I found myself diving headfirst into the world of endurance sports. It started with a half-marathon followed by a marathon, then a particular focus on triathlons. My first triathlon was a whirlwind. It was an anxiety-filled swim in a pool. I walked up and down the lanes when the stress became too much. Also, because the fitness was not there. The realization hit hard; I needed to swim more. I was afraid, but I knew I had to face my fear. Each step into endurance sports brought lessons from the journey prior.
Overcoming Swim Anxiety: Facing My Fears
In a bid to conquer the anxiety, I started swimming in open water, often with a group. There’s a certain comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and the collective experience was a balm to my nerves. Over time, the fear diminished, replaced by muscle memory built from consistent training.
Endurance sports taught me a profound lesson: I can do hard things. I learned that discomfort is temporary, but the lessons learned from it last a lifetime. I learned that failure isn’t terminal; it’s a stepping stone to success.
Ironman Wisconsin: A Turning Point and Unexpected Relief
Ironman Wisconsin in 2019 was a turning point for me. I didn’t finish. I was overwhelmed by the thought of the long ride and running after the swim. But instead of despair, I felt relief. I got to cheer on the other athletes throughout the day. I realized that the journey to the starting line, the training, and getting into great physical shape was the real victory. The finish line was just a victory lap, and sometimes those don’t go as planned.
This experience allowed me to reframe my mindset about competition. It wasn’t about being the best, but more about enjoying the journey to the start line and embracing the challenges that come on race day. I learned to be comfortable with reframing my goals to do the best I could on any given day.
Run Tri Bike: Sharing the Voice of the Everyday Athlete
This mindset has had a profound impact on my life outside sports. I applied it to running my business, Run Tri Bike. Our goal is to work with partners that share our vision and mission of furthering endurance sports through the voices of the everyday athlete. We don’t need the biggest platform; we want the most impactful one. This approach led us to take risks that will help us achieve our long-term goals over immediate success.
One such risk was adopting the motto: “The Voice of the Everyday Athlete.” We believe this will cement our platform as the place to come for inspiration and motivation. The community we are building is a place where athletes can share their experiences. There was a time when each of us got started. Some of us will have to start again. Life happens, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up where we left off. Our platform is a testament to this.
I see Run Tri Bike becoming the go-to place for beginners wondering if they are capable of training and racing for endurance sports. But it goes beyond that. Not every training cycle or race goes according to plan, even if you’ve been doing it for years. We want our platform to show that we all started somewhere, and sometimes that start is more than once. In endurance sports, it’s the lessons from the journey that we can apply to other aspects of our life.
It’s About the Journey: The True Essence of Endurance Sports
Endurance sports have taught me many things, but the most important lesson is this: it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. Enjoy the journey, embrace the challenges, and remember that, whether you cross the finish line or not, the real victory is in the attempt.