Don’t think about that title too much…
No it’s not transitions. That would be event 3.5. It’s very personal for each triathlete. It’s hurdles.
But not the 110 intermediates that almost killed all of us in junior high if we ran track. Nope. These hurdles are ones you can’t see. Well, OK. You can see your own. But you can’t see anybody else’s… They are very different and very personal.
For some people it is excuses. I know so many people that are so good at excuses that they “pre-load” every new event with reasons why they won’t accomplish it or at least lower anticipated expectations of outcomes.
For some people it is self doubt. Even I have said (or at least thought) “There is no way I could ever accomplish that”. Ironman, anyone?
For some people it is discipline. They really WANT to complete a goal, but lack the internal motivation to follow a plan and do the hard work.
Mine is simple. Self control. No will power. And it has nothing to do with the actual sports. If you show me a physical challenge, I will accept it. I believe I can do anything (sometimes to a fault). But tempt me with things I am not supposed to do, especially if you leave total control of that up to me, and I will wilt under the pressure every time.
I recently took on the biggest challenge (of my life… really). To walk away from alcohol and comfort food for good. It only took me 46 years to make that decision. Oh I’ve tried a few times before, but I didn’t mean it. I’m not even sure I mean it now. I never will know for sure. History will have to judge that.
For now, it is my fourth event. My hurdles. Sometimes I can clear them with ease. Other times they seem almost too big to jump. But all I can do is try. Keep going. Jump the next one and move on. Will I trip someday? Maybe. But I can’t let that keep me from jumping. There are days when I want a big beer so bad my mouth waters. Or when I want to stop at Shakespeare’s for a massive pizza with everything. Or sometimes, both. My weakest exercises are pushaways and putitdowns.
So yes, I am working on my events. In fact I’m heading to the pool in about 10 minutes. But I’m running hurdles 3 times a day now. I have forcefully made that a conscious part of my workout. And NO, exercising twice a day DOES NOT mean I can have beer or junk food. That reward system is flawed. In fact, it means the opposite. I have to be even better, even MORE careful about what I eat. And it is absolutely THE hardest event to train for.