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Full Disclosure

Having written this blog now for just about a year and a half, I feel like I have gotten to know some of my readers pretty well.  And in turn, you have all gotten to know me.  But the thing about blogging is this- you only get from someone what they are willing to put out to you.  I feel like this blog is an honest reflection of who I am and that I write both freely and truthfully.  What you see is what you get; I am as honest with all of you as I am with the people in my day-to-day “real” life. 

But there is one thing I have held back on because it is something I have struggled with for a long time.  Before this week, I haven’t really felt the need to write about it…but it has now affected my life in a way that is interceding with my sport.  And if I want to keep this blog honest, then now is the time to write about it.

I suffer from anxiety and depression.

That is the first time I have ever written those words out.  And as I look at them staring me back in the face, I already feel better about putting it out there.  Before I hit publish, roughly 10 people knew about this (family, boss and a few close friends) and now I have potentially put it out to the entire world.  (Ok, so the entire world doesn’t read my blog.)  Everyday I take a small pill that I have learned is pretty important to my well-being.  When I was younger, I would take the medication until I felt better…I would feel better…and I would stop.  (ps- that doesn’t work!) In my adult years I have learned that taking a pill doesn’t make me a different person, but rather a better version of myself.  But there is, no matter what anyone says, a stigma attached to those who have to take medication.  But I do.  And it doesn’t make everything okay; I still go through ups and downs and I still have anxiety.  However, the medication does regulate the intensity of both. 

So why post this now?  Well, you may remember this post from when I had to make the tough decision to drop from the Full Marathon at Philly to the Half-Marathon.  At that time, I just knew I was not going to be able to fit the proper training in; between work and school and family things that were going on, something had to budge.  I wanted it, the timing was just off.  Dropping left me feeling disappointed in myself but I was okay with it because I still knew the decision was the right one to make.  And by the time the half rolled around, I had accepted the fact that variables occurred that were out of my control.  I accepted the fact that sometimes, doing what is right, still sucks.  And in the end, I was happy with my decision to have only run thirteen.

So again, why this post now?  Well, as you all know, I was signed up to race in the NJ State Olympic Tri this weekend.  My first Olympic.  A big friggen deal.  A first should be fun and exciting.  And me…I was freaking out.  With more than a week before the race to still go, I was already not sleeping and having stomach issues.  My anxiety levels were so high, no amount of medication would have helped.  I talked this race up- this was MY race this summer.  The big one for me.  Just an Olympic to some, but THE Olympic to me.  What my training was all about and what I had been talking about for over a year.  And suddenly, I wanted out.  Bad.  The anxiety was leaving me feeling like a failure, depressed and I was fighting with myself over wanting to drop down to the sprint or drop out of the race altogether.  I would consider the drop but then I would feel so bad about myself for even feeling that way that I would tell myself I wasn’t dropping but then feel all anxious again.  The thought of actually admitting I might not be ready…of telling my friends, teammates…my readers. 

I couldn’t stand the thought of going through with the race and I couldn’t stand the thought of not doing the race.  That’s the thing about anxiety- it begins with one thought and then just continues into a million thoughts.  It’s back and forth, yes and no and I don’t know; its cyclical.

For days, I was crying at the drop of a hat…stupid things getting to me because of the bigger issue at hand.  If anyone has experience with anxiety, you know and understand that you simply cannot stop the thoughts.  And you absoultely cannot be rational during an attack.  And they were coming on so frequently that I was having a hard time keeping it together.  I kept thinking about how under trained I was, my fears of the bike, how I haven’t run more than 5 miles at a time since February (almost six months!) but then I would think of this blog and how many people tell me I inspire them.  Just the other day I was writing about the need to live fearlessly.  But I am fearful.  I think about the title of this blog and how I  preach to everyone that Finishing is Winning.  But that I didn’t even want to start.  I was feeling like if I dropped, I would be letting everyone down.  Like it would give people a reason to say I am not a “real” triathlete.  I would give people a reason to say I am weak.  Totally irrational…and I know that, but when the anxiety comes on there is no way to tell yourself how irrational those feelings are or how okay it is to feel like that. 

