Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Goal Setting

Last night, Jax and I stayed behind after our Tri Strength class to talk with Bryan about our goals. It was extremely motivating and I realized that I was selling myself short with some of my goals.

I've always had a "problem" with believing in myself, especially as an athlete. I've never really considered myself an athlete, and even 2 full marathons and 9 half marathons (not to mention the countless 5ks, 10ks, training runs, etc) that I've accomplished, I still do not really feel like I can call myself a runner. Perhaps it just comes with the lifelong lack of self-esteem that I've had, or perhaps since I've just never set goals for myself before, I've never had a true measurement of achievement.

I was "the fat kid" growing up. I played sports...soccer as a young kid, then field hockey and lacrosse at the varsity level in high school... but I was overweight, and have always had self-image problems because of it. I still see myself as the "fat kid," the "slow one," the "non-athlete" and I think that's the barrier that I really need to work on breaking down. I'm imperfect... and I need to come to terms with the fact that it's okay to not fit into a particular mold... that I need to be happier with myself, and see the accomplishments that I have achieved, instead of focusing on the failures. I'm just hoping that this comes sooner rather than later, because self-disappointment is an unhappy place to be.

The past 6 months have been a whirlwind of training and racing. However, it has been in the last month or so when I had the realization that I need to really take myself seriously as an "athlete" - dare I actually call myself an athlete? I've always just thought of athletes as tiny, muscular, fast... three things which I am not... but participate in the athletic events - that I do. And I love it. I often joke that I'm a triathlete, because I'm "trying to be an athlete" but really, my secret (and now not-so-secret) desire is that I continue to improve and can just blow my old times and goals out of the water.

I am not fast. I don't have a particular sport of the three that I truly excel at. I'm a decent biker, and alright swimmer...and well, I can run...sort of. But I do love the rush of the adrenaline, the excitement, the lifestyle that is associated with racing and the triathlon community... so I keep trucking.

My goals are to be faster, stronger, better - in all three disciplines. And I know I can do it, I just need to get everything dialed in... I need to learn how to get out of my own head and push myself as hard as possible. I need to find confidence in myself and my own abilities, and not allow for my insecurities to get in my way.

I am my own worst enemy. In sports, my head reigns over my heart. My heart is fully comitted, fully in the race, but smoetimes my head is not. I need to learn to get over the voices in my head telling me to slow down or stop or "it hurts." I need to learn to trust in my own abilities...

Now I'm not going to publish my time goals just yet... but I have some very lofty ones that I'm trying to achieve. I just worry that I will fail, and disappoint myself. And others. Two of my biggest fears in life - failure and disappointment.

I know the next 7 weeks of training are going to hurt... they are going to rule my life...and I am probably going to cry at some points. But they will all be worth it in the end - as I cross that finish line... hopefully, at some time around __:__ (to be shared later)

And to Jax, Bryan, my husband (and my other friends/supporters) - thank you for pushing me, for encouraging me, for believing in me... even when I have a hard time doing that myself.


  1. A couple things that I wanted to say as points of encouragement to you!

    1) I think many of us see ourselves as "fat" so just know you are in good company! I know I am far from it, but I see nothing but thickness when I look in the mirror.

    2) I can't say anything about your swimming or biking, because I haven't seen you do either, but keep in mind that when you run, you are SHORT! I always try to pace myself by other runners or walkers when I am working out, but they have such longer strides than I do! It takes me that much more to keep up with them! Be realistic about your speed- what is slow for others might be fast for you!! Keep your eyes on your PR's, and remember that those of us who are vertically challenged have to take more steps to go the same distance!

    3) Failure is not about missing a goal. Failure is about giving up. Think about it in terms of school. The kids who retake classes to pass them are no less qualified to go on than those who pass the first time around. And in some ways, the persistence of having to try after a setback makes the victory that much sweeter when you reach it!!

    You amaze and inspire me to be more active in my own life. I have been pushing myself because I see you pushing yourself, and it has made such a difference to me. So even if it doesn't come easy, you are making a huge difference in more lives than just your own! Keep on rockin', Becca!

  2. Bex...I don't have many words that I feel a need to share in writing since I think I'm pretty honest with you on a daily basis. That being said, you already know how much I believe in you and your abilities...and I feel like I can speak for Bryan and know that he feels the same. You are an amazing biker...everytime we are out there together you force me to push my limits on the road and you have been an integral part in helping me become a better rider. Since you believe me to be an athlete then this fact alone should help you...if I am being pushed by you...then doesn't that make you an athlete as a byproduct? When it comes to running...and yes, it is running...I am amazed at the gains you have made. There are definitely days and runs that I feel like I want to slow down...but you keep going...keep pushing...not letting me slack. You ARE an athlete, you ARE a runner...you have been for a long time. Being an athlete, to me, is not about being the fastest one out there...it is a mental thing. An athlete is dedicated to their sport...they strive for greatness (most days)...they push their limits...they are committed and motivated. You are all of these things and more. I know that these next few weeks are going to be extremely rough...physically and mentally. I feel that both of us will shed tears...but we are in this together...we set this goal to do this race...and do it well...and we will NOT fail...believe in yourself...believe in me, because I certainly believe in you...