My first introduction to triathlete was through the Ironman World Championship coverage on NBC. I remember being in the gym at the time and realizing that my pitiful circuit workout was little more than a warm up for these superhumans. I choked up hearing their stories. I marveled at their commitment. And I thought, “I want to do that.” And then I thought, “I could never do that.”
That’s a fault of mine. I see something new and I think, I can’t do that. To mitigate that fear, I do research. So I googled “triathlon” and discovered that the Ironman thing, that was the big one. There were much more manageable distances. A half ironman? Probably not. Olympic distance? Maybe, but I can barely run a 5k. Sprint distance? Now you’re talking. Like Goldielocks finding her perfect porridge temperature, I latched on to the idea that a sprint distance would fit me just right, and I said to myself “I’m going to do a triathlon by the time I’m 30.”
I was 23 at the time. The years rolled by. Every year the Kona coverage would come on and I would think, “I want to do a triathlon. I’m going to do a triathlon before I turn 30.” I changed jobs. I got married. I bought a house. I turned 29. And still no triathlon. It was time to put up or shut up. So I registered for a race that would have me completing my first triathlon three months before my 30th birthday.
My main fear was not injury or death. I wasn’t worried about drowning during the swim, crashing on the bike, or collapsing on the run.
No. I was afraid of looking like an idiot.
I just did not want to look like I had a sign on my back that screamed NEWBIE! Strange, how the threat of injury to pride trumps any fear of bodily harm. This thought of being the newbie, the beginner- it gave me major anxiety! And when I’m anxious, I do research. I read every beginner triathlete article out there, absorbing the same “first timer” tips they all seemed to share. Organize your gear ahead of time. Don’t try anything new on race day. Practice your transitions. Have fun!
Have fun. How can I have fun when I don’t know what I’m doing???
Other research I found was much more technical. Nutrition. Strengthening workouts. Bike gear. Run cadence. Swim stroke technique. Tips and tricks aimed at helping experienced triathletes better their times.
This time I felt like Goldielocks, unable to find her “just right” research.
So I decided to create it.
Welcome to The Anxious Triathlete.