Post my Goa triathlon in February 2018, I started to learn freestyle. First with a friend, who is a national level swimmer and then with a coach. I had a simple goal…to do a 2km swim, freestyle, in under an hour. That was when I would register for my first half IronMan race. (This is only to ensure that I make it for the swim cut off of 70 mins) I put my heart into my swim training. Like I had when I was training to qualify for Boston. I swam 5 days a week, reduced my running and managed to fit in the required bike workouts.
Cut to present. 8 months later. The Turkey race is over. Has my swimming improved? NO! Not sure what I am doing wrong but the Garmin never lies. The earnestness with which I had started my swim training has now turned into despondence. I don’t think I am ever going to get better. Everyone around me tell me not to worry, and that one day it will all fall in place. Where is that one day!!? It has been months of dedicated work and I am still panting my way across the pool.
As with my biking. A simple goal of completing one workout with an average cadence of 80. Has it happened? NO! Maybe something wrong with my gears or maybe something wrong with me!
To all the champs who are reading this, hats off to you for making it look effortless.
Do I enjoy swimming?
Not particularly. In fact as the weather gets cooler, just the thought of being inside a cold pool send shivers down my spine.
Not particularly. It is a pain in the butt, literally, and I am running out of movies to watch.
Yes. I am at the bottom of the curve in both these sports, as I was with my running 10 years ago. And this graph can only move upward. But I feel this line is stuck at the same point for a long time.
Yes, my attitude should change, I should try and enjoy doing both these sports. I think I would, if only it got slightly easier. And if I improved, even marginally. That would show that my hard work is paying off.
Will I keep at them both without being rewarded?
Yes, as I feel that this is building endurance. And grit.
It will take time.
I acknowledge that.
I need to have patience.
I understand that.
I will keep my head down.
And do what I have to do.
As I learn the meaning of a new word.
Relentless(n) : Not lessening in severity. intensity, strength or pace.
When we put ourselves out of our comfort zone and take on challenges is when character builds.
As I struggle to keep my head above the water and find my feet in my cleats, I continue dream of that day when I will hear the words…
“Parul Sheth, you are an Ironman!”
“Anything is possible. I think that when you set your mind to something, and make a plan on how to get there, then you just chip away at what the next step of the plan is and you keep working up to the next step on the staircase basically—and it’s amazing how far you can go.”
—Kim Conley on Episode 35 of the morning shakeout podcast
(Thank you for this Russa!)