V Cars Diary of a Novice Triathlete – Day Three
Days to first swim (Sunday August 5th): 40 Weight: 90kg
Date: Wednesday June 25th 2012
Training: Run 8pm-8.20pm
Distance: 2.26 Miles for 19:22.
Soundtrack: Leftism, Leftfield (Tracks 1-4 or somewhere thereabouts)
Every journey begins with a single step is one of those empty maxims that mean little to anyone other than the drunk, the desperate or the jogging for the first time in a long time. Every journey might begin with a single step but what ‘they’ (whoever ‘they’ may be – I’ve always wondered that. Maybe it’s the makers of fridge magnets) don’t tell you is that the single step is usually the most painful, difficult to take and easiest to put off. My first steps were heavy, weary and cumbersome.
On the subject of maxims, I was talking to my sister Nicola last night on Skype. She’s currently cycling across America on her own. Yes, I know: On. Her. Own. My feelings on the matter range from pride to concern to downright envy. Four months off work, she’s already lost 10lbs travelling from California through Nevada, Utah, Colorado and currently in Kansas. Her photo montage is just fantastic – immersive and inspiring in equal measures. If you get a chance, follow her Track My Tour or on twitter @nicolafrances – it’s quite a ride.
Anyway, Nicola is listening to a lot of podcasts while travelling across the US. She was telling me that she heard Daley Thompson on BBC Radio Five Live’s Gold Run programme. In case you’ve not been following the initiative, Colin Murray (a man whose enthusiasm is both infectious and sickening) is attempting to talk to every living Olympic Gold Medal winner.
Daley said something that really struck a chord with Nicola, and then I.
Daley told Colin this: “Once I found out what I was good at, unlike a lot of people I am quite happy to know the answer to the question: how good can I be? Most people don’t actually want to know the answer because they might not like what they find. But to me, I wanted to know that I was not good enough rather than what I could’ve, should’ve would’ve been.”
There can’t be a person amongst us who doesn’t feel a bit scared of discover our true potential. (The interesting question may be – does potential grow with performance? Does hard work grow potential? I think it probably does.)
As I embark on this challenge, to complete a full triathlon, I think discovering whether I can do it or not is the main reason. In fact, I’m writing this blog to embarrass myself into submission with it.
As I’ve begun running, I’ve began seeing, recognising and mentally scrapbooking those maxims (mainly from nike posters): Just do it. Then do it again./Think training is hard? Try quitting./Everything you need is already inside you./Yesterday you said tomorrow./Running never takes more than it gives back. Believe in the run.
These pearls stay with you when you’re struggling. Quietening the incredibly persuasive voice inside trying to make you stop. Last time I was pretty fit, my mantra was ‘relaxed and strong’. I think I’m going to need that in the weeks to come. At the moment I’m feeling tense and weak.
I’ve gone and got a decent exercise app for my Samsung Galaxy, ‘runtastic’. It’s not half bad and records everything I’m doing – I think it’s going to help though there’s part of me that would rather not face how slow and unfit I’ve become. Runtastic is something last night definitely wasn’t – every journey and all that.
By the way, my boy came first in his sports day run. When it came down to it, he didn’t care about his friends’ feelings THAT MUCH. While I know it would have taken incredible character for a five year old to throw the race, is it okay for getting a real thrill from watching him finish first?
Tonight I’m going to swim and see how many lengths I can do without swapping. Wish me luck.
To listen to Daley in full, click here.
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