12 September 2016
I intended to treat yesterday’s tri as a training session. I was determined not to think about not medalling (it was highly unlikely that I would score any placing because of my lack of training this season), and I wanted to see if I could simply enjoy the event.
I nearly didn’t make it. We had to leave at 4.45am as the event was at the other end of the county…the alarm went off at 4.30am, and I reasoned with myself about going/not going. I’d entertained ideas the night before about not having to enter (I’d had a free entry from my success in the previous year), and I told myself that it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t do it. But my partner refused to listen to my groans about spilling out of my tri two-piece (gosh, I have put on weight, sadly – that doesn’t help my times) and made it clear that he was getting ready to leave for furthest west.
My nerves and anxiety over the last 5 days or so have been awful: nausea, negative thoughts swiftly spiralling into self-loathing and lack of hope for the future. I’ve not been good company at all and have felt paralysed by my nerves. I’ve also been worried about my future in general, and how I’ve not made anything of myself, and how I feel that I’m a parasite on the world. I have a constant dread pulling me down, or rather holding down as if I daren’t – or can’t – move.
So actually getting into the starting queue itself was quite an achievement. I’d tried to ignore everyone around me, although I did bump into someone I’d known from an outdoor swimming group I belonged to a few years’ back. That was lovely, she’s a really calm, pleasant person – and it was lovely to see her again, plus it made a wonderful distraction from all the alpha, extrovert people who formed the majority of the tri’s entrants.