A failure and Recommitment

So, for those of you who have followed me for some time know that since April of 2018, I have committed myself to working out consistently, eating better (most of the time) and training to compete in various sports such as Triathlons and Cycling.

I started training for triathlons about this time last year although I really didn’t start serious training until January. From January though the end of June I was diligently working out 6 or 7 days a week. At the beginning of July, I made the decision to back off on my training and try to do more of a maintenance type workout regiment. During July I was able to stay somewhat disciplined in getting my workouts in but with a trip to Portugal and busy work schedule, it became easier and easier to delay or skip my workouts. Even when I was doing my workouts it wasn’t with the same intensity that I had maintained for the previous 18 months.

As mid August approached, I knew I needed to gear back up on my training with events coming up in September and October. However, getting back to my previous “never miss a session” mentality, proved to be a bigger challenge than I thought it would be. So that, coupled with workout intensity not being where it should be manifested itself this past Sunday as I competed in a Sprint Triathlon at Lake Lanier. My friends and I had signed up to do a relay. I would complete the swim, while they would take care of the bike and run portion of the competition.

I was able to get in 5 intense swim sessions before Sunday and even felt confident after my last session that I would do ok in the race. As soon as I made it to the first buoy I knew I was in trouble. All of the false confidence and mind games I had try to play on myself were wiped away and it just became a battle of getting through the swim. This was only my second open water swim and the first where the potential for actually drowning became very real. I don’t mention this for sympathy or understanding because…

I know that if I had trained properly and completely all the way through, this swim would not have been that difficult. However, because I wasn’t prepared and knew I wasn’t prepared, I lost focus on everything I should have been concentrating on: my strokes, breathing technique and leg kicks. Instead, it was all negative things: why didn’t I train better, can’t believe that guy kicked me, lake water tastes nasty, I can’t breathe, why aren’t my arms working, and on and on.

On the bright side, I did in fact finish the swim and somehow made it up the hill to pass off the timing chip to Steve who was doing the cycling phase. To their credit, Steve and Scott were not phased and both performed personal bests in each of their disciplines to help bring home a 3rd place finish. Although I’m extremely proud of their efforts and being part of the team, I know that if I had had just a mediocre swim, we probably would have finished 2nd. I know that neither of them will ever express anything like that and will continue being positive and encouraging.

I know however, that I let them down. It would be different, if something had happened. A leg cramp, kick in the face or elbow to the ribs would be justifiable reasons for not doing well but this is on me. I have always told my kids, whether my own or others whom I’ve taught or coached – “Take care of your deal”. Whatever that is, you have to take care of it and in each instance, you’ll know what that entails. In this case, I didn’t take care of my deal and it cost me and my team.

So where do I go from here? I own the mistake, learn from it and move on to better things. This reminder lesson as hard as it to take should serve me well. Being 53, I can’t take any short cuts or days off. I have to commit to working out daily and with purpose if I’m going to really be successful at anything physical. I’m not talking about winning prizes (those are nice) but more importantly, being able to look in the mirror or lay my head down on the pillow and know – Today, I took care of my deal!

Peace and thanks for reading

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