Monday, 9 November 2015

Pressure Cooker

"The athlete becomes great not when she breaks a world record and wins a medal. That's when the world recognises her, but in reality the event is just evidence of her greatness. 
The athlete achieved greatness months, perhaps years, earlier, when she decided to run the extra mile, swim the extra lap or perform just one more jump... 
Results are not the attainment of greatness, but simply confirmation of it. You become great long before the results show it. It happens in an instant, the moment you choose to do the things you need to do to be great."

I am surrounded by freaks.

I'm not sure who said the above quote but it is a quote I will be keeping close to my heart over the next 26 days. Thanks Eszter for showing me this. 

The industry I work in is full over over-achievers and perfectionists so it's naturally a high pressure environment to perform incredibly well in everything you do. 
What we often forget, though, is that we are not normal. We are the 10% of the population who choose to push their bodies to their physical limits. My close friends are people who run 100km a week, who compete at world level in triathlon, and who choose to do (and teach) group fitness workouts that make them vomit in their mouths at little. We are freaks. 

This process has been incredibly humbling for me. I've spent this journey trying to inspire myself to do things I never thought I could do. I have been so focussed on the physical aspect of training and reaching this pinnacle of greatness my friends can achieve, that I didn't notice the inspiration I had instilled in others just by being me. 

Perfection isn't greatness. Greatness is self-recognition, self-belief, self-confidence and self-love.

This kitten looks as terrified of the water as I was

Love is when friends threaten to drag you to the start line

A week ago I was in tears, a little depressed and ready to actually quit. I hadn't trained properly in 3 weeks because the thought of training stressed me out so much I couldn't get off the couch. Knowing I wasn't going to reach the 6 hour goal I had set was soul destroying. I hadn't put in the work I should have so maybe I should just do it next year instead. I hadn't stuck to my programme and wasn't meeting my end of the bargain with my coach. I thought I should take the pressure off myself and focus on my new job instead, give myself some time to look after my health and do the things I love. I didn't want to force myself through another training session I would hate.
Explaining this to some of my friends was the worst (or maybe the best) thing I could have attempted. Let's just say they didn't take it so well.
After a quick hug and the usual cliche consoling words, I was quickly informed that I was completing this challenge even if they had to drag me to Napier and throw me in the ocean. Who cares if it takes me all day, if Larna could do it with one cycling shoe, then I could do it too. 

About an hour after I threw up my cereal

I actually enjoyed the swim

So, I did the quarter. I enjoyed it. I hit my goal time. I survived. 
I'm now excited for the half. I hate it when other people are right. And yes I am a dick for not believing in myself. 

Huge thanks to Les Mills Extreme for the transport and sponsorship to get up to Napier. Cheers Courtney for lending me your non-chafing and pretty pink tri-suit which totally DID have magic powers. Thanks to JC, Rich, Matt and Zoe for the high-fives, hugs and laughter. Thank you to my friends and family for your support and motivational messages. And lastly, thanks to IronMaori for putting on an amazingly supportive and well organised event that allowed me to face my fears and realise my own greatness. 

Bring on 5th December!


  1. "Perfection isn't greatness. Greatness is self-recognition, self-belief, self-confidence and self-love."
    This is the quote to Carry with you!

  2. "Perfection isn't greatness. Greatness is self-recognition, self-belief, self-confidence and self-love."
    This is the quote to Carry with you!

  3. Sam you are a star! what other people are doing should never take the shine away from your achievements! and now that the warm up is done lets bring on the 1/2 ;)

  4. It was choice to see you out there at the quarter. Join in with the TriPoneke groups too so you're not riding solo for 3hrs (just read your other post). We stay in it coz it's so much fun with everyone and tears, well those are free flowing all the time haha. See you around or at the Half :). Keep up the awesome work.