I’m too slow.
What does slow even mean? I’m no Missy Franklin, Shalane Flanagan, or Marianne Vos, but I do swim, bike, and run.
I am a slow swimmer, I am not comfortable in the water, but I will just keep swimming. I once swam a sprint distance with a water temp of 55 degrees. I also swam an Ironman distance with gale force winds and a 63-degree water temperature. I’d say I was a swimmer.
I am not a strong cyclist, I’m average. I can hold my own, but I hate holding people back, so I rarely go on group rides. I’m fine with my speed. It got me through 112 tough windy miles, so I guess I’m a biker.
Running is my therapy, it’s my time to put on some good music and be one with the world. I may walk, I may jog, I may even watch my favorite show while doing speed work on the treadmill. Am I fast? Nope. Do I always finish? Yep.
I’m not really a runner. Not a runner?! Let’s add up the money I’ve spent on running shoes and entry fees. Tell that to myself as I ran four races in two days, 34 miles worth of not being a runner. Tell me I’m not a runner as I was running 26.2 miles through downtown Chicago or freezing my tush off in Maryland running a marathon after I just swam and biked. Not a runner. Phooey.
I’m old. Well, I am oldish. Fifty is up there, just ask my body. But, does that mean I can’t accomplish my athletic goals? In my lifetime I have survived ovarian cancer, five knee surgeries, a bulging disc, two torn calf muscles, and countless minor injuries. So, making it to 50 and still being able to get out there to swim, bike, and run, well, I’d say I am a winner.
I can’t do that. Maybe I’ll never be an Ultraman triathlete or run 100 miles, maybe I’ll never swim around Key West or bike across the country, but I have accomplished things I never thought I could. I don’t have to do everything to be able to do something. Every race I complete is another, yes I can.
These lies are my false self. Not the self I see in the pictures, not the self that is sore from a long run or a hard masters swim, not the self that crossed many finish lines and certainly not the self that I have written here. I will never be a “fastie”. I have accomplished more by being “slow” and “not a runner” than I thought possible.
I will continue to take my slow self out for many more races and smile big when I cross that finish line. And I will tell myself “you’re awesome”. No more lies.
Written by Renee Edwards, Siren Luminary
Follow Renee on Instagram! @reneealys