All the while I was freaking out inside, I pretty much shared it with no one outside of my mom.  And even then, I casually just mentioned my anxiety was high leading up to this race.  I never mentioned dropping out although I did mention trying to put a relay together instead after my ankle incident last weekend.  My thoughts were swirling…drop out completely?  Do the Sprint instead?  Do the Oly, but with a relay?  The internal conversation was endless and without reprieve.  I didn’t know what to do, I just knew I couldn’t keep up with my own spinning thoughts.  I could no longer separate my thoughts.  But still, I made no decisions…I just let the fear fester. And fester. And fester.  You get the point, right?

Yeah, so why this post now, right??  Right. 

Well, Tuesday was the first time I set up to go on a bike ride with my team.  First time ever.  I have been with Team Triumph since May 2008, yet this was the first time I even had the guts to show up for a group ride.  And as if showing up wasn’t already hard enough, I decided since I was early to drive the course we would be riding.  And that is all it took to send my anxiety from bad to worse.  All those thoughts that had been going on in my head for days were in full force.  All I could see was narrow streets, dead animals (seriously, there was a chicken in the road…oh, the jokes we could tell) and live deer, lots of traffic and no bike lanes.  I drove back to the lot where some other members had already arrived and proceeded to lose it.  I was trying to calm down and text my friend but I was too far gone at that point.  Totally lost it.  Full on shaking and crying anxiety attack.  Luckily I had hidden myself behind my friend’s car, so even though people knew something was up, I wasn’t all out in the open with the craziness.  I went back and forth about riding…everytime I thought about it I would get worked up again.  I did not want to re-rack my bike and drive away in front of all my teammates.  I did not want to give up.  But the fear had taken over.  How would I keep up?  What if I got hit?  Or fell?  Or fell and then got hit?  What if, what if, what if????

(For the record, I once jumped out of an airplane.  I trusted my life to a parachute 13,000 feet in the air.  Minimal anxiety that day.  Minimal.  Just saying.)

In the end, I rode.  My friend Kurt offered to ride with me and he stayed by my side the entire ride.  We were gone from the rest of the group…keeping a pace of 14-18mph, but Kurt never made me feel stupid for my fears and every time I would get nervous he simply talked me through it.  We chatted as we rode and ended up clocking almost 14 miles.  My first open road bike ride outside of the town I live in and closed race courses.  Yes, it is true…all my riding has in fact been closed courses, loops around my town, spin classes and on the stationary bike.  Until last night.  Last night, I fought my fear.

But what about NJ State?

After a really good chat with a few of my teammates (ones I know will be honest with me and not patronize my fears) I decided I am just not ready for that distance yet.  I have dealt with injuries this year that are still holding me back, my training has suffered and some of my friends warned me gently that the course for NJState is tricky and at times bumpy.  I appreciate that my friend Michelle told me straight up that she thought it might be better if I did the sprint.  Not because she thought I couldn’t do it, but because she thought I shouldn’t do it.

So instead of the Olympic on Sunday, I will be racing the Sprint on Saturday.  As it turns out…going through all of that Tuesday on the bike ride, is what finally gave me clairity about the race.  Fighting my fear is what gave me the strength to figure out what to do. 

How do I feel?  Amazing! I’ve slept through the night, my stomach feels fine and I am cool as a cucumber.  I feel much more balanced.  My mom (of course!!) totally supports any decision I make and I know she is proud of me.  My friend Brian whose opinion I regard highly, admitted to me yesterday when I told him, that he too thought I might be pushing it by doing the Oly.  Of course there are those who think I am weak- and they have made their opinions known and that’s okay…cause I can truly and honestly say that I do not care what they say.  I am not cop’ing out…I am not making excuses…I AM NOT WEAK. 

I have made the exact right decision for myself.

Here’s the thing: I could have raced the Olympic on Sunday.  And I would have finished.  There would have been anxiety and tears and more tears and etc, but I would have finished no doubt.  I know that I can complete those distances.  But at what cost to my mental state would it have been at, let alone my physical state?  What if pushing myself through it re-injured me?  What if it upset me so much I never did another tri?  It never would have been worth it.  I would have finished but probably not in a good way. 

Races should be fun.  The sprint is going to be fun.  I know I am going to do great.  I am excited and looking forward to racing.  I like sprints.  It is hard not to get caught up in the hype of doing a more challenging distance.  The thing is, for me, a sprint still is a challenge.  How about I get a few more under my belt and then perhaps I will feel more confident (and hopefully be fully recovered) for next year.  Cause next year…oh NJ STATE, I will be back to claim the Oly race!

