Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Your Words Have Power

I'm not a super negative person who puts themselves down.  I don't call myself names, I usually don't think the worst of myself.  But that does not mean that I am out of harm's way.

I didn't notice that in my attempts to be modest, I was putting myself down.  When I was a nanny, I would say things like "Oh, I'm JUST their nanny".  Or "I'm not their mom, I'm ONLY their nanny".  Then a time or two I had a couple of women say to me "No sweetie, you aren't just or only their nanny, you ARE their nanny.  You are raising them in the hours that their parents can't.  That is a meaningful job and should not be overlooked in its importance".

That got me thinking about the rest of my life and I noticed this pattern in my everyday speech.  I wasn't being overtly negative, but I wasn't being positive either.  In the past month or two I've readopted this awareness.  I noticed I was saying JUST or ONLY when I was asked if I was a lawyer (I'm a paralegal).  Not being the at the top doesn't make my job less important.  It doesn't make me less important.

I knew I had that 3K swim coming up, which I was swimming with triathletes who were swimming 3K, then going on to bike 60K and run 15K.  Just because I was going to be done after the swim portion didn't make my race any less important.  It was something I had to be very intentional about because I did have to convey that I was stopping after the swim portion.  I chose to word it as "I'm doing the 3k swim only", so as to not make it a pre-qualifier (don't know if that is a real term or if I made that up).  I stuck to my guns and felt really good about that and was able to talk to several other athletes about the lack of long open water swims in the state (another post for another day!).

As far as a race report goes...I did it!  Factoring in sighting and wind/waves, it was more like 2 miles.  I had not swam in that choppy of water ever, so it made it interesting, to say the least!  My two wonderful friends (and one of their babies!) surprised me and came to see me compete.  I'm glad I got the notion to look at my phone when I went back to my car after checking in.  I normally don't look at it, but they had called me to tell me they were on their way!  

The Olympic distance was set off just after 8am.  And there was a ton of them!  200 people did the Olympic distance, which was 1 loop of the swim course (horseshoe shape - 1500 yards/meters).  They had allowed 20 minutes for them to go off before my group was supposed to go, but it was much longer that with the time trial start!  My friends arrived, I got them settled on the beach and everyone in my wave, the special distance that I mentioned above, was already in line.  I just hopped in the back of the line and was the last person off from my wave at almost 9am.  We were to do 2 loops.  After the first loop, we had to run along the beach from the swim finish back to the swim start and get back in there.  The sprint wave (400 yard swim) started after my wave.

It was windy, which made it feel cold on the beach, so I did not "warm up" due to the fact that I would have been cold very soon after!  And with that long of a swim, your warm up is built in!  I spent quite a while trying to get in a groove and not have the waves hit me in the face while trying to breath. The first buoy felt like it took forever to get to.  I was working against the waves at that point.  Swimming the 200 or so yards to the next buoy was relatively easy and then I turned the corner and was ready for loooong home stretch for the first loop.  But I was pretty confused as to what I was supposed to swim towards.  The kayakers weren't being very helpful.  "ORANGE BUOY - LEFT" was what one kayaker kept yelling.  Soooo...am I supposed to go to the left of the buoy or is it supposed to be on my left?  I was just cruising along and finally figured it out (buoy was supposed to  be on my left).  I caught up to one or two people from the Olympic wave as well as the end of the sprint wave.

I swam close to the buoy that was near the shore.  I stood up and went to walk beside it, except the cement block that was keeping it anchored down got in my way and I nearly tripped!  I have some nice scratches on my toes thanks to that.  My friends met me as I got out of the water and jogged with me back to the start of the second loop.  they're too precious.  I think I'll keep them around!  They asked if I had another lap in me and I said "Definitely!".  Probably a sign that I took it too easy on the first lap. 

I was back in the water and pretty much stroke for stroke with another swimmer for a while.  Then my cap popped over my left ear.  I could also feel it creeping up the back of my head too.  I told myself not to worry or stop and fix it.  I could do that when I got to the buoy to turn.  However, that was at least 600 yards away!  It took my cap nearly falling off to get me to stop.  Grrr...new caps and big heads.  Don't really mix!  I maintained a good pace and a good ratio of strokes to sighting.

I rounded the last corner and knew it was my time.  I was stopping after this last 500 or so yards and I needed to give it my all!  I kicked it in to gear and was picking people off one by one!  With less than 200 yards left, a swimmer got in front of me and I either had to pick up the pace to pass him or keep behind him.  As much as I enjoy drafting off another swimmer, I totally needed him to get out of my way!  Sooner than I knew it, I was back at the beach and out of the water and crossed the timing mats.  I looked behind me and I was happy that there were 10-15 people still in the water (I had started last).  I knew I didn't break any speed records, but I was happy with my performance.

I had no idea what my time was as I did not bring my watch.  I asked one of the guys who worked for the race company and he said there would probably not be immediate splits and there would be no awards for the three of us who did the swim.  Booo....  Oh well, I found an unopened Vega gel on the ground, which I totally took.  Those things can get expensive!  I also got a tri hat.  I told you about the weird trivia to win the door prizes before...well this time his question was "Do you want this hat?".  And I ran up and said "yes, I want that hat".  And it was mine.  Haven't worn it yet.  Still a little more excited about the gel, to be honest. :)

I am learning little by little to be proud of my accomplishments instead of downplaying them in front of others.  Just recently, when someone asked at work how I am losing weight, I said "I'm training for triathlons" instead of "eatting a little better and moving more".  Definitely a difference, and it is the truth!  I will use my words to empower myself and not tear down any of the work - both emotional and physical - that I have put in this past year and a half.  Just trying to be the best version of me!


  1. Great post. So true. Nice job at the swim!

  2. You are right, our words have SO much power! Great job on the swim (I have a big head too so I feel your pain)!

  3. Awesome work! You are always doing something exciting :) ALSO very excited for you on getting that hat and gel! hahah.