Excuses: Are they Driving You?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Excuses: Are they Driving You?

In September 2012, I competed in my first Ironman triathlon since having breast cancer. Just being there that day was a victory in itself, yet I had big goals for the day. It wasn’t going to be enough to simply participate. I wanted to be faster than my other attempts at this distance. All of us Ironman athletes do!

Many people I know were surprised I was doing an Ironman “so soon.” Though they didn’t know health status, they wanted me to recover longer. To stay down, because Ironman is really hard. Why did I need to do one now? How did you do in your training? Their caring but worried comments were really excuses that I could choose to latch onto or choose to ignore. They were giving me an out. I didn’t want an out; I wanted to own this day!

Leading up to this day, everything had gone well. I had no excuses to give anything but my best. Since cancer took away my attempt at Ironman Wisconsin in 2011, my theory was that I had two very long years to train for this blessed event. I was ready!

It was windy, but the greater problem was a long series of small mistakes I made throughout the day. I won’t get into them here, but in Ironman, these little mistakes organize together and bite you. Hard. You won’t know what hit you. That was me. Although I finished the day and had a smile on my face, I was very disappointed. It was my slowest race yet!

The same people who worried about me before the race were now cutting me slack, telling me not to be so hard on myself. I did, after all, just have cancer. They were making excuses for me because they cared. And, cancer scared them. I wanted to tell them that the mistakes I made had nothing to do with surviving cancer, but it was no use trying to change their minds.

Though I am proud of my third ironman finish, there are no excuses for the outcome. Choosing the road of excuses doesn’t lead to anything except more excuses. Choosing the road of ownership, of accountability, will always lead to growth
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WOW! You are an amazing woman! Thank you for adding me as a friend today. I feel like I've been blessed to have this chance to share this journey with you. emoticon
    1908 days ago
    You are very brave and courageous! You're also a wonderful inspiration to all of us!

    1928 days ago
    Thank you for your support and warm thoughts! Janetris, I've about had it with winter in Wisconsin, so a desert island is sounding really good right now! emoticon
    1928 days ago
    you are an amazing inspiration!
    1930 days ago
  • JANETRIS if I were ever stranded on a dessert island, I would want you to be there!! You don't let what would knock the normal guy down get to you. You are strong and full of moxie. Way to fight...way to believe and way to live your life! Congrats on your ironman status! emoticon emoticon
    1930 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Congratulations, I think that you are very spunky and that is going to take you far, looks like it already has.. Be proud, thank you for posting. emoticon emoticon
    1930 days ago
    A big congratulations on finishing your third Ironman. Most people never attempt a first! You go! I wish you excellent times the next time you go out. To be perfectly honest, you inspire me.
    1930 days ago
    Well said!! Thank you for sharing! emoticon
    1930 days ago
    I think that my attitude stems from my lack of athletic abilities but I have to say, congratulations on completing an ironman triathlon! I have to say, if I ever completed an ironman triathlon, I would be ecstatic. You made the journey, even if you finished at your slowest pace, you still finished. In your overall race history there will always be a slowest pace. It's something that could motivate you for your future triathlons. I think that it's interesting that you are sounding like you are being very hard on yourself yet I bet there was a racer in that triathlon who probably was amazed that he/she was there at that triathlon. Congrats on completing the triathlon!
    1930 days ago
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