Monday, April 29, 2013

For Me

Today I went for a bike ride. Something I've been thinking about and pondering came to my mind a few times throughout this ride. First, I was dizzy yesterday to the point I had to put Mimo back in his stall b/c I couldn't stand out there while he grazed. Bleh. Then last night I had this horrible pain in my left shoulder that woke me and left my arm down to my thumb sore. Weird stuff. I also felt a bit out of sorts today as well. But still I decided to ride.

Rookie Tri is this Sunday. What I do now isn't really going to make a difference in how that goes. Therefore, my prevailing thought has been to use it as a baseline for where I'm at given the miniscule amount of training I've put in. On the surface, this is all well and good. Look a bit deeper and I know this is what I *should* do. It's what I *want* to do. Yet I struggle; I know myself very well. As I've looked at this upcoming first tri of 2013 I've felt disappoint already. I haven't even done the damn thing and already I'm disappointed with my performance. How's that for whacked? ;-)

So my mind brought up this idea of doing the tri for myself a few times on this ride. I thought about why I decided to go for a bike ride this evening. Even though I don't think my fitness will improve all that much from now 'til Sunday, I still want to try. I still want to feel healthy and do what I can to give myself the best shot. And so I rode. A short ride, but I felt better than expected considering.

As I came in on Spiedel this thought of Rookie Tri entered my mind again. And truer than I've felt it before, I told myself to do this one for myself. This time. Do it for myself. Swim 300 meters and chill out in the water. Take it easy and enjoy, knowing I can now finally swim after all these years. Ride my bike to the best of my current ability. I can push this a little. No, I don't expect it to be my fastest, I haven't trained for that. But I can still try to rock it out for where I'm at now. Then run 2 miles. It won't be fast. But I can do it and see where I'm at.

So in I came on Spiedel with these thoughts coming to my mind. I thought of Katja and her can-do personality, how she approached things, how she went toward newness instead of backing away. I looked up and there was one of those beautiful clouds with the sun pouring through and gorgeous sunlight streaming from the heavens to the ground. I felt... something. A peace. An acceptance. And maybe some sort of chance I *will* be able to do this one for myself. It seemed to cement my thoughts into place and everything just felt right.

My goals for Rookie Tri - somewhat above in regards to the event itself. But also, to end it feeling proud of myself. Proud for doing this sport I never dreamed I'd do just a short while back. Proud that even though I may not have done much training, my body is still strong enough to be able to do this. I may not win my age group by a long shot, but so what? There will always be those better and worse than me. So in the end, what does it matter except that I am proud of my own accomplishments and the fact that I tried? IF I want to be faster in my next one, I can take the steps to get there. For this one, let's just make it enough that I'm able to complete it and cross that finish line with a biga$$ smile.

For me.

Because I can. And because it IS good enough to simply enjoy the ride (and swim. and run) sometimes. ;-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Who sets your bar?

Who sets your bar?
Is it you? your parents? friends? boss? some imaginary bar-setter? who???

And where?
Always too high so it's never attainable, making you feel insecure, inadequate, and like a loser? Or does always too high keep you motivated and provide that extra push to keep striving?
Always too low so you trick yourself into feeling like a winner, like you're a rockstar in your own world? Or does setting it low give you that extra pat on the back to keep striving?

It's fascinating to me how different people approach goals. There are those whose default is I CAN. I WILL. They may have no real reason for believing they can attain it, but no matter... they exude confidence and will try and try, sometimes get there sometimes not, but they keep on going. And then there are those who approach things from the view of thinking they're not worthy, strong enough, inadequate. Almost shooting yourself in the foot before you even try.

There must be a happy medium here. Too much confidence and you could injure yourself or be too reckless. Too insecure and you could talk yourself out of something before you've even given it a shot.

This is one of my goals to work on: Setting my own bar and at an appropriate level for me.

I'm the latter up there. I rarely feel adequately prepared for anything. This ties into most every part of my life. It's like I need to have all the answers, need to have researched everything, before I will say I feel confident and competent. I'm reading a book called Mindset that has been very interesting and deals with some of this. To paraphrase one section that hit home: think of taking a class to learn a foreign language. A few weeks into the course the teacher calls you in front of the class and barrages you with questions. The *fixed* mindset gets stressed, feels like a failure, that they're being judged by their peers. Counter that with the *growth* mindset, however. The teacher is there to guide you and why would you be expected to know all the answers if you're new to this? This is a learning experience and to be approached with interest in the hopes of getting better. I like this as I know I'm fixed in many regards. Always feeling judged and like I'm expected to be perfect. Not always. There are things I'm ok sucking at. :-) But I hate feeling stupid.

Tonight I made my first batch of kitchari using Sanieh's recipe. It's good! I've gotten away from a lot of the healthy stuff I used to eat, yoga, writing, doing things that make me feel strong and grounded. It's time to add those things back into my life and part of setting my bar means honoring my body, mind, and spirit. I can set lofty athletic goals, but if I run myself into the ground trying to attain them, then what is the point? Yes, I want to freestyle the swim portion of a tri this spring, and yes I'm in a masters class right now and focusing on my form, but that doesn't mean I need to put all my energy into that and swim a super fast tri. My goal for that is simple: freestyle the swim portion of my first tri this spring. Period. End of story. That is MY bar. So whose bar is it that comes in and says that's not good enough? That if I freestyle it, but am the last out of the water, then I still suck. Where does that come from? I mean really, I'm not going to become a professional triathlete. So whether I swim fast or slow, in the scheme of my life, who cares? Apparently some part of me. Or some part that's hanging about in my body from others that I feel I need to impress. Why? Maybe there's a part of me that wishes I was more athletic than I am. I'm sure there's a big component from the constant horse show question of years past, "Why didn't you get first place? What happened that you didn't win?"

So this year and on down the road, I will try to set my own bar and hold myself accountable to that. In addition, I will be aware of this other part that constantly makes me feel like a failure by putting asterisks on that bar: must swim x pace, must not be last, would be nice to place, must pedal up that hill quickly, must be better than others, etc etc. Chill the f out. Seriously. My bar is my own. Not to be compared to anyone else's. I will try.

And so begins my foray back into mental stimulation. It's time. He||, it's been time for quite some time. :-) Welcome back, me.