Nobody Chose Me

The airwaves have been rife with the notion that Triathlon chooses us – that we resonate so completely with the sport that it feels like a calling, a destiny. Well I’m here today to tell that I’m like the last kid standing in the ‘unchosen’ line in P.E. class. The one nobody wants on her team but who plays anyhow for whatever reason.

To give credit where credit is due I first read this ‘chosen’ notion on Stronger’s blog where she was referring to what Kahuna said. When I couldn’t remember where I first read that notion I did a search and found a similar post by Daniel Clout on Beginnertriathlete.

I’m glad other people feel chosen. They probably feel competent, too. Not me. I’m a great example of how you really can cram a square peg into a round hole. Of course if the diameter of the hole is bigger than the diagonal distance across the square it’s no contest but I’m not very big. And I’m not very strong. And I’m not much of an athlete. I’m tenacious and I persevere but it is definitely a brute force effort and I don’t love it. I love me a little bit for doing it but I don’t love the sport.

This weekend was a painful reminder of why that is. Saturday I had 22 million things to do so instead of going out riding with my friends I just went for a short ride locally. I went to the road with the hill that tried so hard to kick my a$$ a few weeks ago. It kind of kicked my patoot again but having just climbed the Berkeley hills I knew I could do it so I did. When I got to the top of the hills I could only marvel at my prior accomplishments. What happened to the Queen of the hills? She abandoned me and left me yearning for a leg transplant.

My run yesterday was also a total bust. Of course my Garmin has started lying through it’s non-existent teeth about my pace and that just really gets me down but still – I felt heavy and slow. I did take the opportunity to run up a big old nasty hill because Wildflower is pretty much all about tackling hills but my pace overall stunk. It’s the first time I’ve run 11+ minute miles in a long time. No joy there.

I will not be denied, though. I will not lose confidence. I will love myself no less. I’m eternally grateful to every single couch potato in the world because next to you I look like an athletic Goddess but I’m no goddess. I’m not even very good. All I can do is set my goals, train and try to make them and when it doesn’t work out just move on to the next thing. I’m really glad I do it, too because I’m in the best shape of my life and because I meet great people both in real life and on the internet and I will soon meet a bunch of internet peeps face to face – good times!

Triathlon, you may be a reluctant date but I’m not letting you go just yet. I will keep coaxing you and whispering sweet nothings into your 3 ears, ignoring your scorn of me because I’m sure that if I do this long enough we’ll find mutual love. Please stop being so recalcitrant and tell me you have feelings for me, too.

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10 Responses to Nobody Chose Me

  1. Laurie says:

    Awwwww. You are one tough cookie. Your blog tagline sums it up best: ‘tris to get better with age.’ I think it is great that you are using triathlon to improve yourself.

  2. stronger says:

    Ahhh, I kept my thought too vague: “Triathlon found me and I have found myself in triathlon” I find myself when I run, when I bike, when I swim. I could care less about putting all three together for a race. The triathlon I was referring to was YOU and everyone else I’ve met through triathlon.

    You are too a Goddess.

  3. Veeg says:

    Oh. My. Gawd. I LOVE THIS POST!

    You’ve totally summed up how I have been feeling lately. I look back on my posts from last year, which were all about “becoming” and “potential,” and I laugh my ass off at my sweet little earnest self. This year, I am certainly enjoying getting out and doing stuff but. . . that’s pretty much it. It’s not about being chosen or special or destined.

    In the words of Kelly from 90210: “I choose me.” 😉

  4. Nancy Toby says:

    Now there’s the difference between us – if I run 11 minute miles, I’m stunned and delighted.

  5. Mother Chaos says:

    I admire you so much for sticking with it. I find it hard enough to stick with things I love.

    To show my admiration, I will immediately retire to the couch so your greatness may shine all the brighter next to my tone-less-ness. 😉

  6. fe-lady says:

    I hope I have been chosen for something else other than triathlon in this life….like motherhood, being a good speech pathologist and a caring and supportive wife, good friend to a few and relentless big sister to my younger ones, and a loving daughter….
    triathlon is just playing at the end of a challenging day. It does help us through tough times and adds many wonderful moments to life…but let’s not lose perspective here…it’s just swimming and biking and running. Keep it fun!

  7. fe-lady says:

    I hope I have been chosen for something else other than triathlon in this life….like motherhood, being a good speech pathologist and a caring and supportive wife, good friend to a few and relentless big sister to my younger ones, and a loving daughter….
    triathlon is just playing at the end of a challenging day. It does help us through tough times and adds many wonderful moments to life…but let’s not lose perspective here…it’s just swimming and biking and running. Keep it fun!

  8. momo says:

    mom – you speak words of wisdom, and that lady tri is listening to you, sizing you up and finding that no matter what she throws at you, you’re still there, hanging tough. there is only one first place in each race, but there are hundreds and thousands like you (and me) who show up and prove over and over again that we are made of ironstuff, because no matter when we get there, we do eventually get there.

  9. LBTEPA says:

    You ARE an athlete – you’re an athlete if you’re out there using your body and trying to improve and get stronger toward a goal (if you see what I mean).
    Also 100% agree with fe-lady.

  10. Dori says:

    What? The Garmin lies about pace! Say it ain’t so.

    I related to so much of your post. That square peg thing. I especially start feeling it during a marathon, although I’ve learned not to indulge that feeling. None of us are elite athletes; we just do our best and really, that’s good enough.

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