Holidays still count

Although I’m at the beginning, my journey to the 2020 Ironman Texas continues to surprise me. The surprises show up in various ways. Such as physical improvements, insights into how my mindset affects my training AND how training affects my mental state. I am able to create either a positive or a negative feedback loop.

I work hard to keep it positive.

Today, the importance of simply showing up crystallized for me. It’s the 4th of July, a time where most Americans choose to take the day off and relax….the whole day. What’s the big deal with doing that? It’s just one day out of the year. I think it depends on your perspective. In principle neither is right nor wrong. It depends on what you want over time.

I recently read a post by an endurance athlete who was traveling for fun. She was out of town at a multi-day poker tournament. She’s currently training for a full Ironman. Although she was having fun playing the odds, she made sure to get her workouts done. She would say “the Florida Ironman isn’t going to race itself”… Her NO EXCUSES mentality inspired me.

I took that phrase to mean that EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.MATTERS. Regardless of whatever else you are doing, if you want to reach peak performance then you must show up daily.

I believe her.

The source of fear

I also understand that consistently showing up is required to build and maintain my momentum. Training for an endurance race requires a shit-ton of changes in my life. I’ve never been a super athlete or done any sort of endurance racing. In fact, my first year in high school I joined the cross country track team. Why might one do that? Great question. I wanted to go out for the track team. That’s where all the hot girls focused their attention. I wasn’t in shape, and the cross country season was ahead of track season, so I decided it would be a way to get in race condition.

I entered exactly one cross country event. I don’t even remember the distance. I just know that about 20 minutes into the race I found a big tree surrounded by bushes and decided to take a pit stop. My homie James and I chickened out. We waited until the race was done and then walked back to school. At some point, the coach found us and asked what happened to us. We made up some bullshit and he just shrugged and walked off. We never saw him or that team again. That was my only experience with endurance racing 😂. I quit and ran away.

They say that your fears never go away. You either face them or you are controlled by them. Your choice. The Ironman is a fear that I’ve chosen to face. My sense of failure so long ago has shown up in many ways over the years. I’ve not had the courage to face it until now. That’s embarrassing, actually. It feels silly when I admit it.

Back to July 4.

I’m not immune to the desire to stay in bed and relax the day away. I know, without a doubt, that I am nowhere near ready (physically or mentally) to complete a full Ironman race. It’s easy to say, the race is 10 months away, what difference will 1 day make…

I got my ass up and did the pool workout this morning which wasn’t a long, hard session. I focused on maintaining proper technique. I absolutely love starting my day with a big sense of accomplishment.

Remember to just show up. You’ll be glad that you did, good things tend to happen.