Anyone who's spent any time in the business world is familiar with the acronym FUD which stands for "fear, uncertainty, and doubt." FUD is a corporate sales tactic used to leverage your company's product by "planting the seeds" of uncertainty for your rival's product in the mind of a prospective customer. These three little adjectives can effectively paralyze customer buying decisions and bring the sales process to a screeching halt.
For a triathlete, FUD is alive and well and, I hate to say this, but you are your own worst enemy in this scenario. Sticking to it is crucial for taking on three grueling sports (along with figuring out your nutrition plan, taking time to recover, strength train, work fulltime and have a personal life, among other things). Is it any wonder you find yourself overwrought with the mere thought of racing?
I'm a resident triathlamate and chief water bottle washer in my family and, during race season, I hang the "Shrinks R Us" shingle outside my home office. My counseling work extends well beyond the walls of my home, too. I've discovered that there are times when I need to prepare myself for some very difficult conversations with all of the athletes in my network.
Some common refrains I often hear include:
? I'm not fit enough.
? I haven't trained enough.
? I'm too fat and I'll be too slow to make the cutoff.
? I'll do lousy and fail my friends and family.
? I may as well have flushed my entry fees down the toilet.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of concerns; I'm sure you have some of your own.
Hopefully you realize that nothing you do would fail your family and the only way for you to fail is to give up after working so hard for so long. In fact, the ability to train and race at this level at all is an amazing feat that only a fraction of the population would even consider taking on!
When the fretting continues well beyond its expiration date, you need to get your head on straight.
No one is coming to your pity party because, let's face it, you've chosen to pursue triathlon.
Fortunately, I've got some ideas for you to rewire your brain and (here's my baseball analogy for all you MLB fans) you won't be swinging at a pitch in the dirt. You must redirect your thinking by keeping a cheat sheet handy with the following questions.