Between Pain and Nothing

I woke up this morning with the realization that in two weeks from now I am going to wake up having completed a half Ironman distance triathlon. Holy shit! I still can’t believe what I have signed up for. Really? Me? Triathlon? Am I out of my ever-loving mind?! Yep. I am. And I am going to do it. I don’t care if I have to crawl across that finish line; I am going to do it. EEK! BARF!

People keep asking me, “Do you feel ready?” Honestly, it depends on the day. Last week I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to do any of it. I have had a lower back that has plagued me with pain on and off throughout the training. I think I have finally pinpointed part of the problem, but there is still that little fear in the back of my mind, “what if I have to pull out at the last minute?” That fear is even bigger than the fear of actually doing the triathlon. But, I do what I can do right now. I listen to my body.

Listening to my body is sometimes blocked by my mind, so I am not sure if I talked myself out of the ride I was supposed to do on Saturday with my teammates because I was scared that I would tweak my currently happy back on the ride, or if I was being prudent in my training and saving myself for the big day. Right now I am going to go with being prudent. I have to because I can’t allow myself to start playing mind games this late in the game, when the game that really counts is so close.

So, when people ask me if I am ready, it really does depend on the day. Today I feel pretty great. My mind and body assure me that it is possible. It is going to be difficult. My entire body will probably ache during the event and definitely the next day and my back will probably hurt again, but that is OK.

There is a quote by William Faulkner that I like a lot – “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain”. I don’t really think he means physical pain, but I will always choose the sore muscles, the inability to walk down stairs after a hard day of training rather than not having the moments of experience I have had and will continue to have as an athlete.

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2 Responses to Between Pain and Nothing

  1. JoAnn Crohn says:

    If you have aches and pains, have you tried taking Tylenol before you train? In marathoning, I get a burning sensation in my legs and tylenol usually does the trick 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tip. I always get nervous about taking stuff. But, I will keep it in mind.

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