What do you do when you’re not motivated for an event that you’ve entered? I’m competing in the Gold Coast Triathlon this weekend and am completely unmotivated to do the event.
I entered towards the end of last year, just after I had entered Mooloolaba tri. The Gold Coast tri is one I’ve wanted to do for a few years but for whatever reason I’ve put it off. This time I was motivated by the Mooloolaba tri but also by the fact that it will be one year until the Comm Games on the Gold Coast and the organisers are using it as a test event for the games.
It’s also part of the ITU World Triathlon Championships. There are Olympic and Commonwealth medalists galore. Last year the Brownlee brothers were among the top athletes headlining the event. It also attracts the major Aussie triathletes. What more motivation could there be than to see the world’s best in action on the same course.
But, here I am, not too phased whether I will do it or not.
So what are my top tips for getting the motivation back?
I’ve been making it loud and clear to friends and family that I have an event this week. They are my accountability. I don’t want to be telling them in a week’s time that I just didn’t feel like it.
I’ve invested money into the event by buying an entry. And I’m not one to want to see my money go to waste.
It’s a sprint distance event so I should be done … actually I haven’t got a clue of the time it will take me, I’ve never done this distance before … So let’s just say an hour and a half, max. I can exercise for that long without even thinking about it. So I’ll just go and do it.
I’m worried about the swim. I haven’t swum since Mooloolaba, cyclone Debbie hit northern Queensland last week so the water and weather is cool and murky. I keep telling myself I can swim 750m without too much of a worry and at least it’s the first leg, so I get it over with.
Also, thinking about how I will feel next week if I don’t do it or if I do do it. If,
a) I don’t do it – probably crappy and disappointed
b) I do it – probably proud of myself for finishing it, especially when I didn’t want to.
The mind is a powerful thing. Much more powerful than the body.
My motto for lack of motivation is: Just turn up and do it.
I had to rack my bike the day before and so I planned it at a time so that I could watch the elites race. Maybe that will motivate me, and it did – that and the crowd cheering them on.
So, I turned up on the Sunday feeling pretty blasé about it. I bumped into a couple of people I know before the event and chatted to them, that helped too, because they had more enthusiasm than I did.
I got to the swim start. They called out ‘3 minutes till the start’ then ’60 seconds till the start’ and then ‘Go’. No other countdown so I just had to jump in and start swimming. No time to worry about doing the event. I was in it, it was happening and I had to just keep going.
The swim wasn’t too bad, I definitely wasn’t first but even better, I wasn’t last. Transition was pretty smooth and I was out on the bike. It was a 2 lap fairly course on fairly flat, smooth roads. I felt strong on the bike and just kept pushing all the way. I came into transition and thought wow, I’m the first one back in my age group, there aren’t any bikes here. Then reality hit. I knew that wouldn’t be the case and realised I was in the wrong row to put my bike back.
I quickly replaced my bike shoes with running shoes and I was off. And by this time I felt great. Just 5 kays to run, and it was a 2 lap course as well, so just over 1km before I had to turn at any point, which mentally made it easier, because there was never a point where I had to run far.
The thing I really love about triathlon is that everyone is out at different times, so the person that just flew past you might be on their first lap and you’re on your second. The people you’re passing may not even be in your age group. So there are always people who pass you and also people that you pass. As this was happening I realised that I was having a fab time. I was really enjoying being out there. And that made me think about why I didn’t even want to start the event just 24 hours earlier. I had such a crappy run at Mooloolaba a couple of weeks ago and it really got me thinking that maybe triathlon is not for me, it’s too hard and I don’t want to do it. But then the next event everything is turned on its head and it all works out.
So by just getting out there and doing it, I made sure I will just go out and do another one. Quitting is easy. Not quitting gives you the opportunity to enjoy the next event even more.