Spring is just around the corner. In the Midwest, that means race season is around the corner.
Have you picked a race to train for yet? What are you waiting for?
I spent part of this morning re-reading “The Slow Fat Triathlete” to find the right words to inspire you to start training. Jayne Williams didn’t let me down.
In her book’s chapter “Your Road to Slow Fat Triathletehood,” Williams writes “…life is way too short and precious to worry about what other people think when you’re to doing something. Self-consciousness is the enemy of fun. It’s the enemy of feeling comfortable. It’s the enemy of achievement. It’s your enemy. Decide right now to banish your self-consciousness from your journey to triathletehood. Don’t worry about what you look like in Lycra, or whether your boobs jiggle when you run, or whether your beer belly gets in the way of your aerodynamic tuck on the bike. Remember, we all look dorky. And absolutely remember that we always think we look worse than we do. Believe that your body, like any body, was made to be moved, and that any body in motion is a glorious thing.”
Apply this to the sport of your choice. Quit worrying about what other people think. Just say “My journey to <insert sport here> begins today.”
At the end of the chapter, Williams recaps things, offering her four tips to keep you on the road to your first race:
1. Abandon self-consciousness: “Absolutely nothing good ever comes from worrying what other people think of you when you’re doing something that you want to do, that’s fun and legal, and that’s actually good for you.”
2. Be real. “Don’t sign up for the World’s Toughest Half-Ironman for your first race. Find something that looks like it’s easy to get to and a pretty realistic goal for distance and terrain. The first race you do should leave you feeling like, “Man, that wasn’t so bad! Let’s do another one!” not like “Oooooh my gooooodddd. I barely survived that and I will now have to take to the couch for three weeks.”
3. Use the Web. “You can find out pretty much everything about triathlon (or any endurance sport) by judicious use of the Internet.”
4. Who are you, anyway? “Some people really need the social aspect of getting together and training with other people, feeling the warm glow of grouphood. Others just want to make their plans and do their thing, on their own, without a club or a masters swim team or a weekly group bike ride. If the idea of joining a club makes you break out in a cold sweat, you don’t have to. If you know you’ll never ever get up and swim in the morning unless there’s someone waiting for you at the pool, then look into the masters swim or recruit a training buddy. Figure out what style suits you as you start out. It might change later, but do what you’re comfortable with right now.
So, are you ready to begin?