May 12, 2012

Being Fearless: Triathlon Edition

I have this sign taped onto the mirror in my bedroom, directly across from my bed, and when I am falling asleep, waking up, or getting ready for school, I read its simple message to remind myself...
I have a bunch of goals for 2012, but some need more encouragement than others.  For example, I rarely find myself shaking in my boots, terrified about my goal to "Use exit slips weekly in literacy and math."  On the other hand, "Triathlon" is a goal that PETRIFIES me.  What petrifies me even more than the idea of a triathlon, though, is the fact that I am registered for one that takes place, wait for it, four measly weeks from tomorrow!  YIKES!  Worse than that even is the fact that I really just started training with triathlon in mind last week.  Before that, I swam and biked from time to time as cross training, but my focus was on the Kentucky Derby Half-Marathon...and suddenly here we are, weeks away from the tri.  Dear god.

That's where the fourth goal on my mirror comes in: "BE FEARLESS."  It is the most important goal on that list, and the one the other three depend on.  How many times have I sabotaged myself, in running and in life, by letting Doubt and Fear and Anxiety come to call?  I ran for years before even letting myself register for a 5K, too afraid I wouldn't be as good as the other runners or would be walking more.  Fear can be such a pesky yet persuasive little voice...More and more, though, I think that with every finish line I cross, Fear gets pounded a little more into the ground.  Obviously I'm not nervous about 5Ks anymore like I once was!  You  better believe, though, that I was scared like crazy when I lined up for both my first and second half-marathons.  Having dragged myself through two now, though, I think I've shown Fear who's boss a little bit more.  And so, it's on to another goal.

I don't know about you, but I don't feel *alive* unless I'm chasing after one dream or another.  How lucky for us as runners that there is always a new dream to chase--a new PR, a new distance, or right now, a new event all together.  With each new goal, with each new accomplishment, I feel like I'm sending a powerful message to Fear--I am strong.  The hard part, though, is to keep Fear silent during the training--the preparation, the endless hours working towards that goal that seems so far away and lofty and impossible.  "Can I really do this?  Can I really make it?"  It's easy to feel brave on the other side of the finish line looking back, but so much harder from where I'm standing right now, looking at my training plan and realizing how few weeks there are left, how fast time is passing.  
Consider this my personal declaration that I will NOT allow fear to poison my triathlon training and experience, or my pursuit of my other goals.  And so, from now on I am committing to CONFIDENCE, to FEARLESSNESS, to BEING BOLD, and to never for a second falling victim to the poisons of doubt, fear, and self-deprecation.  I CAN do this, I WILL do this--whether it's my brick workout tomorrow morning, my triathlon in a couple weeks, or the goal I take on after that...there's just no room for Fear in the picture.

How do you stay Fearless?


  1. I like your idea of putting your goals on your mirror.
    My son does mini tri's and loves them. Everyone I know who does them says they're so much fun!!
    I bet you'll have a blast too:)))
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  2. Love your plan to BE FEARLESS. You make me want to go out and run!

  3. You can definitely do this!! Mrs. Fearless! :)

    I combined all of my blogs (reading, running, teaching) into 1 blog to simplify my life-hopefully!


  4. Awesome goal Amy! My tri is in August and I've definitely fallen off the training wagon. I'm pretty nervous about the swimming portion, but you gave me confidence!

    You'll do great! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  5. I'm so impressed with your goal! I know how hard it is to exercise while teaching. I just found out I am moving from teaching 2nd grade in DE to teaching 5th grade in VT I am so intimidated but your blog has been very helpful. It's one of the few upper elementary blogs that is maintained and updated! Thanks!

  6. we will hold hands on this one! I have my first sprint tri in less than 4 weeks and i haven't swam since march 31st, don't even have a bike yet...and am not cleared to run...oh well
    let's just have fun ;)


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