Everyone has some kind of plan for their life, right? Well folks, somehow or other Ironman became my two year plan. Somewhere around the Strathmore race last year I decided that an Ironman seemed like a great endurance goal. I found a coach, decided to race two half Irons this year, and even planned a race and a vacation around showing up for Ironman Canada in order to volunteer and sign up for the 2010 event.
Every time I talked to a teammate or friend on Saturday in Penticton they would ask if I was signing up for 2010. I would grimace with nerves and shakily say, “yes.”
And somehow on Saturday night it hit me.
The enormity of what I was aiming to do, despite the fact that I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.
And I panicked.
I had the worst pre-race sleep ever last night as I woke up at midnight, 1 am and it is hazy as to whether I was asleep between 1 am and 3 am. Rough when your alarm is going off at 3:50 am. In fact, I even had crazy race nightmares when I was asleep, where I dreamed that I had forgotten to race lap 2 on the bike at Lake Stevens and only realized this after 1 lap on the run. And I wasn’t even racing Sunday.
Why was I all of a sudden so scared, and afraid to admit what I had long been planning to do?
Maybe it is the $600 CDN race fee.
Maybe it had something to do with the sacrifices that I made over the last few months when I was “only” training for a half Iron distance race.
Maybe I was scared of how training for an Ironman would change me.
Maybe I was scared that it wouldn’t change me at all.
My mom reminded me of something this evening though. That you will never know what you are capable of unless you try. Back in grade 9 I was scheduled to take a clarinet exam in the United Kingdom just before moving away to Canada. I was not very diligent with my practicing. In fact, my teacher was so confident that I would not pass that she strongly encouraged me to not take the exam because she was worried it would reflect poorly on her. My mom said that there was no way that I wasn’t taking this exam. If I passed or I failed, it was for me to find out. If I did fail then I would have to realize that for myself, instead of quitting without knowing how I would really do.
At the exam you usually have no indication of how you do until you receive your results in the mail a month or two later. Since I was moving my teacher had asked if they could give me a hint at the end of the exam. The lead examiner told me that I didn’t have anything to worry about.
When the results came, not only had I passed, but this was the highest mark that I had ever received on a music exam, EVER. Just about gave my teacher a heart attack since she was certain I had flubbed it miserably.
So how can I know what I am capable of if I don’t try? And shouldn’t such a big undertaking involve just a little anxiety before committing? So you can bet that I’ll be in line for registration Monday morning.
Not that there was any doubt.