Monday, May 2, 2011

Perception is a funny thing.

I was talking with some friends over the weekend about the varied views I have of the Triathlon.  The sprint course that I’m training for is a 0.3 mile swim, 15 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run.  Each of the elements seems “do-able”, especially after a good feeling workout at the gym.  Other days, I wonder what on earth I’ve gotten myself into!  Quitting isn’t something that has ever crossed my mind, but it does keep my mind very much aware of the healthy respect that I have to give this challenge.

I’ve been working out with some guidance for about 6 weeks now, feeling stronger, better, each time.  Somewhere in my optimistic mind, I thought I’d just hope on the track or bike, and off I’d go!  Well, reality isn’t quite so sweet.  This is going to be WORK.  I met the “Tri Newbie” Training group from the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club at the Opechee running track last Thursday.  We have a really great group of people, very welcoming and encouraging.  Our trainer, JP was great when I spoke with her.  Of course, I tell her that I have never attempted anything like this before, and I’m glad when she doesn’t cringe at the fact that I have NO IDEA how to really perform.  Just a strong will, iron determination and sheer ignorance of the gravity of the task at hand.  (Lucky for me, this pain will come as a surprise, ha ha.)  JP embraces me with the group, and set me off around the track.  Walking sounds easy, running should be fine, so off I go, and find myself quite challenged and remembering being a kid, when I didn’t even think of running as work at all!  A teammate flies past me on the track and offers back, “that’s exactly where I was three months ago… you’ll get there!”  Reassured, I hold my head up and press on.  It’s a process, just keep going.

The first time in the pool was the very next night.  Great!  I love to swim!  The 0.3 mile swim equals about 12 laps of the pool.  Totally do-able… 12 isn’t a big number at all.  Until I got in the water, that is.  We had a free practice, the instructor wasn’t there yet, so I practiced, and got in 6 very winded laps before another instructor arrived.  He offered to help, though he hadn't really trained a beginner course before.  Okay, fantastic.  I’m glad to have some direction, give him my rookie disclaimer, that I have no idea how to swim competitively.  He has me swim from the side to the middle a few times to observe me, gives me some pointers, and has me runs laps a few times.  I was a mess when I started, but felt better about my form, and improved by the end of practice.  I had run 14 laps, more than the race itself, thoroughly worked, but felt great.  I felt trained, even if only a little bit.  I’m starting to see where my weaknesses are to be able to practice more and work on them.  (Breathing patterns are a big challenge for me, I’m finding.)

JP had said that we should try to make it the track for practice again on our own over the weekend, so I did.  This time, I took someone with me to take photos so that I might have something to use for the blog.  I did my laps, went to LASC and did a full round of weights.  It was a pretty good workout, a beautiful sunny day.  Pictures would be a great idea!  That’s where I come full circle on the perception thing.  (I hated the photos, by the way.)  While I have lost 26 pounds since March 20th, some days I feel great, and others I can feel the inflammation my body fights with.  (I can swing 15 pounds in a single day, I have found, just from inflammation issues from the Lyme Disease.)  So, sometimes I see the scale down 2 or 3 pounds and I’m ecstatic.  Other days, 2 or 3 pounds only seems minor, like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic!!  I’m glad that I can laugh about it, because I have a long way to go.  I just keep going…

“I believe you make your day. You make your life. So much of it is all perception, and this is the form that I built for myself. I have to accept it and work within those compounds, and it's up to me.”  ~ Brad Pitt


  1. Keep up the good work and determination..I remember when I first started strength training, I could just barely bench the bar with no weight, I really had no idea what I was doing either. I would look around at other women easily benching 135lbs for 2 or 3 sets of 10 or more. Well I was bound and determined that I was going to get there, no matter what it took and it took a year before I competed in my first competition, eventually beating the state record for my weight class and believe I still hold that this day...Perception is key and it is a very funny thing because everyone's perceptions vary but what also is important is keeping a good perspective which is a little different from perception but they seem to tie into each other. Know your limits and persevere to overcome them! You'll get there!

  2. YOU are an inspiration my friend! You have overcome bigger challenges, and through those you became a stronger woman! You have set so many goals and achieved them already! There will be many of us cheering you on!!!