How do you recover from a catastrophic failure in a race?
If you fall, you cut yourself; Pour some bacitracin on the wound, wrap it, and keep going.
If you pull a muscle, you stop; R.I.C.E. your way to being better.
If you have a panic attack 60 meters into a .25 mile swim, you sink; How do you recover from that?
That's what happened to me this past Sunday. Where #SeeStumpTri was amazingly successful, my attempt was anything but. I won't bore you with details, but it's boiled down to:
I got 60 meters out, assessed where I was, and had pure fear shoot through my veins. After being ushered to shore by lifeguards and rescue crews, the EMTs made certain I wasn't dying. Clearly, I wasn't.
I've spent a day in a deep, dark pit of self-loathing. I feel as though I wasted people's time, energy, (in some cases) money, but more so, I feel as though I've completely let everyone down. Yet most of all, I feel like I let myself down.
But now I have to make a decision. Do I try to figure out what happened? Do I just abandon the idea of being more than just a runner?
What I'm coming to realize is that it doesn't matter. If I try to figure out what happened, I may find some deep-rooted fear that perpetually keeps me from being able to the swim part of a triathlon, but if I try to abandon the idea of being more than a runner, I'm giving up on myself. While I'm willing to give up on myself, there's a collection of people who keep me from doing so.
As I said to my wife this morning, I just need to go out to Westborough every weekend and try without the stress and anxiety of a competition. Maybe I just need to practice in better context of the event.
Maybe I'll never be a triathlete. But, hey, there are always duathlons.