this commercial pretty much sums up what it takes to be an endurance athelete-a little triumph with lots of pain. the most painful thing in the commercial is seeing gail devers tripping over the hurdle. it was the 1992 olympics and had she stayed on her feet she would have taken home another gold medal. instead she slid across the line in 5th place. which reminds me, no matter how perfect a race is going something can always go wrong. and for me it definitely has. last year i raced a triathlon in buffalo, mn. the swim started awesome. i had a new wetsuit and i had the best start of my life. i managed to dive into the water in the front of everyone else in my wave. i was flying. by the time i hit the turn around bouy i had caught the wave that started ahead of me. i had to bring my head out of the water because the congestion of swimmers brought me to a stop. i quickly spotted an opening and just as i went for it i got kicked in the chest by another swimmer which caused me to swallow and inhale a huge amount of water. i was never able to regain any sort of rythm. not one to quit i got to my bike and took off. i wasnt happy and definitely wasnt feeling good. i threw up five times on the bike. i finshed the race but no where near where i expected to.
i use those memories of bad races, and there have been many, to push myself when i am in pain or not feeling well. "at least i dont feel as bad as.... i got through it then so i can get though this now even faster." without ever feeling pain in a race you will never know what it is like to do your best. and that feels damn good.