As someone who packed up 2 bags full of armor & weapons and flew overseas for the very first time all by herself and survived, I find it interesting that I am sitting at my desk, writing in my Field Notes journal about how I am feeling kind of terrified right now.
My gear is packed, my bike has a slow leak in the front tire but it will get me through the race fine, I just have to pump it up before I drop my bike. But then I realize, I’ve never dropped my bike anywhere. I’ve never even put it up on a rack. In fact, I have no idea really what a rack looks like. Sure I can watch other people racking their bikes and I am confident I can probably figure it out but still, there’s that void of not knowing sitting in the pit of my stomach right now.
I truly have no idea what to expect…
I have trained for almost a year, to learn how to swim, to slowly figure out how not to be afraid of the water. To realize I can walk if I need to. I can crawl if I need to. No matter what, I can finish. And I am comfortable with THAT knowledge. Its all the stuff I don’t know that’s keeping me up right now.
How will I do in a pack? I’ve only ran with other people, I’ve never biked with other folks. What do I do with my shoes when I am ready to get into the water? Where do I put my towel? Can I rest at the end of the lane to catch my breath if I need it and let other people go past me?
I read in an email from the race coordinator two days ago that evidently they don’t start the Triathlon Awards ceremony until the last person is out of the pool. What if I’m that last person? I was fine being DFL (dead fucking last) when I didn’t think anyone would really care how long it took me to get out of the water, but when the ENTIRE FUCKING AWARDS CEREMONY depends on when the last person gets out of the pool…that’s a lot of freaking stress that I didn’t need to be made aware of.
But then again, it will probably push me harder knowing that all eyes will be on those last few stragglers, the back of the pack folks like me. Ugh…I should go to bed. But I also want to go run. I want to go fight. I am filled with the typical pre-fight jitters and yet, I’m not going to get to hit anyone with a pole axe tomorrow, which kind of makes me sad. I know this is so much easier on my body, but I also don’t know if or how all this adrenaline is gonna get dumped. In a fight, I knew how to conserve my power, in a Triathlon, I’m not sure.
I’m. Not. Sure. I think its the not knowing part that’s making me the most neurotic right now. I don’t like going into a fight without checking out the competition, yet…I’m my own competition now, so how the fuck does that actually work?
It feels like every question in the Universe has gone through my brain in the past hour. Did I make the right choice to retire? Am I good enough to be a triathlete? Can I get through the swim? Did I pack underwear? Do I have my inhaler? Donuts.
Yep…just like that randomly…Donuts just pops into my head.
I think its a sign to just chill out, relax and go try to sleep.
I know I will figure everything out. I know I will finish. I know this is the beginning of a new sport for me and I can’t know it all my first race. I certainly didn’t know it all my first fight.
I know enough to enjoy the experience and realize, it all gets easier (and harder) from here. This is my baseline, my beginning. Which is kind of bitter sweet in a way. I’m not sure how many other beginnings like this I will have past 52 years old. I guess we will see LOL!
Regardless of everything, my first triathlon will be over in less than 12 hours and no matter what, barring any major catastrophe, I should, by all intents and purposes, survive. That was my only goal when I started down this path…and it will be my only goal when I wake up in the morning.
The rest of it…is a bonus!
Amy Graham – The Badass Valkyrie