“Girls playing sports is not about winning gold medals. It’s about self-esteem, learning to compete and learning how hard you have to work in order to achieve your goals.” - JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, three-time Olympic gold medalist
“Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” - SERENA WILLIAMS, eight-time winner of the Australian Open
“If you want to touch the other shore badly enough, barring an impossible situation, you will. If your desire is diluted for any reason, you’ll never make it.” — DIANA NYAD, who swam 102.5 miles between Bahamas and Jupiter, Fla., for a world long distance record
I looked at the list of women in my age group who have registered for Antwerp 70.3. I searched the internet on a couple names and found race results from previous seasons, finish photos, splits, aspirations and the like. This race has attracted a world-class field.
I am totally impressed. I am going to be racing with these women. And against only myself and the course. For a couple minutes I had totally negative voices in my head when I looked at photos of these other athletes. I'm unfit. Too heavy. Too little experience.
Well. That's a lot of crap. Yes, of course I will probably be slower than most, if not all these rock stars. But I paid my entry fee like every one else. This is only my second start at a 70.3 distance. I'm basically "one year old" in terms of racing.
I'll work my day job and train in my free time to the best of my ability. And I will arrive at the starting line a Champion. Rested and ready to compete. Against myself and to cross the finish line victorious against self-doubts, the voice that says quit. the voice that says you're not good enough. the voice that says this doesn't matter, or you can't do it, or it's too hard. Or I can't go on. I will beat that voice. My voice is the voice of a woman who can go the distance.
I will eat like a Champion.
I will train like a Champion.
I will prepare like a Champion.
I will race like a Champion.
I will finish like a Champion.
Because I am a Champion.
I am Iron Strong. Watch me try.
I got a feeling that today's gonna be a good good day. I gotta feeling!