How Life Is Like Racing

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How Racing Mirrors Real Life (Live From Rotterdam)
As I get ready this week to race in the World Triathlon Championships, I was thinking about my last few years of racing and how much a race is so much like our lives. We enter a race with great expectiions and also a game plan, however almost 100% of the time the race does not go to plan. In fact, I now count on something going off the rails so that when somehting does happen, I am mentally prepared.
In a race there always seems to be an issue or something that takes us of plan. I think that this is because in Triathlon you essentially have 5 races within one race which means invariably something goes wrong.  The race is comprised of the swim, the transition(T1), the bike, the transition(T2), and the run all in one race.
In the past here are just a few things that have gone wrong during my races:
  • geting kicked in the face or body in the swim
  • getting disqualified for not fully fastening my helmut prior to getting my bike off the rack
  • swimming to the wrong buoy in a race and having to backtrack an entire portion to get back on course(added an additional 250 meters)
  • my watch being kicked off in swim and had to stop to find a place for it
  • injured when going into a race
  • bumping tires with another cyclist on ride portion going at top speed
  • flat tire

Battle Through Sickness and Injuries
In addition to things going wrong in a race, I was thinking how my racing and training has been impacted the last 3 years through injuires or sickness. Two years ago I was dealing with a 10cm tear in my left hamstring which meant I spent most of the season hobbling around. Last season I tore my Achilles while on my 6 day bike race in Sardegna and that affected me all season long. In fact last year, I couldnt even go in a race until the National Championships in July as I couldnt run up until about a week before the Nationals. This year(as most of you know) I have been injury free(which has been amazing) however I picked up a weird infection in my elbow over 4 weeks ago and have been on IV and antibiotics since. In fact last week I saw a specialty Dr. in Toronto through Advica Health and he put me on an additional antibiotic so am now on two. This has affected my training the last 4 weeks as typically I am working on speed and fine tuning in the weeks leading up to the race and because of my severe lack of energy I have missed most days. In fact as I enter the race I just hope my past training will be enough so that I can have a strong race as physically I am not at 100%.

Life Lessons From Racing
So you ask how does my experience in racing mirror every day life? Well, if you are like most people you have a life plan on how things are supposed to happen. For example, go to school, start working, get married, have children, have a successful career, build weatlh and live a very long,happy and healthy life.
Well as we all know, along the road we face many roadblocks or alterations in our “plan”. We have all faced very difficult situaitons that take us off our plan. Often these things that take us off our plan are percieved as very negative or “bad” things at  the time however they often turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I have had some very difficult things occur in my life(like everyone) and at the time I wonder why is this happening to me? However when I look back at these circumstances I believe they happened for a reason and it was either a learning for me, a stepping stone or that I am better off today becuase of that situation. It could be as simple as presenting a growth opportunity.

Positive Attitude No Matter What Happens
There are many examples and I know when some of these situations happen people ask me how I can stay so positive in light of what I am facing. I believe it is because although these things are very difficult, I always seem to look to the future and believe the future will be better off in some way becuase of these situations. I truly believe that everything in life happens for a reason(both good and bad) and we are exactly where we are in life because of all of these situations that we learn from. We are exactly where we should be in our life journey. You think of one decision you made in the past(for example where you went to school, your partner, the job you didn’t get etc.) and how that would have impacted and changed your life.
Like a race, we all have a plan and many times it goes off course. In a race when these issues happen, you need to deal with them and then go on and work twice as hard to make up the time and finish strong. So when things don’t go to your plan and life puts up roadblocks know that it is happening for a reason and you will be a better person in the long term because of it. Like racing, look to what you can control in the future and focus on all the great things that can happen.
Have a great love filled day, Kev
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Showing 3 comments
  • Robert Hein

    Good luck with the race. Perhaps the inclement weather will some how give you an advantage 🙂


  • Margery mccormick

    Hi Kev,

    You write such a marvellous story. I feel they should be published in a sports magazine to inspire other people.

    Even though I don’t participate in any type of race, you give me wisdom and help me live happily.


  • Susan Sgro

    Kevin…. this blog really hit home with me. Focus on all the great things that can happen. Wishing you (and Barb ) the best ….. enjoy the race !!

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