I’ve always wondered about the saying “biting off more than you can chew.” I mean, I get it – when you bite off more of your sandwich that fits in your mouth, what do you do? Spit some out? Chew for a really long time? Choke?
Last fall, I signed up for a really crazy endeavour that, at the time, I thought would be super fun: a half-ironman. I had just volunteered in Penticton for the full Ironman, and it was really inspiring watching people cross the finish line…so I thought “why not start to work my way there?”
In exactly one month from today, I will attempt my half-ironman – a 2 km swim, a 90 km bike ride and a 21 km run. I am completely terrified to do this. The thought of this race has now consumed my brain for approximately 4 months. I don’t feel ready. I can make all the excuses I want, but I don’t feel like I’ve trained enough. A bad winter, a bad bout of strep throat, a bad bout of Noro Virus…all have taken away from valuable training time. Every time I go for a run or a ride (which are supposed to be fun) I can’t help but think “Ok, can I double/triple/quadruple that and add a run/bike?” Most of the time the answer is no.
So I keep wondering about this chewing thing. This event should make me grow as an athlete, but chewing bigger things doesn’t make your mouth bigger. Will I spit some of the race out? Will I just chew it for a really long time and be the last person on the course? Will I choke and not finish?
Who knows. I’m just trying to tell myself that I need to “work with the body I bring to race day” (modified from my amazing yoga teacher Eileen Chan) and whatever happens, I need to have unconditional love for myself. Even if I choke, I still bit off something really big – and that’s worth something, right?