Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I am afraid I'll never be a regular sized person. I am afraid that I'll always have to shop in the section with sizes 2X, 3X, or more. I'm afraid that running 10 minute miles will never be easy for me. I'm afraid that I'll never podium in a race again, or that my times just won't improve. I'm afraid that no matter how much I train I won't be able to move fast enough to finish Rev3 Cedar Point. I'm afraid of a lot of things really, both in sports and out.  But I don't let that stop me from getting past those fears and neither should you.

I know someone who is afraid of open water swims. This is REALLY common in triathlon, and this person has had experiences with both good and bad open water, but is mostly afraid of COLD open water swims. With the New England Season Opener coming up, I can completely relate. Last year it took me 19 minutes to swim 400 yards of cold choppy water. I'm basically like a polar bear, so I shouldn't be bothered by cold water, but it still affects me the same as it does many others. The body is trying to keep your important bits warm so your lungs constrict your arms and legs get less blood flow and it's just in general a strange feeling.

I think it still comes down to preparation; making the right choices to prepare will help you get past your fears. I'm preparing myself to lose weight by exercising, and eating less volume of food, and making healthier food choices. I'm preparing myself to run faster by running a few days each week, building in volume and intensity of training. I'm preparing myself for Rev3 by looking for places to attach rockets to the back of my bike... oh wait, I mean doing really long bike rides.

To prepare for a cold swim, you try to get some practice at it before the race, and you prepare for how you'll feel after. You bring an extra towel or extra layers of clothing for the race, as well as little things like a hand warmer to keep with you on the bike and run. There are a lot of little ways where preparation can really be of value to help stave off and overcome fear.


- I'm still losing weight, which is all kinds of awesome. I weight a little more than I did last year when I did this race, but not dramatically so.


  1. Hi Ben! Found you blog through Mary:IronMatron. Love your story. Good luck at Patriot!

  2. I am afraid of what I will become if I give in to my fears and give up on my goals.
    Best of luck to you and Rach in Hopkinton!

  3. Edie - Thanks, we've been working hard, and I think we're ready.

    Mary - Thanks! Nice to meet you!

  4. feel the fear and do it anyway!
    one of my tri club gals started doing OWS in the 40 degree pond in prep for Coeur D'Alene 140.6 in June....
    you have amazing goals and drive--just remember:

  5. Love that you are not letting fear stop you! I struggle to overcome my fears and always motivating to read about other conquering their fears. Keep it up! I know you will be successful.

  6. Fear is a good thing - it is how we deal with it that matters. Some get frozen by it, like a deer in the headlights, and let it control their lives - and others feel the fear, admit it is there, then go ahead and dive into it head on anyway, not letting it take control. You choose the second option - that is why you are so inspiring to all of us.