Does changing my race magically make me better?  Well, yes and no.  I will always have anxiety and I will always be faced with the depression that comes from feeling anxious.  But I have learned how to control my life in a way where neither of them often come into play.  Sometimes they still will no matter how hard I try to block them out- mostly when it is triggered by something as intense as what I went through over the last few days.  It happens.  I do what I can.  I am human.  And I am learning to forgive myself, give myself and break and move on.  I feel better because I made the right decision.  I feel better because I chose to do what is right for me. 

I am learning that this blog  holds me accountable to myself.  And only myself.  I love my readers dearly and without you this blog would not be everything that it is, but at the end of the day, I am accountable only to myself.  I am not a failure for dropping to a shorter distance; I am a success for knowing it was the right decision to make and doing it even if I had to swallow my pride in the process.

Come Saturday, watch out.  I’m going to kick ass and take names 🙂

And by the way, if you made it through this post and you are still reading…now you really know me. ♥ 

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55 thoughts on “Full Disclosure

  1. I am also chronically depressed and suffer from anixety so I completely know what you are talking about. How you’re describing your move from Oly to Sprint sums up a race I did two years ago where seconds from the start of the Oly race I was crying and begging organizers to change me to a sprint (they did). Getting it out in the open is tough because there is a stigma attached to depression. Good for you and if you ever have any questions email me or head over to my blog, where I am as equally frank about living day to day with depression.

  2. Girl you surely should be a writer in your next job!
    ” I am a success for knowing it was the right decision to make and doing it”

    Those words says it all…what is right for you is what is RIGHT!
    Sorry but screw what the few might say or think. True friends know you are doing what is best… and you’ll show them on Sat!

  3. Jill, I can’t believe people would tell you that you are weak! Seriously? Have they looked at you? Seen what you’ve accomplished? I’m guessing those people are actually the weak ones and are just trying to pull you down with them.
    I’m proud of you regardless of what distance you race- even if you have to not run a race because you just aren’t ready for it. That doesn’t make you weak, it makes you smart for knowing what is right for you.
    Thanks for sharing this very personal story with us.

  4. I don’t care what the distance is – kick some ass. The fact that you are competing is what’s important. The next distance – Olympic – will come if it is your desire.

  5. You are absolutely not weak! After reading this you are even more an inspiration to me because you keep trying and keep going and make a smart decision about what’s right for you!

    You will do great Saturday and don’t forget to finish with a smile on your face: that’s winning!

  6. I also suffer from anxiety. Before I finally went to my docotor I would often break down in tears on any run that wasn’t going perfectly, I couldn’t let the negative worries and thoughts go (job, training, money, EVERYTHING). Although I don’t like to take meds, they have helped and I am glad for them.

    Congrats on making the decision to do the sprint, you will do great and I look forward to reading your race cap. Go kick some ass!!!

  7. You. are. awesome.

    This was a great post, and you did the right thing. You are so right, all of this is supposed to be fun. I can totally understand your frustration, and totally see what you’re going through. I went through a similar thing when I got divorced with anxiety/depression, where things didn’t make sense. I knew that I couldn’t stay with my ex. Yet, the only thing worse than staying was leaving and the only thing worse than leaving was staying. Waffling, tears, constant anxiety/stress, anger, fear… And then you make a decision and you’re better. I totally feel you.

    I even went through a lot of the same thing before the Disney marathon, where I knew I’d trained, but I doubted my ability to finish in the time that I’d advertised to the world that I wanted to do. It’s scary and hard!

    Anyway, you are normal and wonderful and all of those things, and I’m so happy that you got your ride in. 🙂

    PS. I was crying at the trail myself last night, as I tried to change a bike tire for the first time… blog post to follow.

  8. I agree with everyone else, YOU ARE NOT WEAK! You are STRONG! I’m so sorry that you suffer from anxiety and depression. While I have never suffered from it, I have friends that do. I am glad that you’ve found a medication that is able to help you. And, you are totally going to kick ass in the Sprint! Woohoo!

  9. Wow Jill, thank you for posting this. I have had 1 panic attack in my life but I have felt borderline on many an occasion. Did you see a Doctor to get diagnosed?

    I TRULY believe that if something is making you ill and keeping you up at night you HAVE to find a way to make it better. Now if I could just find a new job.

