Checking Back In

After my last crash in Huatulco a few weeks ago I’ve had some serious motivational issues. I barely trained in the week after the World Cup (which showed in Puerto Vallarta), and after the Pan-Am Champs I took a few days off entirely to enjoy my Mexican vacation. Back in the states I put in a bit of time for training, but my motivation has been rock bottom. In the middle of the season I would show up to swim practice in the morning and dive in the moment Mike gave us the warmup set. The past two weeks, I’ve been dragging my feet out of the locker room five minutes late and standing dazed, staring at the pool for another five minutes before I finally tell myself, “just pretend for an hour” and dive in. I asked Mike Doane about it and he told me that the term for my mental condition was being “checked out” and that “everyone needs a break at some point.” Well, I signed up for two more races, and I had no intention of backing out now – even if I couldn’t get through a 60-minute Computrainer session to save my life (that’s an exaggeration, it just took some True Blood DVDs and embarrassingly low watts.)

I started to feel a little better late last week, a couple of days before I left for San Diego to race the Super Sprint Grand Prix, and managed to get in a couple decent training sessions to sharpen me up for the weekend. Actually, my head started to come around at 2am Thursday morning when I woke up from a dream about out-kicking Chris McCormack, Matt Reed, and Jarrod Shoemaker to win a four-man sprint in San Diego on Halloween. Macca is probably the most winning athlete in the history of triathlon, Matt Reed is among the best American triathletes we’ve had (I’ll give him the American label, even if he didn’t start off that way) and if I ever beat Jarrod (2008 US Olympian and National Cross Country Champion while at Dartmouth) in a finishing sprint I’ll probably decide there must be a G-d who cares about endurance sports after-all. It was good dream, and got me fired up enough to think about “checking back in” for the weekend. Racing is fun and hard, but sprint races are over so quickly that the pain is much less memorable.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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