Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jump in, the water is really not that cold ...

Gradual, safe exposure to whatever makes us anxious is always the most powerful way of eliminating anxiety.—Martha Beck

This quote is a wild contrast to what I actually do in life.  Rather than "gradually ease into it", I just dive right in.

Last year when I was training for the Chicago marathon I decided during peak training to throw in a half ironman; because, one, I've never done a half ironman in my life, two, I wanted to see if I could do it, and three, I thought it would be a great substitute for a long peak training run.  The ironman happened to land on the weekend of our 21st wedding anniversary, traditionally we take a long Harley ride up to Door County to enjoy a few days of nature, Peninsula Players and, of course, a fish boil.

Since this was the case, we rode six hours to arrive to pick up my packet, late the evening before the race.  I didn't get much sleep that night , the race start was early and I had an hour drive to get there.  The details of the race can be saved for another time, however, I ended up finishing my first half ironman, ever!!! I even made it within the time I estimated for myself.  Nothing to brag about, but I did it!  I shaved off over an hour on my bike split, so I was happy.

Today, I approach another challenge, to complete a 90 mile bike race around Lake Winnebago.  I have never biked 90 miles in my life, the most I've done is the 60 miles in the Ironman.  I signed up anyway.  I've been working hard to get my body prepared to kick off training for my next marathon.  A marathon that I plan to run in December.  I can say I'm in shape!  However, I wonder if I am trained for this type of bike race. =S  Another early start, one hour drive to the start and a little more nervous for this one given there is a 12.5 mph cut-off at the 30 mile water stops. It's going to be an experience.

It seems I approach my life this way.  I believe if I dip my toes in the water to see if it is too cold, there's a chance I might talk myself out of getting in.  If I jump in feet first and realize, I'm already in the water, "I keep going".  It's easy enough to say; but, can you do it?  What are you going to do with all of those things that you have on the back burner.  Those things that you've seen someone else do and say "I've always wanted to do that."  It's time to take the plunge!  The water is really not that cold.  Who knows, you might just gain some new insight, experiences and have fun.

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