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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

I was bordering on panic mode around my half-ironman this morning. To the point I looked into postponing to a later race (not possible). I haven’t been consistent with my training and I don’t feel ready.

Let’s be honest though, I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready.

But I have 10 weeks. Some crazies train for half-ironmans in 10 weeks alone. I have a base, even if my mind is telling me I don’t. I can swim 1.2 miles now. I can bike 40 miles at a 17mph pace without feeling tired. I need to do a few more long bike bricks. Running, well, I can jog/walk at a 5.0 mile pace the whole damn time if needed. Anyway, I know exactly what to do to make myself feel prepared and more positive. And seriously, I’m not just saying this, I will be thrilled, tears of happiness thrilled, prouder than hell of myself, if I can finish this race without getting cut off.

I started to list out what I need to get done in order to feel less panicked:

-Commit to prioritizing my training for the next 10 weeks.

-Celebrate each training week and build up my confidence.

-Get my bike work done. (Tune-up, clip in pedals, a flat tire kit, and an extra water bottle cage.)

-Get a few outdoor rides in.

-Participate in the duathlon I signed up for at the end of April (3 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run) – the perfect opportunity to get a little more used to my shoes and get the race feeling back.

-Watch a few training videos. (What to pack for the race, changing a flat, and other nutrition tips.)

-Practice with nutrition.

-Practice race outfits.

-Practice transitions.

-Book my race hotel room, Friday –Sunday.

 

Here’s my training that I want to accomplish this week. I will stick to my plan, these workouts are my top priority, and I know I have no reason not to be able to. I can do this. 

Week10

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I’m a control freak. And yet, sometimes, maybe too often, I let fear control me.

I haven’t joined a running club, or tri club, or bike club out of fear. I’m scared of not knowing people or not being at their caliber. Even though I know the end result of doing so would mean a ton more motivation, smart training, and making friends with similar interests and goals.

I haven’t talked to a friend or two who have made our friendships feel one-sided. But the idea of having to have that conversation gives me such anxiety. Yet the end result good or bad, would at least clear the air and give me some peace.

Slowly but surely, I’m forcing myself to overcome some of my fears.

I went on dates and now I’m officially “dating” a guy I actually like. He might not be my future husband, but right now, he is exactly what I want.

I signed up and participated in my first duathlon, an event all by myself 45 minutes away from everyone and the area I know. I dealt with my biggest fear during tris – getting a flat and you know what? I still finished.

But there’s a big fear that I haven’t dealt with. That for a few months now (well a lot longer actually) I’ve been ignoring, then hoping it goes away, and now I feel like I’m convincing myself to settle. I wish I could go into more detail on here, but even in this public space, you never know.

  • I’m convincing myself that the benefits are worth it.
  • The money that allows me to box, take trips, and eat out whenever I want makes it worth it.
  • The schedule that’s flexible enough with more time off than most everyone I know makes it worth it.
  • The commute that’s practically next door makes it worth it.
  • The prestige of the place and the industry and my experience makes it worth it.
  • The comfort of knowing what I’m doing, and being senior, makes it worth it.

I can’t. I just can’t settle any more.

I’m starting to get tired of convincing myself. And spending 5 of the 8 or 9 hours each day not happy adds up to a lot. Money isn’t changing that.

But just thinking about making a change sends my control freak self into anxiety mode. What would I do? How would it all pan out? What if, what if, what if? How long until I feel in control again?

All I have to do is take the first step. But fear keeps holding me back.

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One of the most important lessons I learned on my trip was that I have limits.

To most that sounds obvious. But when it comes to adventures and taking risks sometimes it seems like I am willing to do a lot more than others. I’ll white water raft, bike 25 miles, jump out of planes (more than once), waterfall repel, etc without truly thinking about the risk associated.

When I started hiking  when I took 5 steps up the steep ice on Volcano Villerica in Pucon, Chile – I lost it. I’m not talking the scary butterfly feeling. My body wouldn’t move and tears immediately streamed down my face. I physically could not move and I mentally lost it. Something deep down in me just kept saying, “this is not OK, don’t do this.”

And so I hiked back down. Against all the Chilean guides who kept promising me that I’d be fine, and if I started to slide I could just use my ice axe to slow me down. (…yeah my ice axe.) And that my hiking boots would be fine on ice, I just needed to dig my feet in.

