It’s really easy to give up on things just because you hate doing them.
This morning I was going to go to the pool, but then upon getting up decided it would be in my best interest to get out on the bike instead. I’m doing a sprint triathlon this weekend, one that I signed up for before all this started happening, but since the Achilles hasn’t been bugging me too much and the distances are pretty short I figure I’ll go ahead and do it. Triathlons are fun. It’s going to be slow as hell since I’ve barely trained, but whatever. I’ll be able to get it done and that’s what matters.
Now it’s been well documented that I hate biking. Biking is so much more a pain in the ass than running. To run all you have to do is slap on your shoes and head out the door. Biking you have to go out to the garage, unlock everything, get your helmet all situated, make sure there’s air in the tires, etc etc. Such a pain. I STILL can’t seem to get excited about it. Never mind the fact that once you put wheels under me I am suddenly much more awkward. Balance and coordination have never been strong points for me, and I am just way less comfortable when my feet are not in contact with the ground.
In spite of this, I got myself out there this morning. If I have to bike 16.7 miles on Saturday, I should at least get SOMETHING in this week. I was averaging some ridiculously slow pace, but it was fine. I was moving.
And then about 20 minutes in, my Achilles gave me one more reason to hate biking. For some reason, I think biking aggravates it more than running does. It wasn’t anything extreme, just a little soreness to remind me that it’s still there and that it’s not completely better yet.
I flashed back to a couple weeks ago when I thought I was better and went on a long bike ride, and then it was in rough shape for a couple days after. ”Not again,” I thought to myself. ”This damn bike is not worth it.”
So I cut the ride short and headed home. No need to push things on a stupid training ride. That I hated anyway. As I biked home, angry bike-related thoughts started going through my head. ”If biking is going to mess with my heel, then fuck that. I’m done biking. I’m over this triathlon thing. I’ll just run marathons and do endurance swim events and CrossFit. Who needs biking? Why do it if I hate it?”
But a little voice in the back of my head piped up meekly, “But what about the Ironman?” I have come to terms with the fact that it’s probably not in the cards for me this year. But the idea of it has sort of gotten under my skin now. I’ve thought about it, I’ve convinced myself I can do it, and other people believe that I can do it. I can’t just leave it on the table.
The bike is going to be a challenge. No question. But I can’t give up on biking forever just because I hate it now. What if I had done that with running? I HATED running for most of my life. But I forced myself to do it at first. Little by little I got better, I got more comfortable, and somewhere along the way I fell in love with it. If I had given up when I hated it, my life would be very different right now.
I’ve quit a lot of things in my life for various reasons. Sports, musical instruments, jobs, graduate programs, the list goes on. And in my opinion, if you know something isn’t for you and there is something else you’d rather be doing, by all means don’t beat a dead horse. But I don’t think that’s the situation here. I KNOW that all I need to do is just do it. Do it over and over and over again and it will suck at first but eventually it will get better. And if it doesn’t, and if after I finish the Ironman next year I still hate it, fine. I can be done. But no giving up before even starting. That’s just being a whiny little bitch, and nobody likes a whiny little bitch. Don’t complain, train.
From a this year’s health standpoint though, I think I’m going to be done with triathlon for the season after Blaine this weekend. I’m signed up for Liberty Olympic second weekend in June, but I may not do it. If biking is going to be this much of an issue for my heel still, and I am still at the point where I hate it so, there’s no point in jeopardizing my ability to start marathon training on time by continually beating it up and not allowing it to heal by forcing it through miles and miles on the bike. Once Blaine is done, I’ll start a running and swimming maintenance plan until July, and then get going on marathon training. I think I will look into endurance swim events too (since obviously the marathon alone won’t be enough). Keep life interesting, and keep the feel of triathlon training without having to mess with that damn bike.
But, bike, I’m not done with you. This isn’t over. Tempting as it is to sell my tri bike and get back a pocket full of much-needed cash, I will not. Next year awaits. And I’ll be damned if, while maybe I won’t be an AMAZING biker, I will at least be a decent one. I won’t back down and let it defeat me. I am NOT a quitter.