— By Niels Dekker
When I hear the rhetorical question, “is one sport not enough for you triathletes?” I can’t help but chuckle. For those who truly love this amazing sport, I don’t think that crosses our mind. If anything, the muliti-discipline nature is what adds to the challenge, and triathletes love a good challenge!
My personal journey into the world of triathlon started in 2016 when a good friend told me about an upcoming race and suggested I try it. I’ve never looked back! Last year I enjoyed lots of local races, gaining as much race experience as possible.
This winter came around and I was super excited to get started with some strong off-season preparation for the 2018 race season… and then life showed up. Life where there are already prior commitments that you made with yourself, family, career, community, you name it — they got in the way. In these familiar instances, how do you stay on track to do what you set out to do in sport? This became the biggest challenge I personally have faced in a while.
It became easy to get frustrated when my training schedule started to fall apart and the “days off” started to stack up. It felt like I had really hit a wall that I didn’t know how to get over.
When you have a personality that is really all or nothing it can be difficult. This was the biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself from the past five months. I wanted to give my all to training, feeling that only giving 30% would not be enough to get me where I wanted to go — yet it was still better than nothing. This was my conundrum.
As time has passed I’ve reflected back and realized that everything has its time and some commitments will take precedence over others at certain times of life. Once I realized that I was ok with not being able to train as much as I committed to when I made the schedules, things shifted for me. My small swims, runs, bike rides… I found new life in them and enjoyment where I had thought I lost it all together!
The shift happened! I would say my expectations dropped, and the reason why I started this sport in the first place was back; to bring out the best of me. The beauty is that the ‘best’ is not always the clock at the end of the training or race. I learned that the ‘best’ was showing up day in, day out.
I trust all of you will have an amazing summer of 2018 training, racing and being with your communities out in the gyms, pools, trails, and roads! I look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming MultiSport Canada races.