5 Weeks Out (from Yesterday)
While we have learned that circumstances can change at any time, I am pretty confident to say that my upcoming race, the Lubbock Texas IM 70.3, is happening on June 27th. And, if you have been following me on social media or see me regularly in person, you know that getting to this start line has been quite an adventure.
I purchased this bib in October of 2019 to race Ironman WI 70.3 in June of 2020. COVID canceled the race and I deferred to North Carolina 70.3 in October of 2020. Another COVID cancellation and deferral led me to Chattanooga 70.3 in May of 2021. And then for the best reason— I deferred to Chattanooga 70.3 in 2022 so I can be here for pictures for my senior daughter’s one and only prom (and my junior son’s first prom as well).
So, now my husband Jamie and I go to Lubbock, Texas. And YeeHaw! I have never been to Texas!
I am incredibly excited. AND I am more nervous than expected for my 16th half iron. But, I am okay being both and fully plan to channel my anxious nervousness into energy and strength. I am SO looking forward to the opportunity.
I am confident that I am not apprehensive about safety measures or afraid of contacting COVID-19. Ironman is moving forward with an abundance of caution and I am fully vaccinated. I am not nervous about tackling a brand-new-to-me course or the logistics of travel.
I have realized that with the certainty of racing, the nerves flare up when I consider what I know I am capable of and the expectation in myself to fulfill my goal. I don’t have a (specific) time, age group, or overall placement in mind. I have the “go out and lay it all out there on the course” goal. The “give the effort you really you know you have and then be okay with having given your all” goal. And those require an undistracted connection to myself and a laser focus for around five hours.
When I let nerves take over I lean into sabotaging thoughts and feelings of being an imposter. I let my brain start to talk me out of the discomfort that will come with staying present and determined for the entire race by reminding me that I am not good as I think. Some version of these thoughts might look familiar to you if you have or currently know you want to go after a goal that scares you. It doesn’t have to be about racing, or even anything physical for you to connect to the overall idea of self-sabotage and the lure of imposter syndrome.
“I am not as fast as I think. I need more time in the pool. I should have (insert green vomit emoji) sought out someone to help me work more on technique.”
“Others have raced in the past year and a half. They will be more ready.”
“I should have trained harder in (insert moment) or on (insert workout).”
“I don’t have to have high expectations. Just finishing is good enough.”
(Keep in mind- these are my thoughts on my goals. I most certainly would never judge anyone else for making a goal of finishing an endurance event. But, this would be a cop out for me on this goal and would not honor my authentic self.)
Five weeks out, my mental practice is to tackle those lies that don’t serve me or my progress toward my goal.
How can you do this too?
- Capture and examine your thoughts! Thoughts are things, not truths. When you have a thought about yourself or your goal I urge you to consider your brain’s motive to producing that thought; whether or not it is true; and if you decide it is- then WHY it is true? Have you been a self described person who “lacks follow through” on goals? This is the best place to start. Experts previously believed that after a given point in life, your brain could no longer change or develop further. Now they know this isn’t true. With a bit of time and patience, you can rewire your brain. This presents the opportunity to help with certain mental health symptoms and protect against cognitive decline. And it also gives you the chance to rethink how you think about yourself and your goals! After you listen to and examining your thoughts practice using positive mantras to replace the lies that don’t move you forward toward your goals. You CAN do hard things. You CAN follow through.
- Live in the moment. Don’t seek out validation from others, but instead stay true to you. If you are in self sabotage mode your brain is searching for things to prove that you are right—that you can’t accomplish your goal. Be careful with where and with whom you spend your time and energy! This is not the time to put yourself in reaction mode, or “autopilot.” Stay aware.
- Use your energy wisely, but don’t become internally obsessed. Aim to create and keep solid boundaries while not losing track that serving others is life and energy giving. Stay humble and loving while focused. Keep in mind that this is the life you are choosing. Be grateful to have the choice and option to go after your goals. Don’t be a victim. YOU have the power!
- Visualize success. Seriously— sit down quietly and talk yourself through you reaching your goals. Don’t skip the process and head straight to the final result in your visualization. Imagine and talk yourself through all if it in your mind. Consider hurdles, hard choices, and uncomfortable conversations. Think through them all. And see yourself conquering your goal. Do this often!
- Breathe. This solves so much in a moment. And don’t forget to smile too.
My hope is that reading this reaches you where you are in your life growth process. Goals are important to living your full evolution. Whether it gives you the confidence to spark the thought that you can; pushes you to consider your own pathways of excuses or self doubt; or helps you reach the next level— I know that you can reach those big goals.
Believe. Capture the thoughts. Embrace the process. Trust you. Be humble. Get back up when you inevitably fall down. Own your power. Achieve. Repeat.
Get stronger. Grow. Feel grounded and alive.
And if you will be racing in Texas send me a message!