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Monday, March 28, 2011

Mantra Monday: "There is no spoon."

Mantra MondayRemember how Neo kept trying to bend the spoon with his mind and it wouldn't budge?

After being a part of the Matrix for so long, his mind couldn't even fathom the idea that he could bend a spoon, but here was a wise little boy who could.  (Edited to note: After reading the comments, I can't believe how many people have not seen the MATRIX!!! Please go see it! I mean, I added the clip of the movie I'm talking about, it's pretty cool! Watch it, it's only a minute! Ps. sorry about the subtitles, it's the only one I found I could embed.) Anyway.

We had a great speaker for our Tri Warrior meeting at our local bike shop, Chainwheel Drive, last week.
Bruce at Chainwheel
This is Bruce. He's pretty badass. Also he's wearing one of my Bondi Bands.
He's been doing triathlons for five seasons and he places in his age group. He's got an all-business attitude about doing these things and although he soaks in every piece of information he can about triathlon, in the end he refuses to overthink things and he keeps things simple.

Just a guy on a bike. And maybe some water. Maybe.

I don't want to spoil the whole speech he gave because I'm writing it up for our Tri Warrior newsletter and I don't want the warriors who read my blog to have the spoiler here.

But I will say he inspired me.

Especially when it comes to training hard as opposed to "just training."

For me, the first season of triathlon was just about doing it. I just wanted to believe that I could.

The second season was just about doing it, but a little better. I just wanted to believe I could go a little faster, now that I knew the process a little better. I could and I did.

But now I want to do it as hard as I can. I want to break all those preconceived beliefs I have about myself. And I have quite a few. My mind whispers them in my ear all the time.

Here are my myths about myself that have seeped into my consciousness as fact:
  • I can't run faster than a 10 minute mile and if I do, it's only because I'm having an off day.
  • I can't run faster than a 10 minute mile for long distances, consistently, or after a bike
  • I am not a good swimmer
  • I can't go faster than 18 mph on the bike
When you have beliefs about what you can't do, it gives you an excuse not to pursue better.

You have built yourself a nice big a safety net so that when you don't run or ride or swim well, you already "knew" you couldn't do it anyway. So you don't let yourself down. You give yourself conservative goals based on the minimum you know you "can" do. Any more than that is what "other" people can do. But not you.

Sure you can do all these things enough to cross a finish line, but you're not fast or good at any of them. And then you allow it to frustrate you and simmer within you until one day you ask yourself: WELL WHY THE F*#CK NOT?!

Please excuse the strong language (we're all adults here, right?) but when you beat up on yourself for long enough, the tendency is to eventually explode.

And that's why he inspired me. It sort of made my insides explode.

He inspired me to ask myself, "Why the F*#ck not?!"

He never said those things but when you see evidence standing right in front of you of what happens when you push yourself to the brink, it allows you to reflect on your own training and ask yourself if you gave it everything.

Did I? More importantly, do I?

Here were his biggest points:
  • Don't shock your body on race day by letting race day be the first time you push it until it hurts. Push it like it's race day during training. Then you'll be able to give more on race day.
  • Which means when you train, you should be "somewhere between pain and injury." I.E. If it doesn't hurt, you're not doing it right.
There was a group laugh when he said "between pain and injury" but it makes sense, really. Obviously you don't want to get to where you injure yourself; you have to listen to your body and back off when it's too much. But don't back off just because it hurts. Cause really it's supposed to. Because that's when the change happens.

And if you push it hard during training (remember, past the pain but before the injury), then there's a good chance you'll be used to pushing hard, so you won't completely die on race day. We've all felt like dying on race day, haven't we? I rarely feel like dying after my training sessions.

After pushing it recently, where there is actual pain during training, I'm finding myself running faster, for longer, riding faster for longer, swimming more confidently. I really, really, really want to believe that those times are not set in stone just for me, Christie.

That I was not born with a 10 minute mile stamp on my forehead.

I don't even know where I came up with these numbers and why the dial stopped there.

(Is it because going faster than that hurts?)


But it's supposed to. Remember?

At the very least, I want to believe that there is no number for me.

The only way to bend the spoon is not to concentrate and push your mind to do it, but to finally come to the realization already that, HELLO!


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Oh yeah, by the way, Bruce from Chainwheel Drive is wearing my Bondi Bond up there because he's supporting my Bondis for Babies campaign! I need to break $1,000 for the March of Dimes, won't you help me???!!! Click here to see what I got!

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My Favorite Quotes

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

"I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist." - Jack London

Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.

"Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History."- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live life PASSIONATELY, laugh OUT LOUD, love UNCONDITIONALLY. - from my spoon rest.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." - Ferdinand Foch