Thursday, April 21, 2016

From the coach: I believe in your dreams

I've been thinking a lot about the few months ahead of me. I'll be going to the Big Island to watch my husband participate in his first Ironman 70.3 in June. So much has changed in the past few years, and this is where it's led us. I never dreamed this would be happening.

I remember how it started. We'd been doing sprint triathlons for a few years when we started coaching a group of beginners in Indiana. I hired my own coach, Mary, to help us with the swim portion. She's an amazing women, friend & mentor to me and I wanted our group to experience her training first hand. Even though Mary told me I knew more than I thought I did & I was capable of training the swim leg, I didn't believe it. At the time I had very little confidence in my swim coaching so having her guidance was an enormous benefit. 

One night after a swim session we were talking about an Olympic distance event I had been interested in. I flat out didn't believe that distance was ever in my future. Too long. Too scary. Too fatigued. Too much pain. No way.
Matt & I at the Honolulu Triathlon

Mary begged to differ. She looked at me and told me I could do that race, this year, and be perfectly fine. She then told my husband Matt he should do an Ironman 70.3. We chuckled, not believing in our abilities to do something seemingly out of reach.

But Mary believed in us. She told me something that changed my life. She said that I can't see it now because I've never done it, but I am capable of it. That I can trust her belief in me until I see for myself.

I don't know exactly why but that hit me right where I needed it, and I started believing I could do it.

You know what, I did do it. That year. I did it and was perfectly fine. More than fine, I loved it! 

My confidence grew simply because I had someone believe in me. She encouraged me to go for a goal that seemed ridiculous and out of reach. But it wasn't out of reach, I just thought it was. 

Since then I've taken on the swim coaching & have gotten really confident in it - it's actually my favorite piece of coaching. I've done many more triathlons (yes the longer distances along with shorter ones), added an IRONMAN Certified Coach (who'da thought that?!) to my credentials, Matt is finally getting to do his 70.3 after prepping & relocating before he could race twice and I'm going to do mine next season. 

Oh, and we've since done marathons, moved from Midwest to Arizona then to Hawaii, transitioned to swimming from pools to oceans (a transition I NEVER thought I'd accomplish). Yeah, things would be very different if we hadn't taken a few leaps of faith.

Matt after running his 1st marathon,
the Honolulu Marathon

My point here is not to gloat. My point is this: YOU can reach your goals too. Big goals - maybe that are just dreams now. HUGE giant, fluffy, crazy sounding dreams. 

Your dream might be to complete a 5k, lose weight, do a half/full marathon or complete your first triathlon. Whatever your dream looks like, don't allow the simple fact that you haven't done it before make you think you can never do it.

You CAN do it. I believe in you. No one else might believe you can, you might not believe you can, but that doesn't mean it's true. You may not see it, but I see it looking here from the other side. I know that if you focus your attention and start working toward that goal you will reach it. Yeah, you'll have to work for it (did I mention that?) but trust me, looking from the other side, it's worth every second. --Emily Collins