About two years ago I was diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder as a result of specific events in my life. I was in and out of hospital with a very strict diet, and different Drs’ trying a variety of medications until I was finally diagnosed and treated accordingly. Being somewhat stubborn and having a strong mind I decided during the middle of last year I no longer wanted to be on strong daily medication and I that would try and manage my anxiety myself. Up until Durban I hadn’t really been in a situation where I could properly test my ability to manage my anxiety disorder……. I FAILED. I failed so badly that it very nearly ruined my whole race experience.
It was great having the TriFacTri team members sharing their knowledge and experience and just being part of a wonderful supportive team. Lucie showing us how to run in the sea brought much laughter and relief standing on the beach, Craig explaining how to swim in a rough sea, Jess explaining the currents, Kim giving me good advice in the middle of the ocean about getting on the bike after a rough sea swim, Desi constantly giving me good advice on getting my head straight and of course Chantelle for checking my bags and painstakingly walking me through the transition a number of times until I felt comfortable. All the hugs and support from the team was not what I expected when joining TriFacTri, a team full of very accomplished and experienced athletes.
Yet no matter how many times Lucie and the team kept telling me I was ready and I was going to be fine; I struggled to believe this.
Come race day and having not slept for two nights, I just wanted to get started and get it over with. I was done with it all. When they cancelled the swim I was so very disappointed; but actually something strange happened…. I suddenly realised that if I was that disappointed then that must mean I wanted to do the race. Wow I wasn’t expecting that feeling. For the first time in weeks I was excited.
Suddenly I was ready, Bella (my bike) was ready and we wanted to race. It was amazing; we loved the cycle, I loved the feeling of being able to cycle with a smile on my face....who would have thought I would ever have said that. Smelling the sea, even experiencing the sea breeze was a pleasure. I had my nutrition plan stuck on my handle bars and executed accordingly.
I came in to transition thrilled and completely amazed with my bike time. I gave Bella the biggest kiss and started the run. It was tough, it was very hot but it was so great to see TrifacTri guys along the route. I ran with some random people and chatted where I could. I gulped down more gels and drank more coke in one day to last me a good few months. I broke the run down into quarters and looked forward to running past my family. It was an amazing experience… I can’t believe I nearly ruined it by not believing in myself.
Stepping onto the red carpet reduced me to tears. I might have failed hopelessly in managing my anxiety but I was a complete winner – I did it. I ACTUALLY did it …I really DID IT.
Lucie was right…I can do this, I was ready! I just needed to believe in myself.