The Battle Continues
AS I write this latest edition of Mark’s musings I’m sitting in an airport in Maui, Hawaii.
We are waiting for a flight out to Kona where we’ll spend a week. So far, we have had five nights at Sunset Beach, North Shore followed by five nights in Maui.
Other than a bout of influenza which has laid me flat for almost three weeks, it has been a great holiday.
And even though I am not competing at Kona, I am very excited to go and watch the race and experience everything it has to offer, albeit from the sidelines.
I have no doubt the experience will continue to drive me in my attempt to qualify for Kona 2017.
I have always been a lifestyle-driven type of person.
I’m not afraid of hard work but I love getting away and relaxing, especially at places near the beach.
It is times like this that my natural reflective nature kicks in and I examine where I am and what I want out of life.
The answer always revolves around the question – when I come to the end of my time, will I have made a positive difference to the world around me?
I hope that when I pass, people will say I made their life better and I was a good and decent person.
This is one of the main reasons I coach. I love the fact I can make a difference in a person’s life and help them achieve something special.
Internally though my battle never stops.
Sometimes I don’t think I am a good person.
I find myself thinking selfish thoughts and doing what makes me happy over what makes my loved ones happy.
The desire to do the right thing by others and be a good person is something that I need to remind myself of on a daily basis.
I have no doubt that when I am watching the race at Kona I will be jealous of those competing and saying to myself, that should have been me.
But I should be rejoicing in the fact that I am healthy, have a wife that loves me for my faults and a newborn son that is just completely adorable.
I have a roof over my head, food on my table and get up and do a job that I love.
Being selfish and jealous are negative emotions that I am convinced stop us from realising our potential on the race course.
Instead of focusing on our race and the area around us, sometimes we’re too worried about what others are doing, how fast they look and how crap we might feel.
We start to think about excuses and how the fact our time is there for everyone to see and what we’re going to say on social media when it’s not as fast as we want.
Sometimes social media can be such a negative channel as people always want to paint the best picture of themselves.
People start to compare their life against others and rather than being happy with what they have, they want more.
We don’t anyone to know we have these negative thoughts and insecurities so we hide them.
Well, we’re human so we all have them and anyone that says they don’t is lying.
We shouldn’t be so presumptuous to think that others would be thinking about us anyway as we’re all wrapped up in our own problems, struggles and life.
Triathlon, for everything great that it can offer us, is also a double edged sword.
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook all have these professional and age group athletes positing pictures and comments about their training, how amazing they feel and the best new bike they have.
That’s great but is it a true reflection of what happens every day?
The bad training sessions, the doubts, the insecurities, the setbacks and the struggle to sometimes just make it through the day without throwing the toys out of the cot.
Let’s not forget we’re all human, we make mistakes and we’re all flawed in some way.
Rejoice in the little victories.
Take pleasure in the fact we can swim, ride and run for fun and accept that we all have faults and that no one is perfect or has their ‘shit’ together despite what you see on social media.