It’s been a big week. Last Saturday I fired someone for the first time in my life and that made me feel very grown up and very much like a manager. I was confident in my decision and cold hearted enough to not have cried about the situation but I did wake up in the dead of the night before to run to the bathroom and involuntarily projectile vomit. The dude’s got a family to support after all. It was stressful but the right thing to do.
Then I went to my first triathlon training. I strolled up to the group with my hybrid bike in yoga pants and sneakers still limping from my busted toe. The three coaches, who had been chatting amongst themselves, stopped talking, looked me up and down, looked back at each other and made those are-you-fucking-kidding-me-what-the-hell-is-she-doing-here kinds of faces.
Two of them actually sighed. I don’t know if they thought I didn’t notice or if they just didn’t care. Let’s just say it was the farthest thing from the welcome I was hoping for.
I quickly realized I was the only one from Team in Training there. Everyone else was part of a group of experienced triathletes who regularly train together. I was so nervous and overwhelmed and convinced I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I wanted to die or at the very least throw in the towel and just go home. But you gotta try, right? As Coach C explained what we would be doing, I fought back tears and positioned myself at the back of the line. Then the best thing possible happened – three more Team in Training folks showed up (one of them a survivor!). We gave each other some much needed encouragement and got moving.
And here’s the kicker: I kept up. By the end of it the coaches were acknowledging how much harder I was working because of my crazy slow bike, increased wind resistance and lack of toe clips. At the end of the ride they helped me adjust my bike for better comfort and were impressed when I told them about my broken toe and that I’d be riding myself home.
I think they just needed me to prove myself to them a little, show ‘em I’m not always gonna be the lame duck at the back of the pack. I was proud of myself for giving it my all and left on a high that unfortunately didn’t last long because the next thing that happened was a complete disaster: my first swim practice.
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