I cry a lot


Yes, I cry a lot. From the ages of ten to 18, I’d chide myself at my lack of emotional control and make a new resolution each year to not cry that year. Strange as it sounds now, resolving not to cry and appearing strong was important to me, even as a child.

Well, I never did succeed.

There would always be occasions where I was misunderstood, reprimanded or wrongly accused of misdoings by my parents (that happened a lot in a relatively large family of four children) - and I’d cry - I’d try to hold the tears back, but they’d well involuntarily in my eyes till I could hold them in no more and they’d gush out like a burst water dam.

Now, as an adult, I cry a lot less.

And even less so, when I discovered endurance sports in 2010.

Suddenly, I was channeling my energy to something I thoroughly love.

And because of the incredible joy the sport brings me, even when it hurts, even when I have to dig deep and push through my personal threshold in training, I’d always find the strength to smile myself silly.

Especially on the run.

As a triathlete, I split my time swimming, cycling and running. Although running takes the greatest toll on the body, I love running above swimming and cycling.

Even when the going gets tough, at mile 20 of a marathon, having swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles, I’d find ways to ignore the pain in my legs and squeeze out a smile, reminding myself how very fortunate I was to be doing a sport that I love.

So I never cry on a run.

But… I’ve cried a number of times on the bike.

Because the truth is, cycling is not my sports of choice. I don’t mean to say that I don't enjoy cycling.

I love that cycling brings me places quicker than my feet on the ground could.

But I could never quite connect with the sport of cycling as I do with running.

Often, during multi-hour long rides, when my body is depleted of energy and mental strength to continue pedaling, I’d find myself looking down in defeat, sighing and forcing back a tear.

During moments like that, I’d hurt terribly - physically, mentally and emotionally. My body would be on the brink of breakdown from a lack of energy and my mind would be pleading with me to stop riding, but I’d keep going, because that’s what I am, an endurance athlete (a stubborn one at that). Until I’ve reached my destination, I don’t stop.

Dejected at having been disqualified from completing my first Ironman attempt in Regensburg, Germany (having missed the bike cut-off time by 5 minutes). I did, however, ride the entire 112 miles, with my tears and the German summer rain as company that fateful day on Aug 7, 2011.

During times like that, when I enter into that deep, dark spot in cycling, I’d cry silently to myself.

As with any challenge, we grow when we allow ourselves to get uncomfortable.

Every morning now that I get up to train, I wish I could run across America instead of cycling.

But no, I get on my bike and ride. Every day. Every week.

A life of comfort is a sure way to stagnate.

I’m not satisfied, living within my comfort. I strive to put myself on the edge every time, to drive the creature of comfort out of me so I can grow larger in my heart, mind and soul.

Are there areas in your life that you are settling comfortably in and desire to change?

Join in the conversation in the comment box below and let’s spur each other on to overcome our personal limitations this 2014!