Beating the Demons – Chapter 7
Today I did not think I could run. I really didn’t want to. Too tired, too stressed out, eight days to producing our biggest race of the year, ET Batavia. My legs and mind totally fatigued. Very little sleep this week. I had every story going that you could imagine. But I laced up and pushed out the door. To my surprise, it turned out to be a very special day.
Sometimes we just don’t know when the breakthrough days will come. Often, we think they are the perfect weather days. The days we are well rested and feel fast. But today, I was reminded that we become the athlete, and person, we are meant to be on the days when we think we can’t… and we push through and get the job done. Today was that kind of day. After a week of little sleep, very long days, lots of lifting/moving of boxes, T shirts, packets, and a full day standing on my feet at packet pickup, I really did not feel like working out and I really didn’t think I could. But during the first mile while I was convincing myself to keep going, I found a guy trying to fix his bike flat. I asked if he was OK. He said, “Fine,” but I stopped just to be sure. Well, after looking closer, his tire had a hole and he did not know what to do about that. I jumped in, covered the hole with some roadside debris, made sure the new tube was going to hold and got him on his way.
As I started back running, I realized that this was why I needed to run today. Not because of my training plan or upcoming races, but to run up at the exact moment needed to fix this tire. Had I decided not to run today, I would not have been there. It was just meant to be. I instantly moved from being consumed with how bad I felt and moved to a more positive space. This shift in attitude set me up for a better workout. I was now ready to start.
The rising heat, full sun, tired legs and the rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement reminded me that this could be a day of huge mental and physical growth. My mind started flying through all the super tough workouts and race days of years past. I remembered how many times I finished those challenging workouts/races and how good I felt afterwards that I did not quit. I knew, at this moment, I needed to go find The Edge.
The Edge is a place that I think I can’t get past. A place where I think there is a limit to my capabilities. A place that I instinctively know is the only true source of growth and progress. I found The Edge today at the end of my first loop, only a few steps from the car. Oh, it would have been so easy to quit. I was totally fatigued, dehydrated and had a million things on my to-do list. I knew I could quit and nobody would care. But also knew that I would have to look in the mirror and I would always know I gave up.
So with the heat and sun burning me into the pavement and my legs saying, “No way I can do more,” I chose to run right past my car and straight over The Edge. Somehow, I knew I could not fail. I had learned before that there really are no limits and that Anything is Possible if you want it bad enough. As I moved over The Edge, I suddenly transformed into that other dimension in time. A place where I could no longer feel the fatigue in my legs. A place where I felt like I was floating on the pavement. My mind blurring into a hypnotic, almost mystic-like state. My body moving like a machine on auto pilot. Floating away to all those magical finish lines. I had found The Edge once again.
Today, was a special day that made me wonder if there’s more at play in the universe than what we can see with our eyes and think about with our logical minds. That there could be more out there if we go seeking. Can you transform yourself over The Edge and free your mind from controlling the outcomes in training, racing and life?
Joe LoPresto is the Founder, Head Coach and Race Director of Experience Triathlon. As leaders in the endurance services industry, Coach Joe and the Experience Triathlon staff help athletes of all ages and abilities achieve success in every aspect of their lives. Learn more about Coach Joe and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com.