    My job causes me MAJOR anxiety and Depression, once I get home I instantly feel better.. URGH!

    Hugs!

    FYI I have been reading on my blackeberry where I cant comment.

    • I did see a doctor. We played around with different medications until we found the one that worked best for me. It took me a long time to see someone and even longer to admit it to myself. And even longer to admit to others. But each step makes it easier.

  10. Jill- wow, I am very moved by your post. First and foremost, please know that you are not alone with the anxiety/depression. I too suffer from both, so I definitely know where you are coming from. It’s the worst feeling in the world, especially when it feels like you cannot control it.

    I give you so much credit for putting it out there, and writing in depth about your experience with anxiety/depression, and how it affects your life. Not many people can do that with even their close family members, let alone write an inspirational blog about it. I wish I was half as talented as you with the writing skills, which I definitely lack…lol.
    One thing I’d like to recommend to help you keep your head up, is for you to go back and read some of your older posts in this blog to remind yourself exactly how far you’ve come. Yes, there will be bumps in the road, but that is life. You’ve managed to get through them and still remain positive and strong.
    I’m sorry you had such a rough week, but I am glad you were able to make a rational decision for the race this weekend. Even if you had dropped out of the race completely, that certainly does not make you a weak person. You mentioned that there were others that made their opinions known about thinking that you are weak, and I’m sorry, but that makes my blood boil!! Completing a race is not only physically demanding, but mentally as well. So, the fact that you were able to take everything into consideration and make the best decision, only makes you stronger. Good luck on Saturday, I know you are going to ROCK the sprint. I cannot wait for your race report!
    Thanks for your blog. You are truly an inspiration to others, so keep up the good work!

      • No problem. It breaks my heart to see anyone down. I’ve lived most of my life with depression, and did not know it (or get help for it)until after I had my first child. I am glad to hear that you are able to get the help you need though, and that you do have a strong support system. Keep your head up girl! And yes, meeting up for drinks would be awesome! I grew up in South Jersey (Willingboro and Tabernacle) so we probably have even more in common than we already know about! 🙂

  11. i wish you would have shared sooner but better later than never!! i’m with you and understand you completely. i’ve battled them both almost my entire life. no one can understand unless they’ve been through it but all that matters is that you do what makes YOU happy and content. good luck on saturday, you’re going to kick butt!

  12. My Jill, alot of thoughts here.
    First, I bet you didn’t think this post would produce so many laughs, but ya know, it did.
    Cuz I then had to go read that Apprehensive post, followed by the result your Philly Half-Marathon report. And that report was too funny!

    You had mentioned to me that I had no idea how anxious you felt about the OLY race. Well, I have a better idea now. And trust me, we’re pretty similar here…my last race was a bit risky, let’s just say that.

    So many positives though.
    You’re gonna be glowing after the Sprint. I’ve learned that much.
    And, we won’t forget that you conquered enough fear for the whole 2010 calendar by getting out on that awesome bike ride.

    Last things I’m thinking. Let’s see.
    I typed “Full Disclosure” in my last post, and well, now you make my use of that phrase look so tame!
    With any luck, temperatures will be ridiculous on Saturday and the Sprint will end up being the tougher race, how lucky are you!?
    And finally, hmmm. Some assholes suggested you are weak? Idiots.
    We need you to get through this race, and the Sprint is the right way for you to go, at this time.
    The world cannot afford for you to have a terribly upsetting race and never do another Tri. Your swim advice alone is invaluable and we need more.

    Good luck and have fun.

    • Yeah you beat me in the “I am a crazy risk taker” category!!! Thanks for the super kind words and all the inspiration and encouragement!

  13. Jill –

    I have been wanting to comment since I read your post early this morning and the words have been really tough to come.

    (For me, you know that must be really a rare occurance!)

    Your courage and determination are attributes that even though you may question them when you glance in the mirror in the morning, are as obvious to those who know you and are getting to know you as the nose on our own faces.

    The courage to start is something for everyone is much harder to come by than the courage to finish – and I think that having shared your feelings about anxiety and depression today will be amazingly freeing for you.

    My bet is you will feel incredibly “free” this weekend and will absolutely crush the sprint.

    When you are planning your Olympic – let me know and I will get my butt in the pool and see if we can race together. It would absolutely be an honor.

    Just promise to take it easy on me as I’ll be the last one out of the water …..

