What better way to start a blog post than with 1) that title and 2) a picture of me hugging the dreaded "low gear" sign? (complete with % grade, if you'll notice).
By profession, I am a writer. While by day this usually means writing copy designed to entice you to buy, for me it also means that writing is the most comfortable place/way for me to express myself. That means, the scary, the bad and the ugly. For me-that means downhills. I loathe them. I literally freeze on them. I relax on the UPhill. I know-it's weird. I'm calm, fairly confident and as my bike coach (more on that later) says I have a 'big engine' which means I SHOULD be able to fly on the bike. Should. But don't. Not yet anyway.
This year is IM #2 (yes, I actually completed 1). Although the actual IM race-Arizona, is flat, most of the training and 2 1/2 Iron's that I will be doing are not. So, this brings up the eternal question-how do I conquer this fear? Finally, FINALLY, I've decided to hit it from all sides. I hate hate HATE being afraid. It's the most exhausting, frustrating, agonizing thing I've ever experienced. It's humiliating, embarrassing-it makes me never want to get on a bike again and wish I hadn't ever-so no one would ever know. Unfortunately, my entire team knows. Every season, no matter how new the people are, they will pass me on the bike. I've almost come to accept it and that is the part I can no longer allow. I'm doing an Ironman, dammit. It is a place for which complacency has NO place. I may never fly down a descent, but I will not let 2011 or this Ironman pass without knowing that I gave it everything and more; went down every avenue, tried every single thing. I will beat this.