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April 8, 2019

Mentally Tough Triathlon with Natalie

Natalie is our Fulfillment Coordinator and Office Administrator. She started out as a Bits Intern, but quickly became a part of our permanent team.

A fun fact about 31 Bits, we do all of our own shipping from our warehouse in Southern California, and Natalie is the one making sure your purchases get to your door! She also helps with customer service, marketing, and pretty much any task someone needs help with. Natalie is best-known for her positivity and no task is too small attitude!

She shares with us her first experience competing in a triathlon, so if you’ve ever considered doing one, here’s one person’s journey that may inspire yours!

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

As Natalie says, “it wasn’t a walk in the park.” The triathlon included a six mile run, one mile swim, and 24 mile bike ride (intense right?!) The days leading up to the race, however, might be the most interesting.

Three days prior, she got strep throat. Being the easy-going person she is, she slept on the ground the night before – thanks to the misleading description of the amount of beds provided in the Airbnb. And hearing her describe it, everything seemed to be working against her.

“I wanted to do this race for personal reasons and a sense of accomplishment, but had little time or motivation to train. I had the mindset that I wasn’t trying to break any records, I was just trying to cross the finish line. With that said, I put little effort into training.”

The night before, Natalie had a complete breakdown, because she told herself this was over her head. She was scared that she might not cross the finish line, people were watching her… and panic set in.

The morning of the race, there wasn’t much time to think about nerves. Natalie got to the start… and just dove in (literally, into the ocean!) The moment the first wave hit, it ripped off her ankle tracker, so she had no clue on times or where she was at.

Natalie recalls the worst part of the race being the silence. Headphones weren’t allowed for safety reasons, so she sang, “Indian Summer” by Jai Wolf on repeat in her head, which totally helped get her into a groove. This combined with her constant internal motivation, positive self-talk, and the beautiful Malibu coastline, Natalie completed the bike portion in roughly 90 mins (you go girl!)

Now we’re sure you’re wondering how this ends. Natalie did made it across the finish line, and the second she did, she was bawling from physical and mental exhaustion.

“The most memorable moment, the part that still makes me tear up, was crossing the finish line. I can say with complete certainty that I used every ounce of energy and will-power in my body that day. It was the most wonderful and indescribable feeling!”

She then told us she wants to do it all over again…

A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Looking back, Natalie says the triathlon was one of her favorite things she has done, which is hard to believe since it sounded like a mental and physical struggle. But challenging yourself can be SO rewarding.

“It turned out being way harder than I anticipated, but I think that made it more rewarding for me. I actually put myself through the craziest, wildest ride, and there’s no way I could’ve accurately prepared for that.” We’re capable of so much, and sometimes it just takes telling yourself you can do this to persevere on. Natalie’s experience is something we can all learn from, and apply to our day-to-day.

“I wanted it to make me happier about all the other things in my life, but it mainly showed me what I’m capable of, and how amazing our bodies and minds are. Mentally, it gave me a reason to celebrate myself and be my own inspiration.”

The most important thing Natalie learned, was the need for mental strength. “Your body can do it, it’s your mind you have to convince. I’ve never talked to myself more in my life than in those three hours. You’re doing all this in complete silence. I thought I was going crazy!”

People, even now, tell Natalie they could never do a triathlon. “You can if you want to,” she would tell them… and she’s probably right!

On a whim, Natalie signed up for the Lululemon half marathon in Vancouver later this year. She says, “I plan for this one to be even better than my first… and hoping not to get sick or sleep on the floor!”