Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. -Henry Ford
I’m hard-pressed to discount wisdom from Henry Ford because of his known anti-Semitism, since I am pastor in a church named for a pretty vile anti-Semite in his own right. (We tend to dismiss it as old cranky Luther, but it’s still problematic.) Thankfully we can glean wisdom from deeply flawed people and leave the flaws as not-to-be-emulated.
So, yeah. Here I am. I think I’m entering territory I was not yet prepared for.
The no-excuses-left zone.
All along this whole thing, I have been able to qualify every goal, achievement, milestone (or lack thereof) with a relative spin. “Well, I can’t expect much for a guy who has been out of shape for so long. I won’t be changing overnight.” And all that is true. But it’s also a comforting blanket to retreat to when things get actually HARD. I am still at the stage where just moving is a blessing, no need for speed, and all of that kum-ba-yah sentiment is somewhat appropriate.
But readers of this blog may have noticed that I have been frustrated by own comfort with comfort for some time now. And now that weight loss is steady with my commitment to recovery, I can start to see what it looks like to be closer to normal size. I’ll soon get under 250, which is still huge, but not in the territory of “wow, watch out, that guy might drop dead instantly carrying all that weight!” I’m leaving obviously obese town, and settling into the big guy suburbs. It’s a temporary stop, on the way to has-an-actual-chin-and-can-see-his-own-toes ville.
All three of the triathlon disciplines are hard for me. Running is simplest. I did 8 miles the other day at just over 14m/m. That was solid improvement for me. I feel good about the steady progress. I still struggle with swim form, and now know I need a ton more time in the pool doing intervals if I want to get faster, as well as learn technique. With limited resources available, I hope the delivery of Sheila Taormina’s brand new book, which comes highly recommended from people I trust in such matters, will also help.
That leaves the bike. And this is where I am finally out of excuses. Bicycling is supposed to be the most liberating of the disciplines. Your typical triathlete loves it most. It’s easier on you than running, and less technique dependent than swimming. Yet, I have given it the least attention, and therefore the bike leg is my biggest worry in upcoming races. In fact, I am worried to the point of fearing a DNF.
So while I did not attack the training at the level I should have, I did, at the very least, do something proactive and finally get a bike fit. But even then, with a decision to get a better saddle, I could delay the “real work” even more, constantly making excuses as to why I didn’t go farther in training.
Well, as of last night, the excuses are all dried up. I selected a new saddle after borrowing three different demos from Earl’s. I returned to my bike fitter, Ron Marquette in Mifflinburg, for a final saddle adjustment.
So there’s nothing left to do but HTFU and just do it. My heart is strong, I have good shoes, a bike that fits, a good saddle, and a schedule that allows training.
No excuses left.