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Women's Committee: Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable

April 25, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

Seasoned triathletes are OK being uncomfortable. The physical and mental discomfort of training and racing no longer rocks their composure. They don't need the feeling to go away or stop what they are doing. They are fully present in the feelings of discomfort, whether it's the burning sensation in the legs while climbing what seems to be an endless hill or running that last 6 miles to the finish line when the body and mind are spent from a long day of racing. The longer the race, the more intense the discomfort, the more skill it takes to just BE with it.

Ah, but this skill does not come easy or naturally to most people, especially the beginner triathlete. When those challenging sensations and thoughts arrive, the new triathlete stops running, stops pedaling, and maybe even wants to complain about how difficult the task is.

I tell the triathletes I coach, no one said this was going to be easy, you just have to be ok with being uncomfortable without getting wrapped up in the narrative in your mind. Whether a learned skill or an exhausted acceptance of the situation, either way this feeling comes through practice.

A triathlete eventually arrives at the point where being challenged is actually a welcome sensation, because they now know what is on the other side. Growth, change, transformation does not happen by staying in your comfort zone. It only happens by stepping out of it.

The same skills apply to being a leader. A leader is called on to step up and speak out. To blaze trails, to make tough decisions and lead the way.  It's not always comfortable being in front.

This year the Women's Committee is working on providing programs and training to support women in leadership roles in governance within triathlon. Women are entering the sport at a fierce rate and we need women leaders to help support, mentor and exemplify female success.

Stay tuned for the launch of the WC webinar series and upcoming seminars.

Yours in sport and spirit,