The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. - George Bernard Shaw
When I talked to Kurt about my race a few weeks back, I mentioned that I beat everyone it was reasonable to beat. He reminded me that one shouldn't approach a race with that kind of thinking. One must believe she can win whether it's reasonable or not. Who cares who's racing? You are there to win, and you can win. You need to know it.
I know people who believe like this. It's not that they don't doubt themselves at times; it's more that they believe that they can beat everyone--it's possible--and they know this at a deep level. These people don't check to see who is on the entry list. It doesn't matter. They just know that they can win. A good example of this might be Julie Dibens. In the most recent issue of Lava, she talked about how she believes she can beat Chrissie and Miranda at Kona this year. Some may agree with her (I do, actually) and some may believe she is being unreasonable, but the point is she believes she can. She has that hard to come by faith; the unshakeable kind that when challenged simply nods and then goes out and gets it done.
Unfortunately, I don't know I can win. In fact, in the case of the previously mentioned race, I knew I couldn't win because I could not beat Karen Smyers (or Kim Webster or Lisbeth Kenyon, but let's just stick with Karen). I know this because I'm reasonable. I will not beat a person who has previously won the Ironman World Championship as recently as 1996 and who is still racing incredibly well--that is, unless something catastrophic happened to her during the race, like, for example, if she was plucked from her bike by aliens or chased off the run course by a rabid fox or something.
Even when it is actually reasonable to believe I can win, I usually don't allow myself to believe it. You never know who will show up on race day. There are people who are faster than you who live just around the block, the town, the state, the country. I know this--and I know it because I'm reasonable. It's not self-deprication and it's not lack of confidence. I just know that more often than not, there will be someone who can challenge me on the race course.
The question is, how much has my being reasonable held me back?
I think sometimes we are reasonable only to protect ourselves from disappointment.
And sometimes we are reasonable simply because we have been trained to believe in evidence and without it we become unmoored.
And sometimes our consciousness just doesn't allow for the unreasonable.
And sometimes we are reasonable because unreasonable people can be really fucking annoying and we don't want to be one.
Enough on that.
I leave for Kona in less than a week.
I'm a mixture of excited, nervous, and mired in the details of preparing for a trip.
I've been doing hot yoga in an attempt to acclimate myself to heat. Today I took a 1.5 hour class in a room set to 110. Sweat came off of me like rain. At times I could not see because I was blinded by it pouring down my face. My mat towel and my shirt were so wet I could wring a puddle of water out of them at any moment in time, even if I had just done so.
Will any of that insane sweating NOW help me in my race?
Oh, who knows. I've also been layering my clothing on my rides and runs, but this doesn't produce the sweating action that hot yoga does. The only thing that comes somewhat close is riding the trainer with the windows closed and no fan. I've been doing quite a bit of that too, all in hopes that I won't melt into that lava pavement, never to be seen again.
Here is a picture of Hazel.
So to punish her I woke her up. :)