Friday, August 12, 2011

Starting Line

As athletes we focus much time and energy on getting to the finish line. There is a popular saying that  it is about the journey not the destination. In order for there to be a journey though, there has to be a start. Starting anything is the most difficult part. Once you have started it is much easier to keep the momentum than it is to initiate it. I get told all the time by people, I'd love to do (fill in the blank) but I don't ( _have the time, _know how, _have the energy, _ have the talent, _think I can.). Getting over this is the biggest hurdle in beginning anything. Think about pushing a huge boulder down a path, the most strength and energy is required to make that initial budge, once it is rolling you can pretty much keep the forward progress. Of course there are times when the boulder comes up against a rut or an uphill and then you have to dig down into your pit of strength again and push it through, but it won't take as much as that first shove because now you know you can move it.

Two years ago I was about to watch and crew at the Leadville Trail 100. The day of the race I was in awe of all those incredible athletes. I thought that there was no way I had the ability to even contemplate doing such an event. Two days later, I decided that I should put everything I had into doing such a scary event, one that terrified me and I didn't think was possible. That was the day I began to push the boulder, and I was mostly pushing it uphill! I didn't get selected to start the race through the general entry. I had to do some fast dialing and get in through a camp. I wasn't that solid on my mountain biking skills and had never been on the mountain bike for more than 3.5 hours at a time. I had lots of work to do in order to even toe the line. One year ago, I was on the eve of the event and I felt really well prepared. The fears and self doubt had been replaced by excitement and quiet confidence. I was going to be at the start line and I deserved to be there, I had been pushing that rock for almost 12 months and I had momentum. I finished that day but that isn't what I celebrate, I celebrate that I had the courage to start. Every race or adventure that you go on, remember it is the starting that matters most. Good luck to everyone racing Leadville tomorrow. Hope your journey has been enjoyable and that you all have a no chain day out there!

Scotiabank Half Marathon Start, Tana ready to race
(she didn't understand why she got to do my warm up but not the race- I could have used her momentum on that day!)

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. -John Bingham

1 comment:

  1. Glad you can look back at this time a year ago and soak in the great memories!