How to enjoy the damn thing

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My athletic confidence. That is what I want to talk about. What does it mean? To me it means on every level you perform, you own your athletic perfomance, how confident you are in your physical ability, how much you trust your body and how to put it in perspective and how to enjoy this all together.

And more important how does it effect me as a person? How does it makes me feel? I noticed something lately and it startled me. And I’m still not sure how to figure this out.

I realized I DON’T ENJOY MY RACES! So the mail question is, why not? And also am I doing the right thing? Let’s figure this out! I just didn’t realize this until a few days ago. It has always been like this. Felt like a struggle, it scared the shit of me almost everytime, anxiety kicked in, not having fun like it was something you just not to suppose to enjoy or something. Like I didn’t deserve to have fun doing runs or triathlons. Weird right?

It’s not an easy question, wich has no simple answer. Or has it? What do I need to answer this question and how do I solve this non-enjoyment thing. It’s starts with my ahtletic confidence. Is it even there? To be honest. No. Not a big NO as it used to be, but still a no.

In 2018 I started my triathlon adventure. Took swimminglessons to learn how to freestyle, bought a beautiful second hand roadracingbike and I already was into running. Overall I’m not a fast athlete, not particularly a talented athlete with a gift for swimming, biking or running. Swimming is still my nemisis. We slowly hate each other less and less each session.

Being a slow athlete makes me really insecure. I also kept comparing myself to others, wich also didn’t help at all. Being slow also gives me the feeling that I’m not enough and I’m not good enough. Am I right feeling insecure and feeling not enough and not good enough? No, of course not! I am totally wrong how I feel about myself. But how the heck do I flip this around?

As I am writing this, I didn’t/don’t have the solution yet. I hope by thinking about is and seeing this on paper, it will give me answers.

The first thing to remember always, is that we are always enough and good enough. Yet sometimes it is so hard to believe we are actually good enough. Maybe you were raised by false believes to keep small and not to be extraordinary. Maybe you were raised that being your absolute self was wrong. The things we learn in our youth are mostly the things the hardest to un-learn. But luckily it’s not impossible.

Second of all comparison is the thief of joy, said a wise friend of mine once. Comparing myself to other (tri)athletes does not make me happy most of the times. Most athletes I know are pretty fast and I’m not. And it effects me, it makes feel less, it makes me wonder why I even still do this, it makes me feel bad about my own athletics accomplishments.

The only one I need to compare myself to is just me. Do I get better at swimming? Do I get to run better and faster? Am I having fun? Of course you get to see other people’s accomplishments, but that’s their business and I should be happy for them and proud. Foremost I should be happy for my own progress and be proud of myself.

Last of all we should be way more kind and empathic to ourselves. Most of the times we are our own worst critics. We punish ourselves needlessy. We forget that we are unique and we have to walk our own path, our path is our own and we are the only ones who know what is going on. We should celebrate all our accomplishments, we should embrace our own unique personalities and encourage ourself and others to bloom, to fail, to try again, to discover who we are and what our mission is. And enjoy each moment of this journey.

Tomorrow I have my second sprint triathlon of this season. I was already feeling bad about myself because of the bad preperation due to a knee injury and not looking forward to it. Feeling insecure about it, not looking forward to it. Actually dreading it. I was almost considering just calling in sick.

Stop the madness! I’m going to have fun tomorrow and enjoy that I get to do this and be proud of my body. This body I get to use to challenge myself. It is not a struggle, I can make this nice and easy for myself if I allow myself to enjoy it and have fun. I own this! And so be it. And so should you!

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