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Too Legit To…

I received an email last week from a fellow triathlete and writer, Stefanie, who basically smacked me in the face.  She had emailed me in response to a post where I said, “I still very much consider myself a beginner triathlete, because I don’t think I’ll feel legit until I can run at a reasonable pace”…. well, she called me out.

And she did it very respectfully, in a private message, and it made me think about my attitude. I have finished several sprint triathlons, two Olympic races, a handful of 5k and 10k races, a stand-alone half-marathon, and then a 70.3….all in a year and half…

My question for me: When am I going to believe that I am an athlete?  Not just an athlete…but a triathlete? And a legit triathlete?

My question for you:  What are you holding back? What are you failing to believe about yourself? And why?
 
I have such ridiculous issues when it comes to my body and my abilities. Yes, I run slower than I would like. But so what??  During the 70.3, I did not doubt that I would finish the race —- I just acknowledged that it might (really) hurt and (really, really) suck, and I might finish last. But then  it happened – I finished.  But now, six months later, I break my foot and am feeling ugly, fat and slow… so I question my “legitness.” And I discount the entire year of work I put in to reach 70.3, by calling myself non-legit.

That is stupid.  And I appreciate Stefanie making me think a little….

So..what am I saying? First, I want you to listen to me, and do as I say… not as I think 

I want you to believe in yourself.  To give yourself credit when you run that first 5k, when you finish your race, be it a 1 mile fun run, a sprint tri or a 140.6…  Remember to acknowledge your success, embrace your accomplishment. Brag a little. Be proud.  
If you are moving forward… you are moving forward, pure and simple. 

Stand tall, and be too legit to… okay, I’ll just leave that one alone.

Awesome new book. Thanks to AnotherMotherRunner.com

 “…Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and what you want to be… Take risks.  Don’t just accept the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.  Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.  They aren’t.” –  Marc & Angel


Hoppy Easter!
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7 Comments

  • Jen "McAwesome"

    April 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I totally understand. I felt like a faker when someone called me a triathlete until just a few weeks ago, when training for my first 70.3 reached its peak. I finally believe that I belong here, and that's a wonderful, freeing feeling. I hope you find it soon.

    Reply
  • Monica Johnson-Null

    April 8, 2012 at 12:06 am

    A surgeon I work with asked me a few friday's ago what I was doing for the weekend. I said "oh, a little training, swim, bike and running." And she said to me, "oh, you're a triathlete?" I looked at her and said "well, I guess I can honestly say yes to that. No one has ever called me that or said that to me before, but why yes, yes I am a TRIATHLETE!!!" and you know what? It felt so good!!!!!!!! I am and not matter how slow I run I am a triathlete! Look out world! Here I come! Thanks Mer!

    Reply
  • TriGirl

    April 8, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Right there with ya. I'm very proud of my accomplishments, but I do not consider myself an "athlete" either. I feel like athletes are good at sports, and I'm just busting my butt to be out there.

    Reply
  • Diana

    April 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    After my first ever triathlon, I went right to the tattoo shop and got the logo from the event along with the date and my time tattooed on my leg. Now, I could say; "well, it was only a sprint distance", but I don't and I won't because I remember how I felt weighing over 300lbs not that long ago to how I felt when I got that "3rd place for my AG" ribbon placed around my neck!
    I have only done sprint triathlons, but none the less-they are triathlons and they are things others can only dream of doing! If I were you, I would definitely be gloating and bragging!!!!

    Reply
  • ajh

    April 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    In my book you are very much a triathlete! Don't question that at all! You are also a very helpful triathlete to those of us who aren't yet!

    Reply
  • Alyssa Neiers

    April 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! I feel like I am often qualifying my races or events with things like "I ran a half marathon but it wasn't fast or I walked a bit" or "yeah I've done a triathlon but it was just a sprint". But no one needs to qualify those statements. I read several blogs of people who are marathonones or are really fast and I may never be either of those things but that doesn't make me less of a runner or triathlete.
    I love the saying "I may not be speedy but I am still lapping everybody sitting on the couch"

    Reply

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