‘Get your shit together’ – Ironman Barcelona part 1

Monday. When I return at my desk from a meeting with my boss I see I’ve got a missed call from my coach. Having strong suspicions why he phoned I wait a few hours to return his call. “What’s going on?”, he says,  “you were avoiding eyecontact this morning at the training. You’re acting indifferent and apathetic”.  I feel guilty and caught red-handed sabotizing my own dreams. At first I come up with vague excuses about work. He remains silent and patiently waits for me to correct myself . “Okay, you’re right. I’ve been acting like an ostrich*. I’m digging my own grave”.

The truth is, I don’t feel like participating an Ironman this weekend at all. Let alone thinking of it makes me feel tired. My shoulder hurts, I barely recover from the trainings and I can burst into tears about nothing. In an attempt to taper I started binge watching Netflix. It surely has a relaxing effect but it also kills the tri mojo. Also, having spent the weekend at the wedding of a friend, talking to non-triathletes I suddenly want to have a regular life. Dancing at 6am instead of getting up to swim.

The coach is very clear: “Get your shit together. Now”. I feel like Mike Ross being reproved by Harvey Spector. And the fact that I feel like this charachter that makes me feel even more guilty of binge watching.**


Tuesday. I’m blessed with a boss who approves taking two days off to ‘get my shit together’.  I delete Instagram and Netflix and use the time I would have pissed away on those apps to sleep. DHL rings my doorbell to deliver my new Bioracer trisuit.



Wednesday. For the first time in my life I’m packed and ready to fly 14hrs – instead of 14mins – before departure of my flight. Wow! Not working on packing-day is awesome! I’ll put this in my script***. This means I’ve got time left for a short run, another nap and I can start to look into motivational videos (FYI: these I found this one brilliant (where it is pointed out that it doesn’t matter whether you’re  relaxed or full adrenaline, but you need to be on the good side of the positivity scale, and this one where I feel that Will Smith’s fear for skydiving is exactly the same as the fear before an Ironman).

Thursday. With Tomas Pantalonas, Andre Kwakernaat, Evert Schelting and his gf Romy we fly to Barcelona. Everything is taken care of by team manager Andre: from taxi to a luxurious hotel far away from the chaos in Calella. By assembling the Speedmax alongside the pool I feel like I’m reconstructing my tri mojo. It may not be too late.


Friday: I write a monologue to my swim buddy Tracy, as I need to release some doubts and worries about the swim. Her reply is clear: Look back on all the sessions that went well, forget about the bad ones. And during the race: don’t think, just swim. Roger that.

Saturday: using The List instantly pays off at bike check in.  By hugging my ADHD sisters I download a bit of their positivity, perfectly timed to be charged up for  tomorrow.

*Dutch expression: putting my head into the ground and ignoring stuff
**Characters from the Netflix Series Suits
*** To reduce race-stress I’ve typed out every hour of preperation in a script, and a packaging list (The List) for each race-bag, the bike-case and personal belonings.

3 thoughts on “‘Get your shit together’ – Ironman Barcelona part 1

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