I took part in a triathlon in London yesterday, so my back and legs hurt, and I’m writing this feeling tired in a way I haven’t felt since I was a child. Anyone who has ever participated in any type of sporting event knows how amazing it feels when you cross the finish line and realize that all your hard work has paid off. There were probably moments when you wholeheartedly thought you couldn’t do it, but the overwhelming, emotional feeling of suddenly realizing that you can. In fact, you can do anything you put your mind to.
For me, completing something like a triathlon isn’t really about the sport, it’s about the preparation, the training, the fundraising for a worthy cause, the excitement and nerves leading up to it, the support from friends and family; And that feeling of relief and pride when you cross the finish line. But most importantly, do you have the balls to sign up in the first place.
Here are some things I learned through this experience:
Support your friends and family
It was the best feeling in the world to see friends in the crowd while doing a triathlon. It felt like a sudden injection of adrenaline, energizing me and giving me the motivation to keep going. And it wasn’t just the encouragement from friends that helped, but also the support from strangers and the audience.
At one point I stopped to catch my breath, and the man running in front of me slowed down and encouraged me to keep going, saying, “Okay, you’re on track, you’re almost there!” His eight little words and a friendly smile were all I needed to finish the race.
During my triathlon, I realized how much of a difference a little bit of support and words of encouragement can make. I would like to apply this to my daily life.
Successful people start the day early
For a long time, I tried to convince myself that this wasn’t true because I’m not what you’d call a “morning person.” But when I had to magically find extra training time every day, I realized that 7am was the only time to do it. The first few 6:30am alarm calls were scary, but I promise it gets easier.
Completing dreaded daily tasks before most people wake up gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment. Now that the worst is over and you can enjoy the rest of your day, you can walk around feeling smug and relaxed.
Exercising makes you happy
The thought of exercising fills me with fear. I sit in the office all day and tell myself I don’t need to go to the gym that night. You come up with endless excuses not to go, but you end up dragging yourself into them. And when I’m there it’s not so bad. You might even say you’re enjoying it. I feel so amazing and full of energy, but I wonder why I was scared to go in the first place.
In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t shoot.”
This is reason enough to exercise.
Always have a goal
I’ve been going to the gym regularly since I was about 14 years old and have continued the same routine for years. It wasn’t until I started training for a triathlon that I realized that my routine wasn’t pushing me at all and I barely broke a sweat. I had no goals or goals to aim for, I just worked out until I was tired or bored and went home.
As soon as I had a goal in my mind, I had to start pushing myself and I soon realized how far I could go. Once you have decided on a goal, you have no choice but to try your best to achieve it. At that time, you will see your potential.
This is what Michael Phelps said in a motivational speech I saw in Cancun, and it made me realize how important it is to have goals that you want to achieve. By making your goals harder, you really have to push yourself and it feels great when you finally get there.
Don’t give up
There was a time in the middle of a triathlon when I seriously thought, “I can’t do this anymore.” It was my first time swimming outdoors in a wetsuit, and it was more difficult than I imagined. The finish line seemed incredibly far away, so if someone had given me the option to quit, I would have taken it in a heartbeat.
But no one suggested that option, so I had to keep on stroke after stroke and kick after kick. And the moment I reached land, I couldn’t believe how weak I was and thought about quitting. Within 5 minutes I was breathing again and feeling great!
Even if you feel like quitting, just keep calm and keep going. Before you know it, you’ll be at the finish line.
If swimming has taught me anything, it’s the importance of preparation. There are two pools within 500 meters of my house. Why didn’t you use them? Why didn’t you train harder? Why didn’t you wear a wetsuit and swim outdoors before the event? There’s no point in making excuses. I learned the hard way that simple preparation can make life a lot easier.
Have you ever participated in a triathlon, marathon, etc.? If so, did you learn anything from those events?
i did a triathlon to raise money for the Make-A-Wish charity, which grants wishes to sick children. If you’d like to donate, it’s not too late: http://www.justgiving.com/Monica-Stott