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Lessons from a time trial

December 7, 2016

In my non-RD life, I'm a triathlete. I'm not winning any races; I’m a recreational but avid triathlete at least.  Recently, I've been taking part in a study that required me to do three 15km time trials in the lab over 3 weeks, and included a prize for the person with the greatest reduction in time between the second and third time trials. My first time trial went just okay, I didn't do as well as I wanted to.  So, on the second I gave it my all, and ended up taking almost 2 minutes off my time, which I was really happy about.  HOWEVER, that prize only counted the second and third time trials, and I could not fathom how I would take more time off. I joked that I should've held back on the second time trial to help me win that prize!  For the week between the second and third time trial I couldn’t stop thinking of how I was going to be faster, but I wanted that prize.  When the third time trial came, I was SO tired and couldn’t even figure out how I’d start the time trial let alone finish, and finish faster than last time.  But, I had to do it as part of the study, so I started, gave it everything I had, and ended up taking another 1:47 min off my time! 


That was 4 days ago, and it got me thinking.  How many times in life have I had a task that seemed impossible?  How many times have I not started that task because I didn’t think I could do it? And if I had just tried on those occasions, what would’ve happened? 

I succeeded in meeting my goal with the time trial (and am currently leading the race for that prize), but it’s equally possible that I would’ve failed miserably, and that’s okay.  Weight loss can seem like an impossible task, whether you have 100 or 15 lbs to lose, it can feel like it will never happen.  But what if you just started and gave it your all and saw what happened? If you start losing weight and then you failed, that’s okay!  You’re no further behind for trying, you might even be a few pounds down, and there’s always tomorrow to try again.  I had someone in that room cheering me on, encouraging me to keep going, and you need someone alongside you too. 

So, use this little story as an encouragement to pick a goal that seems impossible, surround yourself with people who can support you (and professionals who can guide you) and just try!  You just may surprise yourself. 

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