“To do your best, you’ve gotta believe in yourself. There is a functional link between physiology and psychology. If you have the confidence to do something, your body will respond. With confidence you can cope with various race day obstacles, but even slight problems are magnified if you lack it. Achieving goals – long training runs, consistent mileage, increasingly faster times in speed workouts and races – builds confidence, which results in further improvements in performance. Reflect on these successes as you approach a race and during it to keep your confidence strong.” Bob Glover, The Competitive Runner’s Handbook
It’s ugly at the rundogcatcatme household this morning and it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day. And, yes, coffee: on the third.
Chunker must feel the tension because she is prowling about mewing and chirping at her stuffed toy ‘babies’. Just now she climbed up on the washer and dumped her kibble into the washing machine. Now I’ve got cat food pellets stuck under the agitator. I mean under the agitator in the washing machine, not the agitator in fur, mewing.
Oddly just minutes before we were discussing yelling at our furry children and that our furry children didn’t have middle names to make the shout effective like it did when I would yell TRAITOR MIDDLE NAME CHILD DAMMIT I TOLD YOU BUT, NO, AND NOW WE HAVE TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. AGAIN.
Apparently Chunker does have a middle name and I had just forgotten it.
Last night we gave the lake swim another try. Heather bravely faced the lake and announced there had better not be any &^%%&** snakes this time. I felt fine, buoyed by my new-found comfort and lack of fear in the lake Tuesday. Unfortunately I failed to realize I had a couple factors against me. First I forgot to use my inhalers yesterday and a front had come in (my trigger). Secondly, and much more importantly, Hubs was home. Home, and on the boat following us in the lake.
I have performance anxiety. I don’t mind failing or struggling in front of others (too much) but can’t stand to do so in front of Hubs, which is ridiculous because I usually manage to screw something up on a daily basis so I should surely be used to it by now. It embarrasses me, and he tries to fix everything which frustrates me (it’s a guy thing, isn’t it?). After all these years I should get over it. For some reason he’s fascinated by the thought of me swimming. He keeps saying, “I’ve never seen you swim” which means every time we’ve been to a pool he’s been struck blind? Or perhaps that doesn’t count if it’s not laps or something? I don’t know. I just know, at this point, that the pressure is on and it’s building and I cannot stand it.
B&H are two of the most mothering and nurturing people I have ever met, polar opposite of me. Becky stayed back with me when we set out. Every damn time I looked up there was that boat with Hubs, watching. The water was cool, I didn’t warm up and within a couple minutes my chest said Ciao, see ya later and shut down. I’d doggy paddle for a few minutes and set out again, Becky waiting and watching. I told her to go on, I’m fine. I swam a bit and floated a bit and doggy paddled a bit but I could never catch my breath, wheezing and pissed off, knowing that Hubs was watching me struggle. Finally I saw a dock and headed for it. I held on, trying to catch my breath, looking at our dock across the cove, a million miles away. Hubs and the boat swung around. I got on. “I’m done. I’m fine, but I’m done.”
The reality, with no sugar-coating, is that inhalers or no, Hubs or no, I am not a strong enough swimmer to go even 400 yards. I will have to stop and I will have to stand in the 6 inches of marshmellow-y fish poopy fish burial mud until I can catch my breath and then I’ll have to start again. I’ll just have to boil my feet when I get home.
One of my BRFF’s, Lisa, called yesterday to see how I was doing facing this weekend. She did her first Tri last summer. She told me how helpful Hubs was at the race start, consoling her with positive reinforcement. “You can FLOAT, cantcha?” he asked her. She nodded. “You can DOGGY PADDLE cantcha?” She nodded. “OKAY THEN, you’ll be FINE,” he boomed. She nodded.
Someone posted the quote above this morning. I can’t decide if the issue is that I don’t believe in myself enough and I need to pump myself with spoonfuls of sugar-y positive thinking and reinforcement all day, or if the issue is what I stated: I am simply not a strong enough swimmer at this time.
And if the reason is the fact that I am simply not strong enough at this time, is it negative to admit that? To be afraid, and to feel angry because I’m afraid?