Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Reminder of My Reasons

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." -Henry David Thoreau

I reached the half-way point in my year full of excitement, pride, and gratitude.

I then immediately fell into a slump: unmotivated, really feeling the daily grind of my training plan, questioning how I can embrace these next 20 weeks with the same joyful spirit that have filled the first 20.

Having been here before, I know these feelings are temporary -- and will most likely be resolved by the rest week that starts next Monday -- but, to help get me through, I've been thinking a lot about my reasons.

Why am I doing this? What are my reasons for this year? Why triathlon?

Here's are the reminders to myself I wrote last night:

I crave the opportunity to push myself farther than I've ever gone before. I'm curious about how I will respond to the challenge. Triathlon allows me to be a student of this process.

Although, I'm lucky enough to have a job that truly helps to make a difference in the world, much of my average day is spent in a glorified cube, in front of a computer, typing away. When I walk into my office after a tough morning workout and leave in my running shoes, I feel like a superhero. Triathlon gives me that feeling day after day.

Thanks to being committed to training, my outside matches my inside: strong, focused, resilient - dare, I say - sexy. I'm more fit than I've ever been before. I like walking into any store and finding clothes that fit and feel good. Triathlon keeps my body - and my mind - in the shape I want.

Doing something that others may consider extraordinary - or extreme! - gives me a platform to raise awareness about an issue about which I care about deeply. Triathlon amplifies my ability to make a difference.

I've learned that it's possible to excel in areas that once seemed off-limits. Yes, we do have time to exercise. Yes, we can learn new skills. Yes, we can really improve. Triathlon gives me the privilege of being an example for my co-workers, friends, and family.

I want to show up on November 1 and race - not just hope and pray and stumble my way to the finish line. Showing up to race requires training - and some training weeks are tougher than others. Triathlon has revealed my inner athletic competitor and I like her.

This year is a gift. I may never again have this combination of time, money, and support. Triathlon helps me honor NOW.

I refuse to live a life of quiet desperation. Instead, this is one step I take every day toward a life of extraordinary. Triathlon frees my song.