Imagine the scene: 6am Saturday morning with mist rising off the water and the temperature is about 70 degrees. 800+ women and girls, ages 12-71, are at Smithville Lake to compete in the WIN triathlon, the largest all-women’s triathlon in the Midwest. The event consisted of a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike and 5K run. For some the motivation was to feel the sense of accomplishment just to finish. For others it was the chance to participate with their mother, daughter or friend. And last but not least, the competitors who were there to beat their personal best and place as high as possible overall.
This was my third year as the cyclist on the Fit Chics team. In the weeks preceding the event, I chose to let work, the weather, a nutritional cleanse and conference keep me from training as hard as I did the year before. That morning my self-talk switched between “you can do this!” to “what were you thinking……?!”
The triathlon starts. Blaine, my teammate, was first out of the water with a time of 7:03 minutes. Blaine’s efforts gave me the opportunity to be the first cyclist on the road, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was passed by the professional triathletes. It felt like I was peddling for all I was worth but my cat-eye told a different story. The course was 5 miles out and back on the same route. The ride back seemed easier, even the hills didn’t feel as big. I was back. Blaine took over and finished the 5K run.…..did I mention how awesome she is?!
Blaine and I kept checking the time sheet and we were in 2nd place for teams, then 3rd and finally finished in 4th place. Out of 23 teams that sounded like a great accomplishment until we found out the difference between 3rd and 4th place was just 1 second. Can you believe it, 1 second?! Having the competitive nature that I do it was easy to mentally kick myself again and again……..”If only I had pushed harder on that hill”, “if only I had cut my transition time down”, “if only I would have trained more”, well you get the picture.
We came in 7th out of 27 teams. It finally dawned on me that I didn’t set a goal to place in the top 3 teams. Instead, I backed up my expectations on what thought I could accomplish based on my training schedule. Now that’s a light bulb moment for the mindset chic.
When have you backed up a goal to meet lowered expectations? In the words of Ralph Marston,
Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.
Life gives us the opportunity to show up and be fully present each and every day. Our mind chatter helps us to goal set and goal get. It can also keep us from achieving what we truly want in life. For some it’s to finish a triathlon and for others to conquer the world (in a good way of course). To your success!
For information on the WIN triathlon visit: www.winforkctri.org