Sometimes you just have to go for it!
Don’t think too much about it because you might talk yourself out of it. If you think it is something you would like to do, do it!
I used that tactic recently. We were on vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. The Marriott where we were staying had events everyday for the guests to participate in. I was looking over the events scheduled for the week of our stay and saw that there was a mini triathlon on Thursday morning at 8:30. It ran between two Marriott resorts.
As many of my readers know, I am fairly athletic. I run, bike, walk, do daily yoga stretches, and recently ran in the Pittsburgh Marathon relay, but I had not been training for any special event. I had never done a triathlon before, for many reasons(excuses) that you really don’t want to hear, so I thought, “I should sign up for this. It will be a no pressure, fun event. It doesn’t matter how I place, I just want to say I did a triathlon.” So, the night before, I asked at the front desk if the event was still a go and if I could sign up, and the answer was “yes”.
I went back to my room and started thinking about what preparations and gear were required for the event. So I prepared a check list in my head.
- Running shoes
- Goggles(I wear contacts)
- Running attire
- Room key
Fortunately I had everything I needed. I had just stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods the day before we left on our vacation because I had noticed they were having a big tent sale and I was in desperate need of running shoes. I lucked out and ended up getting a great pair of shoes, Saucony, for about half the normal price, a pair of goggles, and a running bra. I had a swimsuit and I always pack athletic gear. So I was set.
The day of the race
I biked over to the location of the event, because the event started and ended in the same place, but it wasn’t my hotel. I needed transportation to get back. The Marriotts had bikes available to use for the event, so I decided to use one of theirs so I would have mine to come back to. I looked around at the participants. It was not a big event. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun, so there were one or two couples, a mother and daughter a 14 year old boy and some other solo participants such as myself. I would estimate there were maybe a dozen competing.
When I saw the young teenaged boy, I said to him, “you know you are going to win this”. The coordinator of the race said “It doesn’t matter, it’s supposed to be fun”.
The race begins with the bike ride
Let me paint a picture for you. This was not a highly organized event. There were no chips, the course was explained, but not marked, and you had to basically cycle and run through vacationers on the trail and deal with crossing intersections. So, there was a lot of dodging and weaving during the event.
I made sure I got up in front of the line, I at least wanted to get a head start. It had been so hot all week in Hilton Head, the heat index had been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius). I knew that my best event was going to be the cycling because I had been getting a little dizzy from the heat and was concerned about the running.
Once the coordinator said “go”, We took off. I managed to get in the lead, but within a few seconds on the trail, the 14 year old boy was on my tail. We were neck and neck through the bike course, but I actually managed to beat him by a split second bike event. We ditched our bikes, I sipped on some water and we started our running event.
Event #2 – The Run
As I predicted the teenager took off in the second event, which was the run. He was out of my sight within half a minute. I looked around, a few minutes into my run, and noticed no one else was behind me yet. At this moment it became clear to me that I had a good chance of placing in this event and that’s when I decided this was more than fun, I wanted to win something!
I have to admit the running was a bit rough. I had pushed it pretty hard on the cycling that my thighs were sore. It was also heating up outside so instead of drinking a lot of the bottled water I had with me, I poured some over my head. I managed to run most of the running course. There were a couple of times I took short walking breaks when I was in the direct sunlight, but I was still far enough in the lead that I knew it was okay to take a couple quick walking breaks.
The final event – the swim
I got back to the hotel where the final event took place, the swim. I was really looking forward to plunging my hot, sweaty body into the water. When I got to the pool, as I had suspected I was the second after the 14 year old. The swim part was short and he had already completed his by the time I arrived.
I jumped in the pool and did my required laps. Got out and was informed I CAME IN SECOND PLACE.
I was so happy! I know it was supposed to be for “fun”, and it was, but my inner voice said “you can do this. It doesn’t matter that there are others who might be younger or better conditioned, you can do this“. And guess what? I did it!
As the Nike saying goes “Just do it”. There is so much truth to that saying. I could have easily talked myself out of doing this, but I’m glad I didn’t. I have a good story to share, I got some extra exercise in that day, I won 1,000 Marriott points for my second prize, I had fun, I met new people, and I have something I did that I can be proud of. I also think my family was proud of me as well, so I feel good knowing that I am a good role model for my young adult children.
So, if there is something that you want to do but your inner thoughts are telling you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it, just dive in and do it! You might actually be glad you did. The only failure is the time you didn’t try.