Conquering your fears

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This article really got me thinking about why some people succeed in triathlons and sports while others fail or do not even try.

While Rika may not be competing in Kona this year or be winning this race, she epitomizes the ideal mental approach to racing through her acceptance of her own fear.

Fear is the biggest barrier that we experience in training and racing. To varying extents, we all have a fear of losing, of making fools of ourselves, of getting hurt, and/or of failing.

Fear, however, is an innate occurrence that has been passed down from our prehistoric ancestors.

Therefore, we should not be embarrassed by it but should accept it. Instead of denying fear, we should embrace it and move beyond it by seeing fears just our minds expecting and predicting unrealistic distortions.

Many athletes deny their fears and hide them away, but by doing so, they allow it to beat them and deter them from training or even starting.  To conquer your fears, it helps to write them down and then see if they are actually reasonable or not.

Chances are they are not. Once you have listed them out, say aloud or silently “these are just fears and they are not going to beat me.” Then, in the words of Rika, “just do it.”

Here is the full article:

A Rotorua mum will be competing alongside more than 600 competitors at the first TriMaori Festival later this month.

Selina Rika, 32, will take part in the main event at the festival, a triathlon, consisting of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and a 10km run at Lake Karapiro’s Mighty River Domain on October 27.

The one-day festival was organised to encourage Maori and the wider community to get active and celebrate healthy life choices, offering activities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Single mum Ms Rika said the triathlon would be her first and she had been training for it for the past five weeks.

“I have been doing lots of different things. I am doing between 5km and 10km running a day, between 1km and 1500m of swimming most days, as well as lifting weights at the gym to get my strength up,” she said.

She said she had not properly started her bike training yet and would focus on it in the coming week.

Although she was excited about competing, she was more scared and nervous than anything.

“I have not swum with other people moving all around me before, splashing and moving their arms and legs so I am really nervous.”

Ms Rika encouraged others who were apprehensive about doing events such as the TriMaori to “just do it”.

“Do not think about it too much, the fear of having entered will make you train,” she said.

Ms Rika said she had entered the race because a friend suggested it to her.

Event organisers Ariana and Tama Potaka said they wanted to create an event which equally involved triathletes and their friends, co-workers, spouses, children and parents.

They had closed registration for the event because the interest had been so high and more than doubled their expectations.

“Our target was 300 and we got 625 registrations,” she said.

Also on offer on the day will be shorter running and walking events of 10km and 5km, seminars and workshops about eating well on a budget, writing wills and putting together survival kits, health checks, and beauty therapy.