Maybe it was karma. Maybe it was the at-home Insanity endurance-building workout challenge group I’ve been leading. Maybe it was a second wind. Or maybe, it was a mix of all the above. Whatever it was, it allowed me to maintain a 6:28 min pace for 4 miles of my 4.6 mile race, keeping the lead woman in sight the entire time, only to push past her the last .6 miles for the overall win. I’m leaning towards karma because her attitude made snatching victory during the last few seconds very gratifying.
The fastest way to turn me off is to put down others who are trying.
After I ran through the finish line, I made sure to congratulate the finisher that I’d just edged out. We decided to go for a post race jog… well she decided. I just wanted to stretch as I’d done enough running for one day. But, alas, I’m a pushover and soon found myself jogging alongside the second place overall finisher. We proceeded to talk Tough Mudder. She did one. Cool! Then she proceeded to tell me how she flew through the “easy” course and watched as three big guys worked to help this “fat lady haul her big ‘arse’ up this wall.” THEN, she noted that she never laughed so hard in her life. Not cool.
Mean people SUCK. Attitudes like hers are what keep people, already intimidated enough without some cruel person laughing at them, from believing they have an inner athlete who CAN participate in fitness events. I’m all too familiar with the feeling of intimidation–of feeling as though you don’t belong in a fitness class, or from my own recent personal experience, on a race course.
As a fitness instructor, I see this feeling of intimidation with the timid “newbies” who are in my class for the first time. They seem to find some obscure space in the back of the room–visible enough to allow them to see the instructor, but out of the way enough to not get in the way of any regulars who they feel actually belong there. I hear it as I strike up a conversation with them before and after class. (And it never fails that they’re hot n’ sweaty messes, and ALL smiles that they made it through class, ready to return again.)
As I was putting together my Insanity fitness challenge group, I remember seeing it as a few of those who took a deep breath and signed up, expressed doubt in being able to make it past day one (they’re on WEEK FOUR and still going strong).
In fitness events, I see it as porta potty lines filled with nervous-looking athletes grow exponentially prior to the event start time.
When I competed in the US Triathlon National Championships this past August, I personally felt waaaaaaaay out of my league amongst the competitors. I even remember nervously joking with a fellow competitor saying, “Great, I happen to have one good race day during one of my TRIs and I end up here.” (Once I started racing however, my intimidation and nervousness were soon all but forgotten.)
There’s something invigorating about finding the courage to push aside that feeling of intimidation to overcome a challenge.
I get so inspired when I see those who NEVER thought they could, realize that they just did. The mean people who take the wind out of those awesome sails, and snatch away from people the desire to even want to attempt to challenge their obstacles, literally suck.
So the more I think about my victory, the more I believe it was karma that gave me that second wind, that pushed me forward during the last few seconds to snatch away the title of Overall Female.
When I think of that runner at that Tough Mudder, laughing hysterically at that warrior doing her best to make it up a wall, I know there was definitely one “big arse” on the course–and it wasn’t the warrior attacking the wall.