The season that wasn’t

Train. Come into form. Babsiosis.

Train. Come into form. Car accident.

This is my reflection on a season that wasn’t.

Reflection is a part of sport that very few athletes chose to focus on. Athletes that cannot objectively reflect on their performances’ during training and racing only handicap their potential and ability to excel in sport. It is through reflection that an athlete can assess their abilities (strengths and weaknesses) and then proceed to create a game plan that will allow for future success.

I have attempted to sit down and write this blog several times but just wasn’t in the right mind frame. Each attempt would bring on a flood of emotions; anger, frustration, annoyance, dejection, bewilderment. I have learned through varying life experiences that my best decisions are made with a level and neutral head. An emotionally driven reflection would have certainly been a misrepresentation of what was.

Here were my goals going into the season;

1. Finish the season healthy and injury free.

2. Become the best 70.3 athlete I can be.

3. Swim 35 minutes, bike no more than 3 hours and run less than 2 hours (5:35)

Goal # 1 – Finish the season healthy and injury free

In a black and white world I came nowhere near accomplishing this goal. I contracted a very rare disease, babsiosis and was in a severe automobile accident while riding my bike. Out of the ten months of training I was sick or injured for almost 4 of them. In order to benefit from reflection I need to assess the 6 months of training I was able to complete. For those six months was I healthy? Yes, I was able to achieve a new level of fitness. Was I injury free? Absolutely, the strongest I have ever been. The training regime that Matt created allowed me to successfully reach this goal.

I know I had no control over what happened to me yet I still have an issue saying that I absolutely achieved this goal. As of now I'm going to leave it as undecided.

Goal # 2 – Become the best 70.3 athlete I can been.
If I measure this goal based solely on race results than it was an absolute failure. If anything I took steps backwards. But if I measure my improvements as an athlete than I can say, yes, I achieved this goal. A season that was suppose to be gauged on racing abruptly turned into one based on training. Despite making encouraging progress physically I grew the most mentally. I impressed and at times shocked myself with how mentally tough I had become. This season I fully transitioned from an athlete to a student-athlete. Physical improvements were no longer acceptable without an understanding of why they were made. I have developed a hunger for knowledge and how the body works. I'm not as interested in the results (split times), as I am with what my body did in order to achieve those results.

Although I really love to race I have developed a new and different perspective on things. Training has afforded me the opportunity to be successful every day while racing only allows an opportunity for success once every few months.

Goal # 3 – Swim 35min, Bike under 3hrs, Run under 2hrs
I was only able to get in one race this season and I absolutely failed at achieving this goal. Were these times realistic? Were they obtainable? Were these times a set up for failure? This season I know that I could have achieved this time if not done slightly better. Working with Matt has allowed me to see my potential in triathlon and we both believe that we have only scratched the surface. I have zero illusions of landing on a podium or becoming a professional. I do have the unwavering focus to achieve this goal and become the best 70.3 athlete I can be.


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