In the winter 2015 USA Triathlon magazine there’s a great article about Sarah (Groff) True, the triathlete who finished just off the podium in 4th at the London Olympic games. Much of the article concerns doubts and how she overcame them. Even if we’re not Olympians, there are some excellent things to think about.
[To weed out doubts True's Coach Siri] Lindley said, “You need to talk to me about everything that scares you and makes you feel insecure because those are the things that are limiting your ability.
“And don’t feel weak doing that! You’re actually doing the strong thing, because [it's] going to allow you to reach a new level.”
True left the Olympics with a lot of regret for not believing earlier that she could win as much as the other women on the podium.
“It’s so easy to believe that athletes have preternatural self-confidence,” [True] said. “I thought that you had to go to the start line thinking you were going to win and if you’re not that person, you’re never going to win. The truth is: every athlete has doubts. I realized you can be world class even if you don’t have this innate confidence.
“Things you perceived as shortcomings, you realize are just you. You accept [your] flaws and you stop fighting yourself.
“Some of my internal battles push me forward to be a better athlete, no question.
“It just took a while to keep them from holding me back and [instead] give me fuel.”
The closer I get to the Ironman, the more real it gets and the more opportunities I have to think about all of the things that can go wrong. I haven’t thought about many things, but lately they’ve been starting to show up. So I just have to remember, instead of getting anxious, I need to see each of these as a chance to learn something I can apply not just to the Ironman but to all of my other races, too.