Saturday, April 25, 2009

You're back!

How come every time I go to a club workout, when I come back next week, the coach/leaders always say "You're back?!" 

Okay, I know why it happened after Dave's Thurs. Bike ride. Not only was I the last one back, but I broke the rule about being back after dark and got people worried about me. It was embarrassing, so it did take some courage to go back.

But all the other times, all that happened is that I was the slowest person. I didn't give it a second thought. It's the start of my first season and a year ago I was morbidly obese. I only started exercising again in Aug. and only got serious about it in Oct. I didn't start running until late October.

So I don't see myself as this slow person who is barely hanging on. I see myself as this person who has made amazing strides in a short period of time. I'm going to race in an Olympic distance triathlon next week and I didn't expect to be able to do that until the end of the season.

Besides, I'm used to being last. It takes more than that to discourage me. After all, I figure skated for over a decade, in spite of a complete lack of talent, and I always came in last at competitions -- or next to last. Heck, the one time I came in first, there were only two people in my event, so technically I was still next to last! (It was still awesome, because I beat someone that a year before I wouldn't have been able to beat.)

Figure skating has taught me that I can't control who else shows up. I can only control my own performance. So being the slowest doesn't bother me. 

What bothers me is not making adequate progress. The only reason I kept figure skating for so long even though I really didn't have much aptitude for it is that I kept making progress. When I stopped making progress, I lost interest.

But triathlon is different. I actually feel like I have aptitude for it. After all, I'm the Queen of Slow Twitch. And endurance sports are all about the slow twitch. They are also about mental toughness and no one has ever accused me of being lacking in that area.

So I'm slow right now, but I can go forever and I'm going to get faster. I already have. Now I'm still the slowest at all the workouts I go to. But that's because everyone else is getting better too. Plus, the ones who show up that are slower than me, tend to not come back.

Which I guess explains the "You're back?!" reaction.
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