chattanooga triathlon this past weekend. after being only 33 seconds away from qualifying for nationals, at my second triathlon at St. Anthony's triathlon in april, it seemed a likely accomplishment at my fourth triathlon in chattanooga.
i entered this race with a time goal in mind that was feasible based on my last two race performances. goals are a wonderful thing, they are what drives us to the next level, push us to drive harder than if we did not have a goal. but on the converse, if the goal is not accomplished for whatever reason that may be out of your control, there is a sense of dissatisfaction and failure. yes, the race was finished. yes, something was accomplished a lot of people will not experience. yes, a goal was accomplished - a completed race. but when do we take the time to actually celebrate that accomplishment. instead we stop, access, look at where improvement is needed for the next one, and move on with new goals. i have been congratulated repeatedly since the race was completed sunday, and the response that keeps popping immediately in my head is what on earth are they congratulating me for....i did not accomplish my goal?
interestingly enough, on my run portion, not only did i not have much strength left in me, i looked at my watch to see my time goal was not going to be met, or even close unless i was going to run a 6.5 min mile. so in this case, my mind began to give up. give up because my goal was not going to be completed, and not only that - i had to make the choice to finish the race, or continue to race the race after experiencing dizziness, and cramping in my left thigh. i chose to finish the race, finished it, and still ended up in the medical tent after finishing due to dehydration from the brutal 95+ degree temperatures.
a key learning- revisiting the purpose of goals. working towards celebrating any accomplishment. i am so grateful for friends who are reminding me of just that with their wonderful comments celebrating the work it took to get where i have gotten to become a triathlete. making me think about this mental game called triathlon, and develop any weakness as a strength. if we are never satisfied, how will we know when we are actually happy and enjoy the world around us?
the balancing game is dealing with goals, both accomplished and failed.