When it’s over we laugh at the fact that we did it and did it well, or console that it was shitty but so much better to have hated it with company. It’s special for the words of encouragement received as you ache to the end of a set that has left you lagging, or the “come on – push to the line – you are looking strong” that you say to those who need it.
It’s the power of the team that sits with me when I get to the start of a race. I’m on my own then, but I draw from that something special that makes me feel strong, that makes me remember the feeling I have when the power of the team pushes me to a limit I thought I could never do on my own. I store that feeling and bring it to the fore as I stand nervously at the water’s edge. It gives me a sense of belief.
It’s that sense of belief that we often don’t give to ourselves. As Athletes we are always supremely critical of our performances, finishing wishing we had done something different to have shaved that extra minute, moved that one place farther up on the leader board, pushed out more watts on the bike, been fiercer in the swim.
In the build up to my SA Champs in East London, I felt sluggish, uninspired and internally doubtful of my ability to perform to my satisfaction on the day. I needed the power of the group. Gratefully, I had the pleasure of being surrounded by some amazing women - team mates – friends. I needed them, more than I think they knew, to help me believe. Each gifting me with something – Laura-Beth with her exuberance to be back in the sport and feeling physically and mentally amazing, Andy for her quirky and humorous fears of sharks which gave lightness to the nerves, Jess for her calm spiritual aura and Shannon for her level headedness.
As the hooter went off for the start, I took with me an inner power and strength – as well as a flutter of nerves. Time to prove to myself that I can perform to MY expectations. I had the power of the group.
Returning to an event always brings heightened expectations. I hate the sense of failing myself. But on that day I finished the race with the sheer joy of lifting the banner as I crossed the line – hey it could have been a Kona moment (no Lucy, I have no aspirations to go to Kona). I finished knowing that I could do it. I had the power. I had been granted the belief. It allowed me to feel proud of my achievement and to not look for the things that were wrong but rather the things I could improve; A matter of perspective.
I look forward to the next chapter when this same group of women journey with me to World Champs. I can feel our Power.