the Big Resistance


There would be no Resistance without the Dream. The Dream comes first. Resistance follows.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Resistance’s strength is equal to the power of the Dream. Big Resistance = Big Dream. No Resistance = no dream.

Steven Pressfield

Anyone who knows me knows that I have big dreams, big visions for my future and my family future.  So many of them are truly manifesting daily, weekly, yearly.  Little dreams, little goals, steps all required towards some of the big ones.  Many of them would have already happened if I were better at allowing the process, better and recognizing and embracing Resistance, capital R.

Today I want to just visit a place I went to last night with my swim coach.  Who I funny enough Finally let coach me lol.  I don’t want to go into all the different ways that I have gotten in my own way, I will just keep it specific today to my triathlon goals and racing- but trust me – it is a contagious thing, and it has founds its way like roots into many things I do, many things I start or plan.

I asked for help with my swim last night, nothing crazy, but a big step toward deconstructing and reconstructing my swim into something that is truly worth spending time on (since I am spending time on it anyway!)  I have been telling myself it didn’t really matter, that where I was is ok, and I can still reach my Kona qualifying goal as an ok swimmer, also lying to myself that I could get faster eventually doing things the way I was.   We started having conversations between drills about my Tahoe race, and how I handled different situations. I started to see clearly where I had accidentally on purpose “not tried” in certain areas, thinking the little things wouldn’t add up and giving myself a back door built on excuses to sneak out of.  Now I know you think, oh but you had a great race, and it was so hard, and  and, but no, I am sort of tired of letting the minutia of self sabotage and protection build walls around what I really want.

You see, for example, I don’t like to be timed, unless I’m feeling good.  At anything.  Strange eh?  I have a fear of what the clock will say, and what kind of pain it will take to make the clock say what I want it to.  So I avoid it.  I don’t show up to train with fast people, I don’t race a lot because I may suffer, may get hurt, I may destroy the illusion of progress that I pretend I am making.  I am blessed to be able to put in great efforts and my body responds well, and it this has sort of protected me from the truth, that I have not done what it takes to do what I say I want to do and what I am capable of  ( I even quit track as a senior in hi school because my ankles hurt – after years of setting  school records and state track).  What if,  what if, what if I did my absolute BEST start to finish, literally START of gun to finish, and I fell short?  what if i felt bad? what if I got hurt? what if I couldn’t finish?  So WHAT I have realized.  What If I do my best and I blow my goals out of the water. That would be worth all of those things happening.

At the start of races I feel silly starting hard, knowing my swim is so so.  SOOO I start off oh so casual, not a care in the world,  as if I plan to just finish the race. In transition, I am efficient and quick and usually have top transition times, but have never RACED through like it mattered.  I do believe for some reason I am good and smart with effort on the bike in a race, BUT in training, do I seek out people who will push me and pull out my potential, pull me out of my comfort zone to ultimately bring my bike to a new level? not enough, I stay in my world (though the power meter sure is a good buddy!!!).

On the run, in particular in Ironman, the one I need to nail to get to Kona, I am okay with  some of the physical problems that crop up that you cannot control.  But little things, like TOO easily stopping to chat with a volunteer or walk a little slower with a fellow racer, not even TRYING to run a hill.  Letting those minutes ticked by as if they don’t matter anymore.  I promise you I can add up the minutes in each of the Ironman runs I have done that would have placed me 10 places higher.  Woulda- coulda-shoulda,  I could dismiss these things as just that, me going back and being hard on myself and hindsight and of course we could all do better under evaluation.  But seriously, I have moments in training and racing that I totally sabotage in a very sneaky way.  Even with eating!  Everyone knows I eat pretty clean and healthy and want to optimize nutrition, sleep and so on.  But the closer and more important the event is, the more slack I get, the worse I feel.  So instead of motivation to be dialed in better than ever, my big events push me the opposite direction, as if to give me another subtle reason and excuse to doubt that I can do it.   I see it spiraling out of control to a roller coaster ride at the event, one where my heart wants it, I believe I am as capable as anyone, but then the weakness and doubts surge ahead.    I see those I’m competing with running strong, think good for them, happy and amazed at their ability to not stop.  But sort of ashamed of myself because I know they are not feeling any less pain than I.   Just being honest.

I am writing this as a self expose, a quick one, one that I will go into more detail on my own, not to beat myself up, but to one by one approach the pieces in a way that makes sense.  I think it will help me set up situations to practice and overcome the habits that undermine a year of training at a time.  It will be fun, these little things that may even be harder emotionally than the big ones!  Like time trials, and finding people better than me, and going all out,  (smart of course, I do pride myself in awesome pacing ability lol) but not being afraid of being tested, and compared and given honest evaluations.  Not just to get to Kona, because some of that will always be out of my control, but to know that in any moment – I know what I can do because I have real knowledge of it, I know I didn’t give myself little outs and excuses.  One thing I have realized, as many quirky little ways to resist the dream that I have come up with, there have got to be more solutions. So there, step one is recognizing the problem, time to move onward and upward!  I welcome calls to action and accountability prods!

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