A Mantra for Hard Times

WARNING: This is most definitely a NSFW blog post, particularly if your workplace is still the kitchen table with kid eyeballs looking over your shoulder. Sometimes a girl just has to let it out…

First, a little story about your girl and a triathlon. Back in 2008, my friends talked me into a sprint triathlon. No, I was not an athlete. In fact, I probably run and bike more now than I did then. But I was bored with my life and the boyfriend at the time, so sure, why not?

I was as ready as I was ever going to be…

I trained for it in the super excited and yet half-a$$ed way that I do and the day of the triathlon quickly was upon us. I was as set as I’d get. I had all the fancy equipment, had jogged the running part of the course, and staked out the rest. My water-wicking shorts were on and I was ready to go!

The swim came first. I got in position and was off with the gun! Jumped into the water ahead of my heat and started getting into a rhythm. Then all of a sudden I felt a hand graze my foot. And another on my leg. Then a bunch on my arms, waist, and head, and oh my gosh, I was surrounded! I was never dunked but these gals were so rowdy I had to panic call for a lifeguard to get me pointed back in the right direction. So much for a great stroke. I finished the last two-thirds in a dog paddle.

But then we biked. It’s a bike. I can bike. Well, I can bike when I’m not being outpaced by pregnant ladies and randomly competitive folks (c’mon folks, we are in the Slow People Heat) that take the corners about 4 inches from my wheels. A harrowing experience with a couple nears falls and a wicked leg cramp ensued.

Why did I sign up for this?!

I stumbled back into the area where we kept our gear, scraped the bike, and got ready to run. And then the leg cramp shot all the way to my hip, my back, my arms. My stomach was upset from all this work (who has taken over the body and what did you do to our normal chocolate-eating, tv-watching brain?!) and I was definitely dehydrated.

And yet, I had to run. I mean, I guess I could have quit, but my two friends were there and my dad had sent me this sweet hat and, well, I’m here so let’s get moving.

I trudged along, now getting outpaced by grannies and then it hit me.

F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t.

That simple sentence gave me both the release I needed and the cadence that took me over the finish line.

F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t.

Dory and her “just keep swimming” had nothing on me.

F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t. 

In the end, I beat my goal time for the tri as a whole and had the best run time of my life. (A PR that still stands today.) I ate an extra bag of chips for lunch and could brag about my success for years to come.

All it took was admitting I was out of my league and completely unhappy with where I was but also 100% stuck with nowhere to go but towards the finish line.

Sound familiar?

So that’s the story behind my mantra to finish out 2020 and however long this COVID ride takes to wrap up.

We’re all in this sh*t together

F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t. F*ck this sh*t.

Keep pace, friend. The only way out is forward. May we someday celebrate our personal records on all the things we achieve in 2020 but for now, just help each other towards the finish line.