Sometimes finding success in triathlon—and everyday life—is all about showing up day after day.
One of the long-held jokes on my podcast is the fact that I am incredibly resistant to the practice of meditation. I don’t do it, won’t do it, and you can’t make me. So there.
Guest after guest on the podcast has implored me to make the time, just give in and do it. I promise them all, “Yes, I will try. I will start.”
Then I go and download an app, read a book, and I make it four or five days. Then I quit.
I had Bob Harper on the podcast (former host of “The Biggest Loser,” and let’s be honest, my celebrity fitness love). Look, I love Bob. He was one of the first people I interviewed where I literally fangirled when he answered the call.
But here’s the thing, Bob made me promise to try meditating. Oh, Bob, no.
When Bob Harper asks you to do something, well, you do it.
This meditating start-quit behavior pattern with me is interesting because I don’t quit much. If I set out to do something, I usually see it through—or determine that it’s truly detrimental to my life or health in some way, and then I can let it go.
But why-oh-why have I been so resistant to meditating?
I don’t have an answer for this, especially when I have spent so much time working on mental manifesting and envisioning positive outcomes on race day, in training and in sport.
When I was training for my first 70.3 distance race, I continually thought about how I would feel to be on mile 12.8 on the run—the experience of finishing such an epic distance and race for someone “like me.” I pictured the joy, the pain and all of it—and I did this manifesting practice effortlessly.
When I was training for my first Ironman, I envisioned the finish chute every single day for three months (at least). I rode my bike for 100 miles and thought about Mike Reilly saying, “Meredith Atwood, YOU are an Ironman” for hours. It kept me going.
Fast-forward to everyday life, however, and I drop the ball on my manifestation of success and practicing this meditative practice.
But I promised Bob.
So, here I sit on day five of a new meditation program and I am still struggling with the idea that meditation is wasting my time. However, my objective brain is also very aware that the key to success in anything is what I have always preached: consistency.
Further, time and time again I have shown myself that mental toughness can be what makes or breaks us on race day. I know the power of the mind in manifesting success in races. I know the power of having no quit, no give-up muscle in my body—2015 Ironman Lake Placid comes to mind for me.
Many times we apply our life success principles to triathlon, but I have found that the reverse is often true: that triathlon teaches me how to live my best life.
Those hard races, training sessions, and pushing through moments have been the greatest joy I have learned in triathlon. As many other times before, I am using my experience in triathlon to push me to be better in my everyday life, to keep going, to be consistent—even with something that I continue to struggle with. I will keep showing up and just keep moving forward.
Meredith Atwood (@SwimBikeMom) is a 4x Ironman triathlete, recovering attorney, motivational speaker and author of the best-selling book, Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You.. She is the host of the podcast, The Same 24 Hours. Meredith is married with two tweens and writes about all things at MeredithAtwood.com. Her next book, The Year of No Nonsense, is due out Fall 2019.