My body and mind finally said no. I learned that I have limits, and that it’s OK that I didn’t do it. This doesn’t mean I failed.

When I told my Mom that I didn’t do it she smiled and said, “I’m proud of you, sometimes I fear you’re too careless, and it’s so good to know you have limits.”

  

  
 
 
 

Crazy guide

The Volcano that crazies hike up

Our gear, including the ice axe




The view after my 5 steps

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We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosevelt

I keep reminding myself that I was never more terrified than the morning of my first triathlon. Or the mornings before huge meetings. Or those stomach twisting few hours before  date.

But each of those scenarios is worth is. Because from each one I learn something invaluable, something I would not have learned without trying.

My triathlon brought me a strength and a confidence I would have never, ever known existed prior. It also brought me a happiness and a feeling of accomplishment that was more than worth the hard work to get there.

When I leave those huge scary meetings, I come out feeling alive, and excited about my job and confident about myself. And when it’s a horrendous meeting and I feel like I wasn’t my best, I can reflect and figure out why and it challenges me to step it up.

And the dates. Ohh those dates. I hate the few hours before them. While so far they’ve been lame, they got me back out there and they made me realize that men were interested in me.

This Wednesday I start my lunchtime reading program. I get to leave my corporate office and sit with a 1st grader during his lunch and read to him. 🙂  While I’m excited (the librarian in me wants to make everyone love reading), I’m nervous. What if he doesn’t like me? What if he doesn’t want to listen to me read? What if he likes my counterpart (who I alternate weeks with) better? Why am I so scared of a 1st grader?

I know though that in the end, there might be good days and bad days with my match but it’ll be worth it. I think it’s time I start thinking about what other opportunities are out there that are scary, but are worth it…

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Yesterday was just the most ridiculous day of ups and downs intermingling with pure chaos. Work was draining. I haven’t been this drained in a really long time. While I love being busy, I’m feeling more and more burnt out. After 9 hours of running around at work I couldn’t wait to get to boxing.

I know my crush on my boxing instructor is the type that is fun, and consuming, but it’s not real if that makes sense. I’m just happy to be attracted to someone again. The son of two Irish immigrants, he grew up in one of the more rough neighborhoods around here and I can’t quite get a read on what his life outside of personal training is at this point. We somehow connected that I had been to Ireland and while we were going to chat about it we were both racing out of class and didn’t. I get excited to see him but I wonder if it is the opposites attract thing going on right now? He’s outgoing, a little self-centered, and rough to my…well the opposite of that. He’s Eminem meets B. It’s fun and exciting if nothing else. Clearly my pheromones are talking.

Anyway, boxing itself was amazing. I keep learning more and more but I really need to work on my technical aspects. Keeping my feet apart, not throwing my body, and not tilting my wrists are the parts I find the hardest. I have bruises along my right ring and pinky knuckles today from a really hard punch (and that’s through tape and boxing gloves).

After class I raced out because B was waiting in his pick-up truck to grab me to go to dinner. It was by far one of the nicest times I’ve ever spent with him…including when we were dating. I don’t know if it’s because we have both accepted where we are and what we are that it just worked. We talked about what’s going on for me at work (it’s so nice to talk this out with him because he is in the same field and can relate to so much), politics, life updates, and life in general. It was just a constant flow of conversation for over 2 hours. I left him feeling so content. He hugged me goodbye saying, “this was the best conversation I have had in months”.

And then I walked into my apartment. I checked my blackberry and spent the next two hours frustratingly responding to emails that I had missed in my few hours off. I was past my breaking point but I had to just suck it up. At 12:30 I called it quits and got into bed. Needless to say my mind was racing and I couldn’t sleep. I hate feeling like I’m leaving things unfinished or not done properly.

Finally it got to the point where I actually moved to my couch in hopes of getting myself to just feel tired. At around 2:15am I started to drift into sleeping when I heard loud shouts outside my window.  And then someone yelling they were calling the cops. And then a kid yelling, “That kid f*cking jumped me, I’m literally dripping blood.

What is going on in my area? This is the second time this has happened. The cops were there (and by there I mean directly below my fourth floor window) until about 3am. Even after they left my adrenaline was going so much there was no chance I’d sleep. I kept trying to calm myself into sleeping and then my heart would start to pound and I’d play out in my mind these horrible scenarios where it would have been me walking outside in the courtyard.

