It will come: Belief in the face of fear, doubt, and uncertainty

Climbing the cold hill in winter believing in whats around the bend.

Climbing the cold hill in winter believing in whats around the bend.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

The deep ache set in somewhere around 30 miles.  I ate another gel and began to slow. I’ve been on my bike diligently through the winter, but for the last several weeks that’s meant the indoor trainer each Saturday. For a variety of reasons I haven’t been able to get outside on the bike.

When the pain and the fatigue came I was surprised. 30 miles isn’t that far. But as soon as I let my mind go there the voices also showed up.




What if I can’t do this? 70.3 is a long race. But 140.6 is something else altogether.

I slowed my pace further and my posture changed on the bike.

“I’m tired already,” I muttered to my training partner. “That’s a little discouraging.”

He smiled and continued to push up the small incline we were on at the time. He didn’t respond really. Maybe a slight chuckle under his breath.

“It’ll come,” I said. “It always does.”

I was talking about my fitness. It’s funny how as endurance athletes there are always those early weeks of wondering what if it’s gone? How did I cover 56 miles on the bike last year at 21mph and now I can barely manage 15mph? How in the world will I run a half marathon after this? Those questions show up for me every year. About this time. January and February. This year I’m also hearing about 140.6. 112 miles on the bike. Followed by a marathon.

I think FEAR is chief among the voices I’m hearing on that subject. Uncertainty is there too. I’m doing my best to keep Doubt out of the picture.

My fitness will come. It always does. So Saturday I rode on and finished my 45 mile ride, averaging 16mph. Slow, but I know it’ll come. Sunday I ran 10 miles. Also slow. But sticking to the plan and believing.

I’ve been reading through Seth Godin’s TRIBES again recently. Here’s a passage I particularly liked:

From Seth Godin's "Tribes"

From Seth Godin’s “Tribes”

Seth’s right. Failure won’t destroy. But I think not trying will. When something is in your heart, resting in your comfort zone instead of taking the leap, WILL destroy you.  Awhile back I read somewhere about reframing your questions about life.

The common question that holds us back is: WHAT IF I FAIL?

There’s a lot of fear in that. I can think of a thousand reasons not to do another 70.3, not to race a 140.6, not to start my own business or pursue things I’m completely passionate about. But that’s the wrong question for people who are really living to ask.

A better question: WHAT IF I SUCCEED?

That paints an entirely different picture. There are a lot of smiling faces and beautiful places in that picture.

Holding the voices at bay.

I love you,

– Daddy


Friday; Swam 2000

Saturday: Rode 2:45

Sunday: Ran 10 miles / 35 minutes of YOGA