Awaking early on a Sunday, I was excited. My first competition in well over a year. Not a race I could win but one to truly challenge myself. Not sports I would usually go for either, but something relatively new.
I headed downstairs for my big bowl of oats. Cup of coffee, staring out of the window at the grey, brooding skies…quick check of the Met Office app – yep, a little drizzle, some light breeze, but ok. Taking the Earl Grey up to Mrs Nomad, I flicked open the drawers to get my race kit out. The wetsuit, goggles and trunks were already good to go by the door. The warrior princesses awoke and we got them through breakfast before swiftly dressing and shuffling them in to the car.
My excitement was building, I’ll admit. Having not had any form of competition for so long, the chance to just launch from a start line, surrounded by 249 others, was compelling.
We headed off along the A38, and then down narrow country lanes, weaving through Devon villages still silent on a Sunday morning. The turning for South Milton Sands loomed, the National Trust Car Park symbol leading the way. We crested a hill and saw it…the sea…the start…a little choppy….a lot choppy.
Parking among the few early arrivals, I jogged over to the TrailEvents.co marshalls setting up. “1km Sea Swim, 15km Trail Run”, the billowing banners read. “Not a chance”, the faces said. “Sorry mate, swim cancelled, we can’t get the safety boat out – you can still run though, or you can defer.”
£40 for a 15km run on public roads, Mrs Nomad and the girls sitting in the car?
And with that, it with as over and we were driving away, back through the Sunday morning villages. No race. No challenge. Gone.
What hit me very quickly was pretty intense and unexpected.
The sense of anticlimax was pretty tangible. It felt like a new emotion, having not really felt this for a very long time. I’d paid, physically prepared, mentally prepared, was ready, and then…….flat.
So what do you do? How do you overcome that? What’s next?
Well, for starters, the weather improved within an hour, as did my mood 😉
You can’t get around it. The event was cancelled. There’s no arguing or challenging, it’s done. Let the emotion do its thing and learn from it for the next time.
I conducted a whole heap of new training that I was unaccustomed to before. I’m not much of a long distance runner and I’m certainly no swimmer. But I achieved new skills and new levels of Fitness that are transferable back in to CrossFit and for the future. Didn’t Greg Glassman tell us to, “Learn and play new sports” in the “What is CrossFit?” genesis document? How many of us regularly do? So this is a new achievement and should be celebrated.
Tap in to the motivation that was there when you woke up to compete and set a new challenge as soon as you can. While I’ve been focusing on endurance, it was at the expense of strength and CF competitions. Immediately, I reached out to Charlie Goode, our Coach-in-Chief and asked for comps.
Take the new skills you have and build on them. I’m not going to now put my wetsuit to one side and say, “thanks”. I’ve given myself the challenge of getting to a lake, and doing a swim/Run on my own or with a friend. I need to see this through, if for nothing but closure. After that, I will continue to seek open water swimming opportunities.
This has been a learning opportunity for me. I didn’t like it at first but I’ve seen strong positives in it. I am stronger now as an athlete.