Guess my Tri-Asshole blog post touched a nerve. It was so nice to see y'all respond to the post, but to be honest, I'm fine about the whole episode. At first, I'll admit my feelings were pretty hurt. But I quickly realized that his comments reflected more on him than the race itself. To be fair, I also know that Ironman Arizona is among the "easier" Ironman races. I picked it for a reason in that I wanted to enjoy my first Ironman and get my sea legs, so to speak. And that's just what I'll do. There's no shame in completing any Ironman of any kind. Anyone who's ever embraced the spirit of the sport knows that. Back to spirit. While Tri-Asshole and I interacted for only a few seconds on an elevator ride, that conversation has already yielded tangible gains in my training. Tonight, I swam a 1:16/100, my new PR by a whopping SIX SECONDS. I didn't know I had that in me at this stage of training. Coach Gerardo did, but I doubted him. (When am I going to learn?) And that was after cycling 35 miles this morning that included a 75-minute zone-3 time trial. AND, that swim PR came at the end of a 2,250-yard swim session with the Fortius gang tonight.
How did it happen?
It would certainly be more dramatic if I indicated that I had visions of smashing Tri-Asshole's face in while swimming to new heights (or is that lows, in this case). But it's just not true. What Tri-Asshole did was simply motivate me to work harder the next few weeks. To make sure I sweat just a bit more. To not ease off on the gas pedal. To not coast until after I cross the finish line.
I got a swift mental kick in the ass. And I feel outstanding.
So, what I am saying is that I've turned a potentially mentally damaging situation into a healthy positive. I'm not sure I would have reacted in quite that manner a year ago -- whether in the workplace or in the gym. I do think endurance sports training has enabled me to find some mental and emotional padding that allows me to bounce back from stinging comments or even physical pain. It is an invaluable asset in a chaotic world.
It just took a real jerk to remind me of that.
Before I finally go to sleep tonight, I'll be sure to think fondly of him. I owe him one.
38 days and counting.