I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Bada$$es need love, too

As the peak of triathlon season approaches, I am feeling many things. With less than two weeks remaining until my “A” race, what I am feeling most is doubt. Doubting that I will finish within the time goal. Doubting that I will finish at all. Incredulous that I belong among this group of people who do things like swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13.1 miles. In a row. This is my first race of this distance – it’s normal to feel some anxiety, right?

Evidently, I am not the only person who will show up at his or her race with these type of feelings. I have found myself sympathetic with other beginning triathletes who question themselves similarly. However, I have caught myself being judgmental with anyone who has more than like, 5 minutes racing experience than I do.

I’ve been there.

I know what you’re going through.

and the worst –

I. Am. Right. There. With. You.

The f*** you are.

You have been doing this a long time OR completed this same distance or even same course before. You’re so much faster and stronger than I am. Why are you even talking to me? You make me sick.

And then – I am reminded of my relationship with music and my music babies. One of my favorite exercises is to have them raise their hands if they suffer from stage fright. I always raise my hand with them because indeed, I still get very anxious before I perform. Invariably, at least one student responds, “No. Way.” I tell them we are all growing musicians, but I’ve just been growing a little longer than they have. And they actually buy it.

I applaud my babies when they are brave enough to play 3 note songs for each other. As I age, I think I am even more proud of the risk I take as I share music with others. In some ways, greater experience brings greater risk. You’ve delivered results in the past and success becomes more normal than not. As you expect more of yourself, others start to believe in you as well. “Man. People think this is going to go well. What if it doesn’t?”
Dammit, if anyone DARED to question why I was nervous as my recital last month was approaching, I looked at him or her as though s(he) had two heads. “Why wouldn’t I be nervous? Dumbass.”

Oh. Heh.

I suppose that if I am allowed to be nervous on stage, despite having performed since I was 4, people who already call themselves Ironman can be nervous too. While I haven’t read the USAT guidebook lately, I think it’s a safe bet to say that only humans are allowed to compete in races. To be human is to be fragile. Having the will to test your limits, regardless of your experience level, is to always be admired – never judged.

So uh – for all the thoughts that have ever run through my head about you – my bad. 🙂 I am praying for your progress, just as I pray for my own.

13 days.



Comments on: "Bada$$es need love, too" (2)

  1. Lindsay Yarbrough said:

    The first time I did a half Ironman, I sat in my hotel room that morning and cried. I was terrified. I finished in 7:30. Last year I did a half Ironman, I was terrified race morning because I knew I had a coach and a team to represent and make proud. I cried- sobbed- at the end. I did it in 5:40. 3 years ago I started my first full Ironman. I was so terrified at the beginning that I made Matt swim the whole thing beside me. I was pulled from the course because I didn’t make the bike time cut off. I have cried over that so many times I can’t count. But Sunday, I’m going to stand at the starting line of Ironman Lake Tahoe with all those experiences and all the people I know working towards similar goals- and I’m going to kill it. And then I’m going to cry some more! Joanie- I hope you have a race so amazing, you’ll want to do it again. 🙂 And I’ll be tracking and cheering and sending you all the strength and energy I have! Smooth is fast, left right repete, shut up legs, smile.

    • Omg! I am so excited for you Lindsay! You are going to crush Lake Tahoe so hard. 🙂 Your confidence inspires me. Thank you for being brave!

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