WinforKCWed: Doubts

You decide to sign up for your first triathlon. But it's not time to register yet, and you have days or weeks to play with your doubts.

I'm not a runner. I'm not a cyclist. I'm not a swimmer.

Well, you're OK. Doubt is what our brains naturally do when we can't immediately take action. The good news is that we don't have to let our doubts drive our action.

Yes, I doubt whether I can run. SO WHAT. I am going to go out and run.

Between February and the end of July, you're going to take a lot of steps toward your goal of becoming a triathlete. Many will be baby steps. Some will be giant leaps. Sometimes it will seem like you are standing still or even moving backwards. Get used to it. Get used to not caring about it. Get used to MOVING ANYWAY.

No, I have never seen myself swim that far. I DON'T CARE. I am going to go swim. And oh yeah, I am not confident on my bike. But hello, I am riding my bike! And having some fun!

There is a path from your starting point to your goal. On the run, there is a progression you can make from walking to walk/running to running. (Want specifics? Tune in next week.) On race day, every single participant is at a different point in this progression. Wherever you are, you will be able to push to your limit. It's an amazing feeling and has nothing to do with how fast anyone else can run.

On the swim, there is a progression you can make from swimming a few yards at a time with rest in between to swimming continuously. Keep working at it. You will finish the swim and may be surprised by how short that part of the race feels in retrospect. Standing up and coming out of the water is an incredibly powerful moment. And it has nothing to do with whether you had a perfect stroke.

On the bike, every ride has a high potential to contribute something to your endurance, your balance, and your confidence. On race day you will put your power, whatever it is, all out on the road. You will know you are doing everything you can to use every bit of strength and endurance you've found in your body. Nobody can take that knowledge away from you. Nobody. And it has nothing to do with how many people you pass or who passes you.

If you spend time over five months in each activity, small but consistent amounts of time, what felt at the time like a thousand useless baby steps suddenly appears, when you look back over the whole process, to be a giant leap.

Will you still have doubts? Maybe. Probably. Who doesn't? The difference is, they won't have stopped you. On race day, you will be a runner. You will be a cyclist. You will be a swimmer.

You'll be a triathlete with doubts, which means you're human. But you'll be a triathlete.