This past weekend, I headed out to Boulder, Colorado for a triathlon training camp with the epic Team Amazing Day. To be perfectly honest, I almost didn’t get on the plane.
Let me explain.
First off, let me say that I love my coach. She freaking rocks my socks and has helped me improve greatly since July when I started working with her. Me being terrified of camp has nothing to do with my coach. Or my team. It has to do with me (It’s not you, it’s me…). It’s no secret that I’m no speed demon. I am improving, but I am nowhere near where I want to be. It’s also no secret that I’m no delicate flower. All of a sudden I was flying to the place of endurance sport legends to train with people who were lighter and faster than me. In elevation.
I felt like a fraud.
I got on the plane anyways. And I stressed. And stressed. I may or may not have threatened that I was getting back on the plane and going home. I felt nauseated and like I had made a huge mistake.
But I stayed. I hate to think that I almost let my complacency outweigh my desire to improve…and what I would have missed out on if I had accepted comfortable and good enough. This weekend perfectly illustrated to me that the only place that magic happens is outside of your comfort zone.
I get to rave about my coach here a little more. What I will tell you is that signing up for coaching is one of the single best decisions that I have made. Some people don’t need accountability, but I do. It also helps that I feel like my coach and I have personalities that mesh well. She’s all about eating well and improving, but she’ll also buy me a gluten-free Valentine’s Day cupcake (delish!). That’s my kind of coach! She increased the awesomeness by offering to pick me up from the airport. As soon as she did, my stress levels started to decrease. She has talked me down from many a ledge and tends to have that effect on me.
I started to remember how much hard work I have put in to training (lots). I started to remember why I love the triathlon community (so much support!). And I started to remember why I had originally signed up for training camp (really want that sub-6:30 half Iron).
And with one deep breath, it all came rushing back.
I love to swim, bike, and run.
That’s the beginning and end of it.
Apparently all it took was a leisurely dinner with my coach and her bad ass husband to remind me. I was sitting with two of the fastest people I know (he got 36th overall at Kona!) and they were nothing but supportive. They were the epitome of why I love the endurance and triathlon communities I finally started to relax. And that’s when magic happens.
The rest of the weekend was full of long trail runs, swimming technique, eating, strength training, track workouts, more swimming, more eating, and so much laughing. I cannot say enough positive things about this amazing team of people who I am fortunate enough to call my own. There was not a single bit of judgement the entire weekend. There were plenty of awkward running drills accompanied by wonderful sarcasm. These people spoke my language. Everyone was there supporting each other and working on improving themselves. Where my mind feared competition, there was only camaraderie. It was enough to give a warm fuzzy to the Grinch.
It’s hard to go outside of your comfort zone. It is, by definition, uncomfortable and unpleasant. But you need to push those limits.
I have big goals for this year in both life and triathlon. I want to live bigger and be better. In order to even have a chance at that, I need to journey outside of my comfort zone. All. The. Time. This weekend was a good wake up call. It’s easy to fall into a routine and to just go through the motions, but that’s not what life is about. I want to live a BIG life. I want to live life out loud!
The sky is the limit and I refuse to accept anything less. I need to remember not to qualify myself. I am strong and capable. I am a triathlete. The fact that my time is faster or slower than anyone else does not change that. Sometimes you just need a not so gentle
kick in the ass reminder.