Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Bree's post yesterday inspired a lot of thoughts for me since I read it. I think everybody should go read it because it's an incredibly insightful and awesome post about confidence.

It's the first time I've read/heard the quote "Fake it until you make it."

Huh. Now that is interesting. And just this morning, as we ended spinning class, and I reminded my students I wouldn't see them until after Vineman, one said "okay, I expect to see your medal!" My response was "ha! Right!"

Why do we DO THIS? True, the chances of me earning a podium spot at Vineman are slim. There's an awful lot of competition out there and this is a tough field to be going up against. Still, why shouldn't I allow myself to think that I have a good chance at it?

Like Bree said "yeah, I'm going to swim so fast. Michael Phelps wants my autograph!" - why can't I say something like "you bet you will! And it's going to be a first place medal, too!"? What is wrong with allowing yourself to believe that you WILL be fast - even if the reality is that maybe I won't win first - why can't I still believe in myself and give myself a great pep talk?

It was such a revelation to realize that maybe all those people who look like they exude SO MUCH confidence might just be faking it a little. Maybe it's half real and half fake. But so what? The rest of us don't know that. We just know what we see.

Women, especially, tend to be self-deprecating and humble. Not sure why, but maybe we're taught to be that way? It seems like we're taught that if we show confidence and strength we come across as bitchy.

And yet, when I think back to any races I've had that were particularly good, it went all the way back to my mindset. One race in particular that stands out is the Santa Barbara Triathlon from last year. I had a huge bike mechanical that set me back by at least 15 minutes, if not more. The rear wheel on my bike was rubbing against the cutout in the frame, and it wasn't until a big big hill that I realized it and knew I couldn't keep riding with it (I was already about 25 miles in with 9 miles to go...) that way. I was pretty bummed because I had gotten third place the year before and had some high expectations for myself this time.

Yet, I didn't let this setback get me down. I thought "okay, so no podium this year. But you know what? I'm going to put a smile on my face, laugh about this, have a GREAT time, fix this damn new bike so it never happens again in a race, and you know what? I am going to have the BEST RUN EVER!!"

And what happened? I did. For the first time ever, I ran all 10 miles at an 8:00 mile and ran across that finish line feeling so great, so happy and had SO MUCH FUN that I'd nearly forgotten all about the bike mishap. Sure, it looks like I was slower than a snail on the bike results, but I don't care! I had a great swim and that run set me up for the Big Kahuna a few weeks later, which I DID podium at.

I completely believe that it had to do with my attitude. My pep talk. My belief that it really was going to be my best run ever. My smile on my face.

So, as I mentally prepare for my big race next weekend, I will take Bree's thoughts and create my own mental game plan. I asked Tim Lincecum to be my friend on Facebook the other day (we have one friend in common) - OF COURSE TIM LINCECUM WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND! Doesn't he know what a great triathlete I am? He may be able to pitch like a super stud, but can he swim, bike and run like I do?

Okay, clearly I need practice at this because as I wrote that, I felt SO SILLY! It feels so silly to be speaking so highly of myself, but it really shouldn't be that way. Another great Bree quote - "the body achieves what the mind believes."



Jocelyn said...

that's right! rock it! OWN IT! if there's anything I learned most from my Buffalo Springs disaster, is to control my mindset...think positive, think confidence. can't wait. WE ARE GOING TO KICK ASS!

Kelly said...

you've never heard fake it til you make it? last summer i was having a rough time with bike races and i tried to smile and look awesome whenever i was having a reallyhard time. it never quite worked for me. not sure why.

i also think females have a tendency to downplay their abilities. don't do that!

Eileen Swanson said...

Yes you are....and you will kick serious butt! BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE!! You got it in you. Let's both go out there with a new found confidence!


Soda said...

Attitude is totally everything.

Oh man tim Lincicum how awesome is he!! I want to be his friend, you want to go to a giants game?

my mom is a great example of females NOT down playing abilities and she never let us think that growing up.

I like the picture, it's like the harry potter magic mirror, I think my cat needs that mirror, she's a wuss.

Mel said...

What do we really have to go out there with the confidence and GO without a care in the world :) Love the wonderwoman costume :) See that took confidence to wear that RIGHT??

Rainmaker said...

I see how it is - you'll FB some random triathlete...but not peeps ya already know. Sounds like you're aiming for the podium already. ;)

Good luck this weekend! I'm sure you're gonna rock it and bring home some bacon!

rocketpants said...

It is about attitude. Get your head in the game and you will surprise yourself a little bit. Enjoy the day and rock it out!

Cristi said...

Awesome! When it comes to optimal performance, the mind is a powerful tool.

I have a quote on my frig that says, "Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.


Sarah said...

I love everybody's take on this. THANKS for the great comments!!! Now let's take ALL THIS CONFIDENCE AND ROCK IT EVERY DAY!!

Chris Westall said...

I think the self deprecating part is so we don't come off like an asshole. Most people are more endeared to a person that they can relate to. However, that's no reason not to have confidence in yourself and what you Know you are capable of. We are hardest on ourselves, while others see our accomplishments as extraordinary.
Have a great time, Rock the MF'n house and if anyone gets in your way squirt them with your water bottle ;-D

I'm not racing vineman but have a Lot of friends doing it... I'll see you up there.