Coming out on top
*this blog was posted a day late
Two days ago however was easily the lowest point of my season to date. My battle with fatigue appeared to be a loosing battle and all of my thoughts were uncharacteristically negative. Despite being an overly optimistic person I found it impossible to find the proverbial silver lining. I was questioning why I did this sport? Am I cut out for long course racing? Did I just waste the past 6 months of my life? I was even preparing to travel to Napa and not even bring my gear. I was thoroughly convinced that I had just blown another season. I was having a breakdown. How could something so important to me and that I'm so passionate about reject me? I'm not sure that triathlon was rejecting me rather I was rejecting it by forgetting why I fell in love with triathlon in the first place.
The very nite I had my breakdown I had two very important conversations, one with my wife Melissa and the other with Matt.
As I began to unload my frustrations, anxiety and emotions onto Melissa she sat there and listened. I told here I didn't even want to race Vineman and that my season was pretty much over. She immediately said something along the lines of; that's crazy, you can still do it, so what if you don't have your best race, remember why you do triathlon. Remember why I do triathlon. Remember why I do triathlon! My wife is a genius and may I add knows a lot more than I thought about triathlon. I needed to remember why I fell in love with this sport in the first place. It was never about time, it was always about the experience. Every race I entered I had the best time no matter the weather, distance, course, time etc because of the people I was surrounded with, the energy they produced and it was my way of celebrating all my hard work leading up to the race.
I finished my first half ironman in Montauk in the craziest conditions with one of my very good friends and a new friend I made on the course. My finishing time was irrelevant, I was sharing in an unbelievable experience and triumph with friends. My experiences at this race is what attracted me to long course racing.
If I don't have the best time at Vineman so what? (although it would be rewarding) I do get to race with one of my friends who I have known since 9th grade, in front of my entire family on a racecourse in the middle of Napa Valley, California! Everything is in place to have another amazing experience now I just need to be there mentally.
Matt was on the end of my second conversation that night. I let him know my every concern, worry and fear. He assured me with full confidence that my season was not over and that I would bounce back from this bout of fatigue even stronger. Matt also reminded me of what we had done up to this point in the season and that we were a team. We were a team and we would get through this together.He expressed that my fatigue was weighing on him as well and that he had been working hard; hitting the books and via reflection, to get me back on point.
The concept that we were a team really struck me. This guy is truly invested in me and cares what I do. It's not that I ever questioned his intentions but this just brought my understanding of our relationship to the next level. I'm not alone in triathlon despite it being a non-team sport.