Motivation is so important to everyone, especially those who face challenges. I wrote this piece a few years ago after I completed a triathlon. It wasn’t pretty, but I finished and in the end, that’s what’s most important. Finishing a race means you didn’t quit.
Think of this the next time you think you can’t possible do something.
Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due.
Yesterday I participated in a sprint triathlon.
Let me just put it out there, it wasn’t pretty.
I wore a fat-kid-at-the-beach tee shirt during the swim, mostly because I didn’t have the right tri outfit. You’re just not going to find me in one of those hi-tech wet suits, I fear that once on, the darn thing would never come off.
Due to some shoulder problems, I did the breast-stroke for the entire 1/3 mile swim. I was looking throughout the previous waves and knew that I was the ONLY one doing breast-stroke but you know what? It was enough to get me around those buoys to the finish of the swim (and apparently it was enough to keep me ahead of the snapping turtles that had been spotted in the lake the day before – pretty strong incentive to swim as quickly as I possibly could)
I strapped on my brace and then came the biking and remarkably, that proved to be the easiest part of the race. In previous tris I’ve had to actually walk up some hills this time I did not. (there is a reason my name is not listed under the elite athletes column). 16 miles of rolling hills through some of the prettiest sections of our town, although not a breeze was certainly doable. I can do this, I said to myself as I used the momentum off the hills to coast. I can do this.
Last was the run. Let’s kid no one, although I had run track in high school and college, and even though at one point in my life I was training for running a marathon, my days of running are over. They are so over. I walked the run portion but I walked it with style.
Spurred on by my son, though, I gave it a go and I ended the race by actually running over the Finish line. I did, I was able to run again if only for a short distance. But I did it.
There are so many reasons why I was able to do this tri –
- My personal cheering squad – Marc and the kids – Marc walked miles in order to get race photos. He also understood that I needed to drink water first at the end of the race before I hugged him in order to not pass out. And how lucky was I that my son was the one who handed me the race medal at the finish line.
- My exercise buddy, Griffin – who finished the race and then walked it backward until he found me to encourage me on to the end.
- The chickens – they got me up in the morning, they listened with cocked head while I ranted about the injustice of a surgery gone bad. They never saw me as compromised but only viewed me as someone who was bigger and stronger than they. Never once did they doubt my ability to fly.
- My team of Physical Therapists – who unlike the caretakers of Humpty Dumpty have somehow been able to put me back together again and again. Even though they might not have agreed with my decision to participate in the tri, they only gave me nothing but support when they heard of my plans.
- That “specialist” Sports Orthopedic Doctor – who told me that although as a Sports Doctor he didn’t normally tell patients this, he recommended that I no longer engage in sports because my leg was too bad. Thanks for the needed motivation to prove you wrong. Eat my dust, pal.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.