Crossing the Finish Line

Have you ever done something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time and you made it happen? You were persistent and when you actually  width=did that thing that you’ve wanted to do, it felt incredible. You stuck with it, crossed the finish line, and were handsomely rewarded with a fantastic experience.

I had one of those experiences this weekend. For the past three years, I’ve wanted to compete in a triathlon. Its been one of my goals, but life came up and I didn’t get my act together to sign-up for one and put in the training time required to compete. This year was different. I picked one and just signed up. I focused on training and followed a 10 week training plan to prepare me to succeed.

As a gymnast and diver most of my life (both non-endurance sports), I had absolutely no idea how I would do in an event that had three different parts with two transitions, and lasting over an hour. I started with the smallest triathlon distance you can compete in: sprint. The Fort Collins Triathlon started with a 450 yard snake swim in the pool, a 13 mile bike ride, and finished with a 3 mile run.

I was having fun until I got about 30 steps into the run. My legs felt like jelly and it was about 48 degrees F. My lungs hurt, I was wearing a wet  width=bathing suit, and I didn’t think I was going to make it. I had to literally talk myself into finishing the race. The conversation in my head went something like this:

Don’t die. . . you’ll be okay if you just keep going.

Why are you letting people pass you?

Erin, you’re such a terrible runner. Why didn’t you do more endurance runs?

What if I just walk for a minute to catch my breath?

Just keep going. . . oh. Wow, you’re at one mile. Only two more to go.

What do you mean two more miles, are you serious right now?

FOCUS, Erin. FOCUS. You have 20 minutes max left. . . just keep putting one foot in front of another.

You can do it. You’re strong. You’re going to finish strong.

So, you want to know what happened? I finished the race sprinting to the finish line. It was hard, it was cold, and my legs were screaming. And. . .  width=I had a huge grin on my face. I actually finished a triathlon. Not too long after I crossed the finish line, I learned that I beat my goal time by 14 minutes and I finished 4th in my age group and was the 12th female finisher out of 96.

That was cool. I surprised myself by pulling out hidden talents I didn’t know I had. I had a goal and focused on crossing the finish line.

Is there something that you want to do but you haven’t taken the time, energy, or focus required to make it happen? If so, what are you waiting for?

Pick ONE big goal at a time and focus on finishing. You might have to talk yourself into finishing but its totally worth it! If you need some support to make it happen, you know where to find me!  =)

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Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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