I guess maybe I said I was scared of stuff too often in my life because lately – when I talk about how scared I am of my first triathlon on Saturday – people scoff at me. “Ah…you’ll do fine! No big deal! You’ll kill it like you always do and probably sign up for another one later that day!”
This frustrated me because I realize I’m like the boy who cried, “Wolf!” No one is taking me seriously. But y’all? I’m TERRIFIED.
I’m not sleeping well at all. I’m convinced it was my fear was what had me in bed with a migraine-level headache earlier this week. The the Terror Eating? Which is a whole new thing for me? IS UNSTOPPABLE. I keep going to eat just to calm that part of my nerves that wants to start hyperventilating.
Why am I scared? Well…this is where it does get silly. I’m scared of humiliation.
I know I’m not going to drown.
I know I’m not going to fail.
I’m not scared of the pool, but I just recreationally swim. So, my “technique” is basically a combination of doggie paddle and under-water/nose-holding swimming. But I can cross a pool with that technique 8 times no problem. I may stop and take a break periodically, but I’ll be fine.
I’m not scared of the bike ride. I know everyone will pass me as I had the longest bike at the duathlon I did a while back so it’s well-documented I’m the slowest on the bike. But I’ll finish. Maybe in the slowest time ever, but I’ll finish.
I’m simply terrified of people making fun of me. Or of people being irritated that someone of my skill level signed up to begin with. I’m terrified people will get mad that they have to pass me in a tight lane in a pool. I’m terrified they’ll laugh at my kickstand. (Did you know that cyclists, like real cyclists don’t have kickstands on their bikes? IT’S TRUE.) I’m terrified people will say, “God. Can you believe that’s Donnie’s wife? He came in first and second in his age group in his last two races and that is his wife?”
I’m scared I’ll be the only swimmer not doing a real stroke. I swear – if someone could promise me that there would be several of us like that? Flailing around with whatever technique gets us across the pool? That would probably make me feel better.
And yes, I signed up for a training class. But schedule conflicts kept me away from a lot of those classes and fear kept me away from others. So, yes. This is my own damn fault.
And yes, that makes me even MORE terrified. What if they all say, “If she had just shown up for a few classes, she wouldn’t be humiliating herself right now.”
And yes, I know most people are worried about themselves. BUT – while I’ve never heard anyone I know personally say such dreadful things about other racers – I’ve been to enough of these things that I have heard those things said. I’ve sat on the sidelines as a spectator for dozens of these things, and while maybe no one in our local community is that unsupportive, I’ve heard similar comments that I’m terrified of…uttered from racers several times in the past.
So…I’m replaying those times in my head, but now imagining those racers are talking about me and that is what has me TERRIFIED. I want to quit so bad I’ve found myself crying about it. If I break a leg Friday? I’ll be THRILLED. No lie. THRILLED. Maybe I’ll go rock climbing?
The ONLY thing I’m excited about is I finally had an excuse to buy something from Zoot Sports which specializes in Tri gear. Of course, I had to buy a LARGE in the shorts and they’re still a little uncomfortably snug. And I’m 5’3 and relatively fit, I don’t have anything else that’s a Large in my closet. So, you know, so much for vanity sizing! But either way – I am excited about doing something in an outfit that says “ZOOT” all over it.
But other than that? TERROR. FEAR.
And to top it all off with awesome? My family can’t even be there. I signed up for this thing for my husband and he won’t even be there. But that’s okay, because he’s the one I’m worried about embarrassing the most. So, in reality? My chances are better of not running away and hiding if he’s not there.
So – please know I’m not crying, “Wolf!” I’m scared. Scared of stupid shit, but scared nonetheless. Terrified. I’m not sleeping, but I’m doing tons of crying and eating.
48 hours. Keep me in your thoughts. Just hope that none of the meanies I’ve ever heard making fun of other racers before are from Huntsville or even interested in participating in a triathlon targeting beginners. And pray that there are dozens of other Flailing-Style swimmers there to join me in the pool. And pray there are other people riding 25lbs bikes that are too small for them. And that I’m not the only one with a kickstand.