    Take good care Jill and kick some assphalt this weekend. You are the greatest.

    Best,

    Joe

  14. i know that between making the right decision for YOU and opening up on here you have to feel a million times better. who cares what anyone else thinks, it is not their life. i am SO glad you are doing what is right for you and are EXCITED about your upcoming race… because if you aren’t excited about it, what in the world are we doing it for you know? you are amazing 🙂

  15. The entire time I read the first half of your post was I sure hope she reazlied NO RACE is worth it. You are STRONG and SMART and you made the RIGHT choice for you right now. I battled depression as a teenager and can remember all of those same thoughts that went through my head that were filled with self-doubt. But you know what? You are on the road to recovery because you were able to make the right choice for you and not give up. Pat yourself on the back for me 🙂
    Good luck on Saturday and kick some ass – I have no doubt you will! And you had better put some pics up on FB! right away! (((huggss)))

  16. I admire you for really putting yourself out there. You put a lot of thought into this post and my guess is it will help a lot of people. I liked your friend’s comment that you could do the race but it was not what you should do. I feel you have made a wise decision.
    Have fun on Saturday!

  17. Wow, you are really strong to trust us all with this. I agree with Brian, your writing is really powerful. And you are completely right, racing should be fun. Even though I’d like to do an Ironman distance tri tomorrow, I have purposefully delayed it for 5 years, so that when it comes around I will be ready and can just enjoy the experience.

  18. Good for you! Knowing yourself and what is right for you is so very important. Writing honestly and openly is important, too. Both will take you far.

    I can’t wait to hear how you do this weekend — great, I’m sure!

  19. I have always admired you for your honesty on this blog – you can tell just reading that you’re writing from your heart. You don’t sugar coat things to make yourself look different than you are – you’re just YOU! And that’s what we love.

    Can’t wait to read your RR about the sprint. Go out there and ROCK IT!

  20. I would have never thought of you as weak! You are tackling things that many don’t even dream. Thanks for letting us know you, the who you really are.

    Congrats for having the courage to make the right/hard choices for you. I’ll look forward to reading about your success!

  21. We all get tested in life and how we respond defines who we are. You have the courage to meet this adversity head on. It is hard and it will make you stronger. Keep moving.

    Do what you enjoy, have fun, and, if I may add: “to thine own self be true.”

  22. Wow Jill, just wow. I really had no idea and I admire your courage to even write this post. I think we have all been scared to start something. I know that I am so afraid of going new places and meeting new people but once I get there, I am ok.
    I think doing the sprint is the right decision for you and that is what really is important. I hope you have a great race this weekend and have a ton of fun!

  23. Hi Jill,

    I agree with everyone above and just wanted to say that my wife struggles with anxiety as well. This is not easy for her and I try as much as I can to help her with this.

    I really enjoy your blog because I can relate to you and your triathlon exploits. I am just starting out having done very short races last summer and I find it difficult reading the blogs that are all about the half ironman and full ironman distances.
    I am nowhere near this and may never be – my goal for this summer is to do a few sprint distance events. I can swim and I can bike but I really struggle with the running side of it and I think most of it is “mind over matter” and I just need to work at it.

    Thank you for sharing – that took courage, something that you have so much of. Good luck for the sprint race, I’m sure you will do awesome and I look forward to your race report!!!!

    cheers,
    Steve

  24. hello are you my soul sista ???

    i didn’t realize i had anxiety until my 40’s after i had kids, suddenly i was unable to deal with the little things. i finally went for help and started on lexapro. and yes there is a stigma about meds and about mental disease. there should not be. i think of how many folks suffer in silence.

    i too have gone skydiving !!! yet a decision of to go the beach or not can cause a full blown mind bomb for me.

    you are strong !!!! thank you for sharing

  25. I read your post this morning from my iphone, but had to come back once I got on a real computer.
    You put up a good front via the computer, as I not only have been reading your blog for quite sometime (although clearly I don’t comment often) but also I am constantly up to date on your life via facebook. So I felt like I knew you somewhat, but it was a complete “whoa” moment when I read this post.
    I can’t relate to you in anyway actually. I’ve never had depression (of any clinical sort) or anxiety (other than the occasional attack when I’m flying … meds helped with that of course) and additionally, I am rarely faced with the stress of training for something so monumental.
    I am glad that you have made the decision you made to scale back to the sprint, especially because it feels like you are now at peace with your choice. I do hope for the future that you attempt another Oly because I just want you to suceed. Like in a movie, you always want the main character to win the girl or have a happy ending. You a little character to me in my online “movie” (haha, this sounds so cheezy) and I always hope for the best with my main characters and always want them to suceed. I guess it’s why I keep reading some blogs, because I know that person (or so I think) and I enjoy following their little lives. Being honest with yourself and your training is important and I respect you completely for putting it out there and hopefully moving on! Ok, novel over.

