I have had an interesting week here. Some high highs and some low lows. If you remember a few weeks ago I wrote about how I was less stressed after changing my work situation. Well I resigned from a job that was causing me a lot of stress and more than anything was having a huge impact on my confidence. I am a pretty confident guy and I was employed to do something that I knew a lot about. My performance however never met the demands placed on me. In fact I was constantly told what I was doing was wrong even though I was certain it was right. This went on for months and I knew that it had an impact on me. I knew that my confidence was shaken. I could see it at uni. With my degree a big component of our mark for each subject is class participation. I love the sound of my own voice and I also love public speaking. However from the start of this semester I was often too scared to speak up or give my opinion on things because I was worried about being told I was wrong. It is completely ridiculous. However, this week I got a real smack in the face about exactly how bad it was. For the first time in my university life I failed an assessment. This has literally never happened to me before. I am a kind of arrogant guy but it is something that I have never even really considered possible. It isn't even because of the subject being too hard. Not at all. It was just the timing of it. The assignment was submitted the Friday before I resigned from my job on the Monday....
I have now been out of the job for about a month and this week before I got the assessment back I was actually noticing that I was starting to speak up in class a bit more. I was getting through all my uni work and all my training and doing work comfortably and was finally starting to feel like myself a bit. The same thing happened with my training and racing last year after the dreaded Western Sydney 70.3 where I exploded. If you aren't aware of what happened read my race report here. For weeks after the race I was not training well and was scared to race. It wasn't until I went out and swam, biked and ran well that I got my groove back.
It is amazing how much external factors can impact on us and even more amazing how different people deal with things. I know for myself, when work was getting really bad I used my training as an escape. I would ramp up the intensity so I literally couldn't think about it. However now I am in the repair phase and instead of my training it is my study which I need to work on. Not because I am struggling academically, but because I am not the sort of person to fail. Now did I fail because I didn't understand what I was doing? Did I fail because I didn't put in the effort? Did I fail because I was distracted on other things? I am not entirely sure. I know that when I see what I submitted I am not happy with it myself. In fact I am disappointed that I submitted something of that standard. It would be like going out to race and walking the run. Not because I physically couldn't run but because I was too busy thinking of other things to focus on the race. I don't do things unless I give 100% to it. I am looking forward to building on this experience and making sure that I do not drop the ball again.
I am choosing to use this negative as an opportunity to grow rather than let it get me down too much. I like the idea of using an issue as an opportunity. Of making lemonade when you are given lemons. I am just over half way through my study and I think that can often be the hardest part. With my training, I am coming into cold, dark winter and it can be hard to maintain motivation and discipline. By being aware of what has been happening I am able to make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
This is also the first week where I have been watching what I am eating. It is amazing how motivated I am not that I am being careful and tracking my food. I am hoping to maintain this motivation for the next 2 months. I also participated in my first ever park run yesterday in Sydney Park. I managed to do the 5km in 18:45 and there was a serious hill in the middle of it. I was happy with the race and it was just nice to go out and compete with others. As far as I was concerned there were only 2 people racing. My brother Luke and myself. I am not really competitive with others but man I am competitive with him. I was super happy to come in ahead of him but I was even happier to see him enjoying the race and starting to do more and more. I want him to do well. I just want to do better than him (I can't help it).
So I have some things to be working on this week. I mentioned that I was meant to be racing a triathlon this weekend. I noticed on Sunday last weekend that I had a little niggle in my leg so decided not to do it. I found out the swim was cancelled so I consider it a blessing that I decided not to race.
I am happy that I am starting to feel like myself again. I am also grateful for the lows that I have experienced this week. I really believe that if we have no lows we have nothing to compare the highs to. Onwards and upwards! There are big things to come!
Stay positive, train hard and remember to TRI!