Reality: coming to terms in a positive light with your own weaknesses.
So the season finally kicked off for me with the first race of the season! I was totally amped to go out and test myself. I had so many questions regarding if I have made the right decisions in the last couple months. In some ways I was afraid of the pain. However as we all know we put this into the back of our heads as we line up to the start line and go. As the gun goes off, BOOOM! You start moving and the real person comes out as the pretenses fall away in pain. As Plato always said” you learn more about a man in an hour of play than in a day of conversation.” So I was off and warming up as I went as I arrived rather late. Here’s how the race went (it was a long course duathlon consisting of a 6k run, 45K bike, and then a 6K run):
1. First half mile attempted to warm up at the 5:40 pace or so we were running at, of course I had to go right off with the leaders.
2. I pull ahead of everyone as I feel empowered by the scenery around me.
3. Run ahead for the rest of the 8K putting 65 seconds onto the second and third place.
4. Super-fast transition (31 seconds)
5. Ride on the bike knowing it is my strength, however I have my clunker aluminum bike with the heaviest wheels one could imagine!
6. After 14 miles I get passed by the second place guy!!!!
7. In my head, I realize I must stay with him, the inner beast comes out and I go! In every triathlon I have done I have not been passed by another biker so the pride was on the line.
8. Stay 300 meters behind him and pass him with a half mile left.
9. We enter transition practically together but he is quicker and gets about ten seconds on me.
10. I catch up and we run together for 2 miles. I am having horrible cramps and am in immense pain. I try to take deep breaths and ease my stomach.
11. At two miles, my cramps go away and I am able to lay the hammer down and crush the rest of the run for the win!
OK, OK, that’s how it goes on paper but what’s the thought process! What did I learn about myself today? What can I tell you about why I had a successful race?
For me it all comes down to embracing the present moment, to forgetting about how many miles are ahead of me or what it might mean to win the race. I truly become the animal, hunting in the present for my own life, sanity, and a sense of being part of the energy of the world around us. While I know it is just play it feels like the most serious and real thing I ever do. In a sense it is, I have decided to make my career based off of how well I can race. However, all these ideas I had before the race have to disappear. For example, I was wondering how do I prove myself to my world class coach, what happens if I fail, am I prepared for my future, and most importantly am I going to be the person I believe I am? Finally I believe racing is simple, no persons technique can be the same as we must learn to embrace who we are and learn how to utilize it on the race course. This is what makes a deadly racer. So my friends, know that racing is more of a spiritual act and that the suffering brings enlightenment. Race to be who you want to be to yourself and to satisfy your soul not for an external award or praise from your peers. This is the key to finding your potential when you race.
To conclude, I look forward to the journey ahead of me as I have goals I only once dreamed of for this upcoming year. I have decided to embrace my dreams and chase after them! I will do it and you can also do what you dream of! Reach out and create.
My blog is a collection of topics including training, nutrition, sponsorships, and becoming the best man I can be. In addition, I write about my spiritual realizations that are intrinsic to the sport of triathlon.