I forgot how once in awhile it’s really scary to live alone. That of all things that I fear, I fear living in fear the most.

I’m ok today. I’m exhausted clearly but most of all I’m so angry. I’m angry that these violent idiots can make me feel so unsafe in my own neighborhood.

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Terrorism?

This morning at 11:30 I was in the middle of a call in my office when I saw another number beeping in. B’s number.

Immediately I knew I needed to take it. B doesn’t call my work phone. If he does, I know it’s an emergency.

As soon as I picked up I could tell something was wrong. My stomach dropped. He talked slowly, which of course made me want to shake him to get whatever it was he was trying to say out.

“I don’t think it’s anything but so you know the building next to mine (the Post Office) seems to be on fire, there are explosions, and we’re all evacuating. I know your building is high-profile so I wanted you to be aware in case you maybe want to get out of the building.”

What? All I could think of were flashes of 102 minutes, the documentary my Mom and I recently watched on the History Channel about 9/11.

Was it just a fire? Or was this terrorism?

The buildings around it are evacuated and mine for now is fine. The news isn’t updating what’s going on. So far all I have is a picture that someone tweeted.

I hate this feeling. I hate that it reminds me of feeling helpless during 9/11. My Mom was in NYC working that day, as she was my whole childhood. We couldn’t get ahold of her for hours after the towers went down.

Thankfully, she was fine, but was stuck in the city in her building overnight. When we did talk she just kept saying she was OK, she was going to be OK and she would be home soon. So we waited. Her firm finally hired car services to drive people home in the early morning hours once NYC allowed for people to pass in and out. Nothing compares to the feeling of when she finally got home. And nothing compares to seeing the empty seats for the next few weeks in my highschool as so many students lost family members.

It’s interesting to talk about what’s going on around the office. Most people aren’t worried at all. I’m finding that those who grew up in NYC or around NYC are acting different. You can see it in our faces – fear, over thinking, and already planning the next steps.

B just texted me. They’ve got it “cleaned-up” now. No word on the cause yet, but at least no one has been harmed. My stomach is still at my feet.

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Another weekend comes to an end. How is it possible that the summer if flying by so quickly? Make it slow down!
 
A fantastic highlight from this weekend:
 

(Yeeeah, I need some Yoga practice)

 
A walk around this lake at the base of Bear Mountain with my two childhood best friends. As I get older more and more I’m realizing that I want to spend as much time outside as possible. Every time I do, I just feel more alive after. There’s something about getting up before 8am on a Saturday and walking along trails that just makes me feel like I living to my limit. I’m so grateful I got to spend the entire day with them enjoying the outdoors!
I’m also just so happy that I got to enjoy a nice breakfast with my older sister and Mom this morning before heading back to Boston. It reminded me again of how lucky I am to have the family I have.
 
Oh and something strange happened on Saturday night. I fell asleep by 11pm and woke up to my younger sister’s texts just after midnight. The topic of those texts for another post. Anyway, I started noticing flashing outside my window, as if someone was turning a flashlight on and then off on and the off. I looked outside and realized, or guessed in my half-sleeping state that it was heat lightning. Only, I have never seen heat lightening like this. Portions of the sky would light up so much that the light was flashing into my room. It was just so strange looking because I didn’t see any lightning bolts, just flashes on and off across the sky that lasted well over half and hour and it was so silent outside the entire time. It was eerie and gave me this feeling, like change is coming. I wish I had gone outside to take pictures or a video because google images just don’t do what I saw justice. I couldn’t fall back asleep for a while after so I actually slept until 9am this morning.
 
In other big news, I got my Tri Wet Suit! As exciting as it is…
 
FEAR is settling in. Big time. I’m freaking out that I’m just not ready. I haven’t trained hard enough and I only have 3.5 weeks left to train. I didn’t have a very good run today. I know part of its mental. I mean I basically set myself up for failure when I left my place saying I really need a good run so that I’d feel like I was better prepared and knowing in the back of my mind if the run didn’t go well I’d feel 10 times worse. And I do. It was one of my more pathetic runs at a slow 10 minute mile pace, with walking breaks. I’m just frustrated at myself.
 
I just need to get into bed, read my book, get a good night’s sleep and think about how I felt here…
 

Hessian Lake, Bear Mountain

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