My training, racing, things that go through my head, memorable moments, and such.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fearless

This weekend is the World Triathlon Championships Grand Final, and we have the honour of hosting it in our own country. The past World Championships that I have attended have been in Beijing, and in Auckland, which makes Edmonton seem so tame! However having raced in Edmonton since my Kids of Steel days, I can assure you that Edmonton is more than capable of hosting the highest caliber of World Championships.

Although I am not going to be attending, I came across a couple of good passages in the "Three Day Road" by Canadian author Joseph Boyden (highly recommended). The book speaks of the tangible nature of fear, and how it has the power to overwhelm us. This part speaks about being lost in the forest in winter:

"I'd warned you before of panic's danger. It comes quick like an accident does, out of nowhere. Even then you knew not to let it take you. You stood there for a while and you must have thought of the stories I had told you around the fire, of men deep in winter being eaten alive by their own fear, men who tried to run away from it and grew hot from their running so that they tore their clothing off to cool down and help them run faster, men who were found half naked in the dead of winter by hunters, their faces stiff in a grimace at the sight of their fear catching them."

In my swim this morning, I was swimming along (pretty hard actually because it was a 1500 time trial in the lake), and the little fears began popping up as they tend to do. Fears of getting dropped and losing the feet. Fear that I am not a good enough swimmer. Fear that I am not trying hard enough, interspersed with fear that I am actually trying too hard and need to just f-ing calm down. That sort of thing. I don't usually listen to those fears, but today I remembered the book and came to the realization that the panic that comes from being lost in the woods is similar to the panic that comes when things start to fall apart in races. A fear of failure. Sometimes we give in to it, and let the fear catch us, and other times we are able to acknowledge the fear and let it disperse.

"My father's words come back to me. I concentrate on my racing heart, and ask it to slow down."

I'm not saying my little workout this morning was a panic-fest. It really wasn't. I just listened to the fears this morning rather than suppressing them. I think it worked - much easier to let them float by then to have them build up inside you.

So that is my gift to all of you racing at World Championships this weekend. Recognize the fears for what they are - emotions - and then let them go. (Unless you are Kirsten Sweetland... who apparently doesn't feel fear... haha)

All the best Gang! Kill it out there! Special Good Luck to TEAM CANADA:

Women: Paula Findlay, Kirsten Sweetland and Sarah-Anne Brault
Men: Kyle Jones and Andrew Yorke
U23 Women: Dominika Jamnicky, Joanna Brown and Amelie Kretz
U23 Men: Alexander Hinton, Alexis Lepage, Taylor Forbes & Tyler Mislawchuck
Junior Women: Kirsten Vergara, Elisabeth Boutin, & Emy Legault
Junior Men: Jeremy Briand, Xavier Grenier-Talavera, Russell Pennock, & Myles Zagar


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