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What happens when the love for tri seems to be headed for divorce?
“I don’t want to swim today!” I see often on social media. “I hate running!” The whiny-type, belly-aching posts go on and on. Trust me, I understand—I really do. Sometimes, any one of our three blessed sports may start to feel a little less like dating, and a little more like a marriage on the rocks.
Tony Robbins, my favorite motivational dude, talks about the law of familiarity and how it can be a big issue in relationships. Basically, the more time you spend with someone and the more “familiar” they become, the harder it can be to keep the love alive. However, Robbins urges that if we treated each other in our personal relationships like we did in the beginning of the relationship, then there would be no end to the relationship. I think the same thing applies to triathlon. In the beginning, we give so much love and joy and focus to the new sport—because it’s new and fancy and exciting. After a few seasons, it can be easy to fall off the intensity, the drive and focus of training (and perhaps rightly so); however, this can lead to some loss of interest, and maybe some wandering eyes into other sports.
- Find the why. We all started the sport for a reason. I find it exceptionally helpful to go back to the reason I started triathlon in the first place, when I feel the law of familiarity slip in. I began the sport because I needed something for me, wanted to be healthy and loved something with a competitive edge. Most of all, I wanted to show my kiddos a healthy mom—and that is still my most inspiring why. I go back to that, and it often reignites the flame.
- Stop the whining. I just cringe when I see whining about workouts. Sure, some whining is funny and especially when there’s not recovery days in sight and there are issues sitting on the potty after leg day—but for the most part, good grief. Reminder: We GET to do workouts! How lucky and blessed and fortunate are we that we can do the training? Stop whining about it. Just ask your injured or sick triathlete friends, and they’ll remind you how fortunate you are. If you aren’t going to work on it and find your why, then it might be time for an intervention.
- Stay or walk away. Finally, much in line with number two, if you have found the love for triathlon is like a bad dream or relationship, then perhaps it’s time to say your goodbyes and part gracefully. No one needs the angry and bitter folks wandering around the happy place that is triathlon for so many of us. However, I would bet that with the right mindset and focus, finding the love for the sport again isn’t that far of a stretch—sometimes, we just need the right tools and reminders about why we started loving this sport in the first place.