The burden of old beliefs

The burden of old beliefs

Erin at Napervilleby Erin M.

“I can’t swim.”

“I’m not an athlete.”

I’ve dragged these old beliefs around like a chain on my leg for as long as I can remember.  They are powerful and resistant to change.  But they’ve loosened their grip as I’ve challenged them repeatedly this year and have now chosen to not buy into them.  That’s the thing about beliefs… we can choose them.  But in our own internal reality it often doesn’t seem that way.  We perceive the beliefs to be “true” and unchangeable.  Sometimes, we hardly even question them despite the fact that these old beliefs are often the source of unhappiness, lack of fulfillment and unmet potential.

When I joined Experience Triathlon in the late spring, Coach Joe and I talked about my goals and he began planning my workouts to help me achieve my goals.  It was working.  I was building endurance and getting faster.  It would seem I had all the evidence I needed, yet I still questioned my readiness to race.  I began to realize that my apprehension about racing had nothing to do with my athletic readiness, but had everything to do with those darn old beliefs that have been tripping me up for years.  As I continue on in my training and under the guidance of an insightful and psychologically minded coach, I’m learning that this journey is only partly about split times.  Yes, I will get faster and build endurance, but the real growth potential will be in my own self perception and in my own narrative about who I am and what I’m capable of.

These old, dysfunctional beliefs are the demons that Coach Joe speaks of.  We all have a mixture of positive and negative beliefs that tell the narrative of our lives.  Racing provides a unique opportunity to push ourselves to the limit where we can examine these beliefs and begin to rewrite the story.  What an incredibly empowering experience to be able to choose the beliefs we want to hold onto, toss the ones we don’t need anymore and write new ones that push us closer to becoming all we are meant to become.

I feel incredibly lucky to be on this journey riding side by side with all my fellow ET teammates.  The team offers an invaluable source of energy, encouragement and inspiration that I appreciate immensely.

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  • Steven M

    Awesome article Erin. Perfectly stated.

    • Erin M

      Thanks Steven!!

  • Drew Repoza

    Great story, Erin, and your observations are so true. I remember fighting those same demons. Congrats on your race, and we look forward to cheering you on through many more!

    • Erin M

      Thanks Drew! Congrats to you too on your first Ironman! I hope to be there too one day:)

  • Nader

    Well said Erin, Congratulation on Naperville Tri and Good luck and Godspeed on Chicago Triathlon. Go get them Champ.

    • Erin M

      Thank you Nader and congrats to you too:)

  • Fabulous article Erin! Congrats on your races this year!! You’re an amazing person and I’m honored to support your journey. I’m looking forward to seeing where the path leads you. Thanks for sharing your insights and for being part of the ET family. 🙂

    • Erin M

      Thanks Coach!! This will be an incredible journey for sure! I appreciate all your guidance and support.

  • Bill Koss

    You’ve made great progress and your comments affirm that indeed “Anything is Possible”. Hope the Chicago Triathlon went as well as the Napervile Tri !

    • Erin M

      Thanks Bill. It feels great to see the progress! Anything is possible:)

  • Sarah Farsalas

    Well said, Erin! Major kudos and some “Girl Power” to ya for taking charge of your own destiny as an athlete, and not letting past burdens weigh you down anymore….this is truly one of the most remarkable gifts of triathlon!! 🙂

    • Erin M

      WHOO HOO GIRL POWER!! Thanks Sarah for being an inspiration!

  • Awesome reflection on what limits so many of us as athletes…what’s right between our 2 ears! Way to overcome and accomplish, Erin! Looking forward to watching you continue to prosper as an athlete, and look so cute in your lulu doing it!!!

    • Erin M

      Haha….thanks Suzy!