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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“F” words no athlete should be afraid of…

I just crossed the finish line of a VERY FULL and BUSY week…teaching 8th grader science all day followed by parent teacher conferences until 7 pm Monday-Wednesday, followed by another round of parent teacher conferences Thursday morning until noon (54 conferences in all…less than half of my students).  My conversations with parents and students, sparked my thoughts about “failure.”  I shared my view of failure with some parents and students…

You have only failed if you didn’t learn something along the way and you stopped trying to get better.

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My view of failure doesn’t just apply to 8th grade science, but to life and sport.  As an athlete, there are some very prominent “F” words that show up from time to time.  I do my best to change my thinking from the negative connotation that these “F” words can have to a much more positive outlook when they appear.  How can these “F” words help me be a better athlete?!?!?

Fear…Many people have anxiety when they allow fear to enter their domain.  However, fear doesn’t seem to cause me anxiety.  I view fear as a challenge for me to become better.  When I stop and look fear head on, I become strong, courageous, confident, powerful and in control of my domain.

Failure…For me, fear and failure can go hand-in-hand.  On race day, I sometimes experience the “fear of failure,” so I have to keep reminding myself of the following:  as long as I learn something and keep trying to become better, I am not failing.

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Frustration…I only become frustrated when I don’t meet the expectations I have set for myself.  I am learning to adjust these expectations to help reduce the amount of frustration that I feel, but for a very goal-oriented person with high standards, adjusting expectations can be a challenge.  Luckily I have never been one to shy away from a challenge 🙂

What negative “F” words do you encounter that you are trying to twist into a positive???