I remember before Granite-Man this year a girl my age was doubting herself. She was nervous, asked if she could just do the swim and skip the bike and run. I somehow convinced her that she was strong enough to finish the whole thing, I pumped her up and got her excited for starting and finishing the race—and she did. She thanked me at the finish and was stoked she had done it! I was stoked she had finished it! Seeing other people succeed, helping them realize this is incredible and powerful.
The power of other people lifting each other up is well, powerful. I competed in my first off-road triathlon on Sunday in Yellow Creek State Park near Indiana, PA. I was really excited to swim and run—not so excited for the 14-miles of terrifying mountain biking I that hadn’t trained for. I did the course Saturday afternoon and pretty much, after my third fall, I convinced myself I wasn’t fit to do it. I was afraid of hurting myself, ruining other peoples races and was just scared in general. My amazing community, over pre-race beers and burgers, convinced me I was fit enough. That I could take it at my own pace, that I was racing my own race and that I could do it. I could do it.
I did it.
It hurt. I was sore, and tired, and not smiling the whole time. But laughing before and after made up for the pain and nervousness. My tired body this week is testament to what my body can do for me. Resting is like a big thank you to my tired muscles. This post is a giant hug for all those who supported me.
I start to sweat. My normally low blood pressure rises and my heart pounds even when my body is not working that hard. I get anxious and stressed out. Running, swimming and hitting the gym don’t do that.
I have such a love hate relationship with mountain biking. It’s a battle. A battle with Logic. Logic is the cautious side of my brain. The side that generally wins because she’s in control, she calm and cool. Logic fights with Competition, the side that peaks her evil head out rarely, but when she does she makes me uneasy. But that side also tells me to push harder, faster, further and makes me do things out of my comfort zone.
Logic tells me to stay on the easy double track; no rocks, roots or puddles to trip me up and knock me down. Then Competition chimes in and yells for her to shut the eff up, to go for it, to get uncomfortable and challenge not only my body, but my mind—basically my entire body: Mind, Body and Soul are put on edge during a ride.
I love and hate this so much. But yet I continue to do it—so it must be good.
I don’t how I do it, I don’t know why I agree, but somehow every season I get roped into and signed up for some sort of race. This year while volunteering at an adventure race in Ohiopyle, PA, my friend Ashley offered a comp entry into an X-terra she’s coordinating—THREE WEEKS FROM NOW. Time to get training.
I’ve never claimed to be fast. I’ve never claimed that I’m going to win anything. I always just take pride in the fact that I’m out there trying. This morning I got on my mountain bike and took off for the Deep Creek State Park. Hopped on the trail and was quickly humbled by all the rocks, roots and technical ground I was covering. I got off and walked.
The hill I climbed was on foot not by peddle. The hill I descended was on foot while pumping my squeaky brakes. I again had to cross the trail lifting the bike up a foot to clear the big rocks that I’m not skilled enough to ride. But at one point I looked up from the ground, steady with my footing, and noticed I was alone. I was out there on the trail alone. I was out there. That’s more than a lot of people I know can say about their morning.
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t yet good enough to bunny hop over the ‘boulders’, or that my legs had a hard time pumping up the incline. I was in the woods, swatting the flies, sweating through my shirt, getting dirt on my legs doing it and loving it. What are you doing?
Seen on my ride