Be Kind To Yourself

Just hang on to whatever you can find. Even if it’s the “Two Mile” sign. But don’t stop. Keep going!

Dear My Newbie Triathlete Friends,

So you want to do a triathlon? I applaud you.  Congratulations on the first big step (admitting your craziness!)

Next, seriously… congratulate yourself.  You have made a decision to change.  You may not know how to make it happen – but you know you want to change.

BINGO.

Now. Tell someone who will be supportive of your fragile dream, if possible.

Obviously, we all have different circumstances and people in our lives. Some of us have supportive spouses, friends and family. Others have buttheads for family who beat them up emotionally at every turn.  If you have no one in your life who will support your new quest, then your resolve must be strong from the outset.

If you are unsure if you can withstand hurtful comments or stares from others, then keep your goals quiet until you are certain you have become strong enough to withstand the negativity.  You may be starting this journey from a place of rawness, a place resulting from years of fatness or sadness or defeat.  Remember to take care of yourself and treat yourself gently as you begin.

I can promise you a few things if you start out…

You will fall down.  You will struggle. You will question whether the triathlon decision is worth it. Others will make fun of you. They might say cruel things to you: You will never be a triathlete, who are you kidding? Do not forget you are experiencing a process. Do not give up.

During this process of training for and completing your first race, you will be learning about a sport, but you will also be learning about yourself.

You may not like the person you have been for many years.

You may be filled with regret.

Strangely, triathlon will help you work through these emotions because you will be experiencing yourself in a new way. No matter where you start and where you go, remember four words: Be. Kind. To. Yourself.

Your journey will lead you to the person you want to be.  Keep your eyes forward, your head up.  You are strong. You are worthy.  I promise.

Just Keep Moving Forward.

Comments

  1. says

    “If you have no one in your life who will support your new quest, then your resolve must be strong from the outset.”

    “You may be starting this journey from a place of rawness, a place resulting from years of fatness or sadness or defeat.”

    …. Two of the most beautiful, truthful, poignant, painful statements ever made….

  2. woodi says

    “Keep your eyes forward, your head up. You are strong. You are worthy. I promise.” Thanks, SBM. You rock! <3

  3. says

    I have been reflecting a lot lately on how much my overall life has changed because of triathlon. That decision to start tri-ing has ended up being a huge turning point in my life, in my life outlook. Who’d have thought that’s the impact triathlon would have?! You speak such truth when you say “Your journey will lead you to the person you want to be.”

  4. tara says

    this might be my favorite post ever. i was lucky and didn’t struggle like you describe above, but am always in awe and inspired when i see those starting out or those clearly struggling

  5. MissieMom says

    Well said! Wish I had this when I started this crazy journey 7 months ago. I was a runner I ran because I needed time to heal the wounds, emotional not physical at this point, of an abusive relationship. Once I healed and no longer believed what someone else made me believe o want to show to myself I was strong. For some reason I picked a triathelon. There is something about stepping so far out of your comfort zone and have to face yourself with brutal honesty that is so beautifully healing. Please keep going ladies even if your only cheerleader is yourself!

  6. bobbie says

    LOVE this. Needed this today. I have my first baby tri in about 5 weeks, and feel woefully unprepared physically. I’m not, but I sure think I am. I think that means that I am woefully unprepared mentally. I have the most supportive husband and my running friends and colleagues are great. (The girls I’m racing with are all coming together for our first OWS this weekend.)
    I’m lucky to have such fantastic support around me, and feel for those that do not.
    Thank you for reminding me to speak as nicely to myslef as I do to others.

    • Swim Bike Mom says

      You are going to rock it… be MENTALLY prepared to enjoy yourself and your race – you will do it!

  7. says

    “During this process of training for and completing your first race, you will be learning about a sport, but you will also be learning about yourself.”

    Isn’t that the truth? Hours and hours out there in the pool, on the bike or out pounding the pavement – you do get to be in your own company during that time and I too have experienced so much growth as a result of the soul searching. I recommend it – don’t be afraid!

  8. Erin says

    I so needed to read this! As a beginner this year (at 39 years old!), I’ve only had family reactions from apathy ranging to outright negativity. It’s hard.

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