Is Fear Holding Me Back?

So many of my Coeur Sports Teammates and triathlon friends push themselves to their maximum limit while racing. I’ve seen them punch their ticket to Kona, achieve goals and fulfill dreams. While I have pushed myself to hyponatremia twice while racing, I have never pushed myself so hard in a race that I wanted to collapse shortly after crossing the finish line. Why?!?!?! I think it comes down to fear. Deep down inside, I think I might be scared of the “pain” I will have to endure along the way. Scared of the unknown…especially on race day. Can my body handle it? What if I end up with hyponatremia again? What if I end up injured? Can I mentally handle it? Just how bad will it “hurt?” How long will I have to recover post race? What if I push myself to my limits and then don’t reach my goals/dreams? What if I push myself to my limits, but find it just isn’t as fun as I thought it would be? What if I push myself so hard that I don’t finish the race? What if? What if?? What if???

Fear is something I try to remove from my vocabulary, but I think it has crept in without me realizing it and has a stronger hold on me than I want to admit. Fear may be holding me back a bit when it comes to racing and really achieving my dreams. When I am at my most vulnerable, I find that I let that fear and doubt creep in and take over my once confident demeanor.

When I am racing I want to achieve success and really want to push myself to my maximum, but then fear creeps in…do I really want to endure the pain that comes with this level of success? Achieving success isn’t easy, whether it is in sport, at work, at home, etc. But working hard to achieve success is what makes it so enjoyable. So how do I keep the fear at bay?

With Ironman Wisconsin on the calendar for 2016 as my “A” race, my training and racing plan is going to be focused around speed and pushing my limits to their maximum. While I am INCREDIBLY nervous about leaving everything on the table, I am also VERY excited about finding out just how far I can push myself! 2016 will be the year that I learn to push past the fear and dig deep to see just how far I can go!

It is time to start living my dream and stop living my fears!
It is time to start living my dream and stop living my fears!

Does fear hold you back? How far do you push yourself while training and racing? How do you measure success?

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12 thoughts on “Is Fear Holding Me Back?

    1. That is a fantastic way of putting it!! I definitely should measure success “by the size of the smile on my face” as well!! Thanks for the insight Jim 🙂

  1. I do think fear is normal and necessary. It’s definitely up to you how far do you want to push. You must ask yourself if pushing to the pain breaking point and not getting that Kona ticket will ruin your entire season? How content are you with what you’re doing now? If you feel something is missing…then you have to go for it, but be prepared for disappointment-the competition is fierce out there. You have a lot of thinking to do! Best of luck!!

  2. I think it can be so easy to measure success by times and placements. While I do set these goals and measure my ” success” using those, I try to keep in mind other things as well. Going into a race fully prepared and knowing that I did what I felt I needed to do to have a successful day is key to me. Giving your all on race day but not second guessing your decisions during the race is also something I put emphasis on. I think it is important to focus on a variety of factors when measusing success.

  3. I have a similar problem with fear in that I focus on the “what if XYZ bad happens?” It makes me stress more than I need to and requires unnecessary energy that I could be using elsewhere. It’s hard to rid the mind of fear and the only way to do so is to just let go and see what happens.

    That is actually one of the reasons I opted for a natural labor/delivery with no epidural… I wanted to overcome fear and know that I can push through any type of pain. This next year, as you are training for IMWI, test your limits during some of your training workouts… go beyond. I have a feeling you will surprise yourself. 🙂

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