    • Haha you crack me up!

      One thing though- it is not a front. I chose never to mention it here for the fear of the “whole world” knowing. On FB, I choose (try to at least) to be happier and focus on the positive. To me, there is nothing worse than a full page worth of pissy and negative status updates. Plus, someone always has it worse, so I would rather just not use FB as my outlet for stress management, you know.

      • Looking back now at my comment, by “front” I meant that you never have come across, to me at least, of having this problem via FB/blog and I think you’re right, who needs to see all the negative status updates? Usually if I have a bad day or I’m in a foul mood about something or other, I’ll either distance myself from FB/blog or I’ll add a little humour to the mix so as not to be too Debbie Downer, that’s just how I deal with things though. Congrats on your PR with the sprint!

  26. Thanks so much for sharing Jillian – you are so brave to be so honest in your posts. It is something I have always admired about your writing. Your writing touches a lot of people and inspires, educates and entertains. Obviously from the responses you have a lot of readers who care about you and offer support – count me as one. I hope the writing and reaer support can help you through the tough times.

  27. F anyone who says you are weak. Let’s look at the simple truth – you are doing a TRIATHLON. You are going to swim a bunch, bike a while, then run a 5K. And yes, I know you’ve done a ton of them already, but plenty of people never do anything like that (myself included)! The great thing about these sports is that you are only competing with yourself. Yes, there is always part of you that wants to do better and go longer and beat others, but really, when you cross that finish line, you are not thinking about any of them. Only yourself. At that moment you are the only one that matters. Run the race that will make you feel the most awesome as you cross that finish line.

    Go out on Saturday and rock that Tri! Also, I hope that your new group ride helped you find a new love for cycling and you use that to continue to work hard at it!!

  28. Hi Jill,
    I had to read over this post twice. I agree with everyone else…you are not weak! You are a strong, kind, charming and beautiful person! I have also dealt with anxiety my entire life. It is getting better the older I get. I know what you mean about not sleeping and having the stomach issues…it sucks! Do not feel bad about doing the sprint because you are ready for that and I have every confidence that you are going to do great:) Remember that it is not the time that really counts it is how you feel when you are doing it! Good luck Jill!

    I am glad that you found the strength to share this with your bloggie friends:) You know that we all love you and are here for you if you need us! Hugs and tons of love:)

  29. You are so strong and it sounds like you’ve made the right decision for you. Thank you for talking about how depression and anxiety can affect your entire life. I have issues with hormonally related anxiety and depression (which leads to wicked pms and caused postpartum depression), so I’ve had a taste of what you are dealing with. It’s something that so many deal with, but so few talk about. Good luck with the race!

  30. I had this idea that all the people in my life had a set of expectations of me…and this caused me alot of stress, worry and anger…the truth is…they were MY expectations! People just mirrored them back to me because they wanted to help me realize my goals. I’m way too hard on myself and therefore, set unrealistic expectations. I am practicing “letting myself off the hook”…people might think that’s an excuse or a way to give myself a “cop out”, but it actually has the opposite result for me. It takes the pressure off, and I can relax. This helps me not only enjoy the process, but I usually perform better without all that pressure!

    Yay for listening to what’s best for you. You may not be doing the Olympic distance now, but that does not mean you never will! It’s wise to listen to your body and know your limits (temporary, I’m sure!) than to push past them and hurt yourself…all just to prove something! Thanks for being so transparent. I know you will do awsome!!

  31. Thank you for writing this! I’m sure there are many others that have felt the same way. I don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, but I do feel nervous before every long run. I face lots of doubt in myself, even though deep down I KNOW I can do it! There are so many mental blocks that people hardly ever talk about, since physical ability is usually at the forefront.

