and technique, and sweating your ass off when no one is looking. Some days are great and others are not, but consistancy is the thing. You have to outwork your opponent way before the day you see them in the ring. The fight is really you vs. yourself vs. them.

So I've found the same holds true for triathlon. I've spent so many hours sweating it out all alone. I've been in the pool dozens and dozens of times when I didn't want to be there. I've run in hail storms and trudged through muddy trails. I've ridden my bike until my hands and feet have become so numb I can't walk or tie shoelaces. All of this I've done when no one was watching. There was no one there to impress. There was no one there to push me. Desire to be better was my only 'real' training partner.

I was talking to Kristen the other day about something that happened in her life that was ridiculously unfair. She had done all the work, put in the blood sweat and tears, yet got minimal recognition for her accomplishments. Naturally, she was pissed. In trying to comfort her, I explained that she shouldn't let it get to her because she A) can't control other people's decisions, and B) should know in her heart that she did everything that she could possibly do. In my eyes (as well as many others I'm sure) she deserved much more than she got. The only thing she didn't get for it was the papers and plaques telling her that other people recognized her accomplishments.

So that got me to thinking about why I train and what my motivation to race is. When you break it all down, I train and race to find out what I'm made of. I want to progress and to keep wining and placing high in races, but I LOVE the feeling of pushing when there's no one there.

I used to do all my running around the downtown section of my town. I believed that running in front of people would make me run harder, and therefore faster. Now, though, I'm all about the trails and backroads. If no one sees me, I just have myself to be accountable to-and I'm NOT lying to myself.

I don't know if this is how others feel, but this is my take on it. I'll bethinking about all those solitary training hours when I'm racing this weekend. I won't lie to myself then, either.

Push 'till ya puke...always.

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