I’m training for my first triathlon and when I decided to actually commit: hook line and sinker it was because the decision made me, and not the other way around. Don’t believe me?

Have you ever done something without knowing why?

  • When you tell the story about how you met your best friend, or spouse, have you ever said “I just kinda stumbled into him/her…”
  • When you’re choosing what you’re going to order off the menu, how do you land on what you really want?
  • Ever commit to something you can’t afford yet somehow make it work?
  • Have you ever been in the right place at the right time with the right people resulting in the luckiest happenstance ever?

That’s what I’m talking about.  See, when the decision makes you and you’re able to tune in to the process, as in, you are able to S L O W down enough to follow each individual impulse: listening to how your mind responds, noticing how your body reacts and then following through with a decisive action rather than just chalking it up to ‘lady luck’, that’s what decisions making you looks like.

You might call it a ‘gut’ choice. Fair enough, now we’re talking semantics yet we’re both on the same page.

That’s how saying YES to my first triathlon happened.  A good friend of mine sent me a Facebook post about Vancouver’s first Ironman branded Tri and without skipping a beat, my body said yes and opted not to block the insanity of that decision.

Today I am two months away from the damn thing and I’m in the thick of it. Training and preparing that is. I started with The Vancouver Sun Run last month, nailed it and celebrated.  Check.

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Then with the help of the good people at Spin Cycle Bike Store, I acquired Rosebud, my first real road bike and began to train on two tires instead of two legs. This where it gets hard – and not physically difficult (well, okay, yes physically too), but really, it is more about the mental game. Why?

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2016-03-19 10.35.00Because hills stink and I live in a place with lots of them.  I see cyclists coming off the boat to enjoy my island home, and I think: “Oh Dude… you have no idea. This ain’t Tofino. We’re not all about tourists, offering a cute little bike path along a flat, straight-away with sweet coffee shops dotting the route”, no, that we’re most definitely not. We’re an island for cycling athletes who are super happy sweating and grunting.

That said, when I’m in the right frame of mind, I totally dig it. I have this kinda ‘I’ll show you road‘ mindset. ‘Just watch me fast cars! Take that hill number eight! I am UNSTOPPABLE!’

Unstoppable Wrist

But when I’m not in the right frame of mind. Oiiiiiiiii. It’s no fun at all. And the really frustrating thing is that I can’t seem to predict which mindset I’m going to be in when I climb on my bike.

But then I had an insight.

You see, I forgot.

The first 20 minutes of doing anything NEW usually sucks.

  • It’s awkward.
  • The body freaks out.
  • The mind goes ballistic.  The self-talk ramps up with self-doubt.

Oh yeah… that’s normal. 

The invitation for me, for you, for all of us is to stay with it, to grow stronger, to trust the process, to build the engine, to re-frame our thoughts away from doing what is easy, to doing what we feel compelled to do regardless of our skillset.

I felt drawn to say yes to doing my first triathlon only eight months out of radiation treatment from stage 3 tonsil cancer. It makes no logical sense, yet it’s the decision that made me, and it has felt dramatically ‘right’ the whole way.

Today I am in the thick of it and what I’m noticing, is that in this place, is where my reasons for saying yes begin to materialize.

When things are easy, what’s to learn other than ‘look what I can do’? When things are hard, that’s when the real learning kicks in:

  • Resilience
  • Courage
  • Tenacity
  • Depth of character
  • Physical and mental strength
  • New neuro-pathways of yes I can to replace the old ones of no I can’t
  • Knowing myself beyond whom I’ve believed myself to be

Why did I say yes to my first Triathlon? Well, I have some ideas, but the race hasn’t even happened yet and so there is so much more to come. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all I’ve learned once I cross the finish line on July 10th.

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There is gold in them there hills.

Ride ém TinaO. Ride ém. 

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Yes you can support me by making a pledge to CAN TOO – supporting my very first triathlon.

Yes you can support my RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER too!

TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice:  Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry and with her Tall Poppy Living for Network Marketers Coaching Program, she teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.