Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The rest of the story...sort of.

I feel like I should say more about the triathlon, but I'm not sure what to say. The truth is I have mixed feelings about my performance. I know I should be happy to have finished. I know I said finishing was my ultimate goal, and it was. I didn't drop out of the swim because I wanted to at least finish. Right there in the lake, I told myself, "You started this. Finish it." Unfortunately, that was only about 50 yards into the lake--hence the mixed feelings.

The fact is, I am happy I finished, but I'm really disappointed with the swim. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I would be scared. I knew it would take me longer than swimming 1500 yards in the pool. What I didn't expect...what was truly humbling, was being one of the last people out of the water. It took me 41 minutes to get out of the lake. Like I said, it was humbling.

I knew the swim would be scary and hard, but it was worse than that. And that was the problem. I CAN SWIM!! Yet every time I put my face in the water I couldn't stand it. I ended up either floating on my back or doing the backstroke almost the entire 1500 yards. I don't think I did more than 100 yards of freestyle. I was so pissed, but I couldn't seem to do anything about it.

Maybe I bit off more than I could chew. Maybe I shouldn't have started the race. Maybe I shouldn't have done the long course. Maybe, maybe, maybe... Yet I'm glad I started. I'm glad I pushed myself. And I am proud of the fact that I finished. Yet, I'm disappointed, too. Mixed up...I'm not sure what to feel, or what to write, or what to say.

I guess I'm still digesting the whole experience. I'm trying to be humbled, yet grateful. I'm trying to focus on the positives. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I know, I was my first attempt. One thing is for sure--disappointment drives me to do better. I foresee another triathlon in my future, if for no other reason than that.


A. Paige Turner said...


GIRL!! I thought the wheels in my head chugged along ~ you have me beat! That is saying A L O T !!!

Etta ~ you started out on one side of the lake ~ and you got out on the other...BY YOURSELF.

Personally, (and I have no degree, etc. and I am not qualified to give 'professional advice' ~ this is merely "my gut" talking) I DO think you are scared of something ~ but it is not the water.

hhhhhmmm I just had a thought ~ Control. Could it be the lack of control in the water that is freaking you out? You are in full control when running on the land, and when biking (you are controling the bike) you are at 'the mercy' of the can't necessarily 'control' what happens in the water.......

I don't know just 'trying to help' --- shooting in the dark....(don't know if ya'll do that up North ~ WINK! But we in the South do ~ you can sometimes shoot in the dark and hit something....)

Anonymous said...

I can understand why you have mixed feelings, although I think you did spectacularly. I think it's a great idea to use this triathlon as motivation for the next.

Wishing you well,

Unknown said...

Yes, it was your first try. Take it easy on yourself. Sounds like you were expecting a bit more out of yourself though. Well, at this point, at least you have the experience and know what you need to work on and have an idea of what to expect next time.
I can relate in a little way. My daughter had a piano recital the other day. I'd worked with her for over a month on her songs. And she seemed really ready. Then during her solo in recital she just butchered the songs. I was so bummed. That was really not the preformance I wanted to end the piano school year on. But I couldn't really let her see that, she's only 8 and this is only her 3rd recital.
So, I know what it means to be personally invested in something that doesn't turn out as well as you'd hoped. I'm sure my experience is in no way to the depth of your experience, but still, I can relate to feeling disappointed.

Chris said...


I remember first Olympic tri and the same "open water paranoia" that you described. It's just normal, nothing else. Isn't it like so many other things? You just keep plugging away at it, and the scary will lose its power.

Shine a light and pierce the dark ...

Great job... now go get BETTER at doing it!!