I learned something today. In a way, it was about me but it was more about my friend.

Hill Repeats from Hell

Today was pretty sucky from the get-go. I slept horribly again and woke up in a negative Nelly/pissed at the world pit of yuck. So I was down on the quality workout before I even got there:  more hill repeats. My heart was just not there; I was borderline teary; the negative self talk had been unrelenting.

After two hill repeats, I wanted to quit. I wanted my coach to tell me I needed to quit. And then we (or rather I, because by this time I had been left firmly in the dust by my training partners) came around for the third climb and the thought occurred to me that Ironman didn’t have an “opt out”–and so I had to go.

It wasn’t very well done. And I had to pause on the recovery on the way back because my legs were shaking so much when I had to stop for traffic that I couldn’t get going right away again. The fourth one? Well, I had to talk to myself to get it done. And thank goodness for my coach at the top encouraging me. Add to that the fact that I knew my training partners weren’t quitters.

My good friend said some things to me afterwards that helped me with my demon (which is that negative pit I get into) but also made me get a glimpse really for the first time of the demon that she deals with (open water swimming). I had no true understanding of the depth of her feeling and our brief talk renewed all the feelings of respect and admiration I have for her.

Real courage isn’t being fearless–it’s being afraid and still facing it square-on.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Courage

  1. I love quotes. Here is one of my favs about fear/courage:

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear. – Mark Twain

  2. We\’re talking bike repeats, right?

    Good job on getting it all done despite having an off day.

    Hopefully, in a couple of months, when you\’re having the same thoughts and feelings about doing 8 repeats, you\’ll look back fondly on the days when you only had to do 4! 🙂 Wait, that doesn\’t help, does it? …

    Here\’s to friends and training partners that help get you through it, here\’s to friends and training partners that you help get through it in return 🙂

  3. I love this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

    We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.

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