I read a quote today by Eleanor Roosevelt – Do one thing every day that scares you. How often do I find myself doing the opposite? I take on challenges I never thought I would but there are times when I may stop, rest, or take a different rout to avoid what scares me. Yesterday I can honestly say I tackled a swim that scared me, and I won. That should give me motivation to take on anything, but as human nature has proven time and again I so easily forget.
This morning I met my training partner and we decided to swim 1,500 meters. There is a difference between doing what scares you and doing what is smart. After racing yesterday, our typical 2,500 meter swim on Monday would not be very smart. My legs felt the strain from giving all I had yesterday. It felt good to swim, and again I was very pleased with my pace. I have a goal that I would like to hit by the end of the month that I just realized on Friday after I wrote my August goals. I want to consistently swim my 100 meter pace under 2 minutes. Today I was at 2:01 to 2:03, so I have a little way to go. And I will admit, it does scare me a bit to put it out there that I set the goal. Sometimes doing what scares me is not an action but an admission.
This afternoon my training partner and I planned on meeting to ride 20 miles. I was feeling tired through the day and asked her after lunch how she felt. She felt the same, but we both agreed to ride. When we got to the park she realized she forgot her bike shoes. When riding with clipless pedals, shoes are as necessary as wheels. She apologized up and down and I felt relieved. I can go home and rest. Then she said she was going to get home so she could ride. I love positive peer pressure. I decided to go home and ride. When I got home, I really wanted a nap, but I knew I had to get a ride in. I mapped out a 12 mile ride that had enough challenging hills I would get a good workout in. I was a little concerned about riding feeling so tired, but I knew I could get through the ride. Oh am I glad I did. The climb out was tough, but the ride back was great. It was a rolling hill course, but this time it was a net gain out and and net decline back. As I got home I took note at how much more energy I had from the ride. I tackled something that scared me and I am better for it.
Doing something that scares me is not just an athletic action. It could be standing up for myself, trying something different, refraining from an action, or offering a helping hand. I mentioned yesterday that a triathlete had a heart attack in the lake and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. The last report I read, he survived and was still in the hospital. The article mentioned that the other triathletes who brought him to shore and other people standing by were first to administer CPR before the rescue teams arrived. It was this courageous behavior that most likely saved his life. Talk about doing something that scares you. These athletes put their lives at risk in very rough water to save someone else. So I will look for that one thing every day that scares me. And do it.