    Keep on going, keep on fighting 🙂

  32. Oh honey bunny…I wish I had hours to talk to you about all my anxiety and how I just am a basket-case before a major marathon (one where I put pressure on myself to do well). I totally understand your fears and emotions, I live it constantly! Thank you for sharing your story – I know I do not put myself out there much on blogworld cuz I can’t stand the thought of disappointing anyone but us bloggers are there for you and only want what you feel is best for you! I know you’re going to kick some awesome TRI butts out there this weekend!! Good luck to you, I’ll be thinking of you and cheering you on from SF! Sorry for my dely in commenting, I was so crazy busy yesterday packing….and had my flt to SF not been delayed right now and I had time to get on the iternet, I might have missed this post. So glad now my flight WAS delayed!!! Love ya, girl!! Good luck and have a total blast! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!!! XOXO

  33. You made the absolute right decision to go with the shorter race. You are amazing and have come such a long way. I am so proud of you that you went on the bike ride even though it freaked you out!
    As you know, the bike terrifies me too, and that’s really held me back this year. I don’t train nearly enough for that leg of the race.
    I also decided to drop from a sprint race this season because of injuries and no training time. It wasa ridiculously tough decision to make but once I made it, the anxiety (and I am not normally an overly anxious person) stopped.
    We know when we aren’t ready for something just like we know when we are. The bottom line is if the race isn’t going to be fun, if it’s going to cause more problems than not, it’s not worth it.
    There will be other olympics and you will be amazing when you do them. I know it.
    I appreciate your candor on your blog. There have been many times when I’ve had bad days and I’ll go to see what Jill has to say, even though I am much older than you. You are wise beyond your years and an inspiration to everyone who reads here.
    Now go and have a kick-butt race tomorrow and pray that the heat will hold off until you are done!
    We’re all pulling for you! XOX

  34. I love how brutally honest this post is. I hope you *enjoy* yourself in the tri this weekend b/c that’s what racing is really all about. 🙂

  35. You are doing amazing with your anxiety and depression. The fact that you know what to do to help alleviate your anxiety is a sure sign of the strength the you have within you. When you are ready for the open road rides I have no doubt you’ll do amazing. Until then, go at your pace! Push yourself within your limits and remember to always have a great time. GL this weekend! (ITA, races should be fun!!!)

  36. And…FIWI

    My mom dealt with anxiety issues and a support network is one of the best things to help someone with anxiety. I watched how it worked and it sounds like you have a great one. Your IRL friends and family love you.

  37. I am so happy you worked through this and made the decision that is right for you! I suffered from anxiety in college and took pills to help, and BOY, did the help! I can completely understand the cycle of thought you describe, and how you get lost there.

  38. I’ve been out of town so I missed out on a bunch of posts for several days… I’m catching up now and wish that I’d seen this right when you posted it!

    First, I am so proud of you for putting it out there. It really does make things easier. I was so scared to reveal my eating disorder struggle but it definitely helped me feel a little more balanced.

    Second, You made a tough decision, but you did it so that you feel good about yourself and so you can continue to LIVE. Getting stuck in that endless loop of “what if’s” in the head is torture. TORTURE! Facing your fear and making a decision is so strong!

    Third, you amaze me! Simply amaze me… you are strong and smart and ambitious and wise and I’m so glad I “met” you online. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person!

    HUG!!!

  39. First of all, you are so incredible. THANK YOU for sharing everything that you did in this post. I can so relate!!! I’m so glad you had a friend to accompany you, and I’m so, so, so glad you got to do the ride.

    These things we do, they are really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But they are truly victories. When I look back at the times I could race, the most shocking thing to me is the fact that I did group rides on winding roads with no bike lanes on a bike with clipless pedals. It gives me goosebumps to think that I did such a crazy thing. To me, that’s like jumping with a parachute. But, hey, I did it!

  40. i still ❤ you 🙂

    it takes incredible guts to put private matters out there! if anyone ever judges you on them – they don't matter. for each hater out there (if any) you have like 9,209 people who have your back!

    i don't know anyone who would judge you for DNS'ing or dropping back to a shorter distance… we all have personal reasons on any given race day. i mean i know you will be conquering bigger and better things in the future, and a sprint tri is nothing to snuff at. heck, i don't even swim as a workout – i'm too nervous for just that:)

    hold that pretty head high jill. you are amazing to me! hope the tri goes/went well (i'm so confused as to what day it is right now, you'll have to forgive me)

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