It’s been a while. About two years, to be exact, since I finished a race or a workout and felt that moment of triumph, joy, relief, accomplishment, so much that I weep and sob.
I was in the middle of a 3-hour bike ride yesterday and listening to the end of Chrissie Welligton’s book A Life Without Limits as she shared the story of her last Kona victory, how she overcame injury, and strong challengers, to push beyond herself, win, and remain undefeated in IM. How as she approached the finish the cheers from the crowd propelled her forward and made her cry, just as it did in her first Kona victory a few years prior. How she felt a new level of accomplishment, having given her all, overcome obstacles, and done something even she wondered if she could accomplish. How she cried as she approached the finish and held that tape high over her head in victory.
I was weeping on the bike. Imagining that feeling. Oh, I want that feeling again. The last time I had it was at the end of a run in the Spring of 2010. I was just starting to see growth in my speed having lost some weight and transition to Vegan lifestyle. That day I ran 13 miles in under 2 hours. At that point in my running it was a hug milestone, given that the last 13.1 I had raced took me 2:49. I had achieved something that seemed so elusive, so unattainable. I stopped my Garmin at the end of the run and wept on a curb in an empty cul-de-sac. Before that I had wept at the completion of the Disney 26.2 in 2009, after accomplishing something I never would have imagined. That one most of you know about. Funny, i was mocked for it–still am. Weird thing is, we NEED these moments. We are human. Whether tears of triumph, or tears of sadness, they are cleansing, purifying. They allow one to release pent up anxieties and emotions that accumulate over a training season.
So there I was, on my bike in the Alabama heat, crying along with Chrissie Wellington, celebrating with her, yet envious of that moment. Needing that euphoric, cleansing, an emotional crescendo, of sorts. I imagined myself finishing an IM. How would I react? What would I do? Could I even lift my arms by that point? Do I have the courage to try?
How do I get it again? BQ? IM? Something I’ve yet to imagine?
Randy Pausch (who wrote “The Last Lecture” – an amazing audio book) emparted this big of wisdom once – ““There’s a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It’s not something you can give; it’s something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.” Though you’re not necessarily refering to kids or self confidence, I think the same thing applies to adults looking to enrich their lives.
When you changed your life and got healthy – that was something the fatter Gordon didn’t REALLY believe you could do, but you dedicated yourself to it and you did it!
You probably got a similiar feeling at the end of that first marathon when you heard “Go Daddy Go!” at just the right moment and crossed the finish line. You accomplished something some part of you didn’t think was possible.
Now, you know you can complete races and be a competitor. That feeling comes harder because you know you can do it.
Why no pick something you don’t think you can do (be it racing or something else) and do it anyway?
See if that helps you rekindle that feeling?