AHHHH! In just one week I’m going to be racing up the stairs in the most famous landmark on the planet! It’s so tremendously exciting, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been petrified, too. Fear and self-doubt have been hangin’ around lately, unfortunately.
I’m going to get into all of that, but first, I wanted to share some practical information on how you can watch the race LIVE!
This year’s la Verticale de la Tour Eiffel will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook. You can watch it on three different pages, so take your pick:
- Tour Eiffel (the official Eiffel Tower page)
- La Vertical de la Tour Eiffel (the official race page)
- New Balance – France (the page for the biggest sponsor)
Go and ‘like’ one or all of those pages now, so you can easily find them when it’s time to tune in! Speaking of which…
They will be broadcasting the coverage LIVE from 8pm-10:15pm on Thursday, March 15, 2018. Those times are local Paris times, so if you’re watching in the states, it begins at 2pm EST, and 11am PST.
Now let’s dive back into my fears. I typically get nervous before a race, and I welcome those nerves. They mean the race is important to me, and that I want to do well. Usually, though, those nerves start flaring up the morning of the race, or the night before. Eiffel Tower is still a week away, but I’ve been nervous for weeks. Ever since I found out I was selected in January, I’ve been nervous, afraid, and so much more.
I’ve had good days and bad days. On good days I focus on the thrill of it all: how exciting it was to even be selected, and how awesome it will be to do something that so few people will ever get the chance to do. These are the things I should be focusing on.
The bad days, though, have been tough. And those days typically begin when I compare myself to the other athletes that are going to be there. Because the simple truth is this: I’m going to be competing against the fastest people on the planet, and I will probably have one of the slowest times of the night. That’s based on comparing the results from previous years to my times from races that are similar in height.
That’s when self-doubt comes around and sits down for a nice, long, agonizing visit. I start having thoughts like “My time is going to be embarrassingly slow” or “I don’t deserve this opportunity.” I think about the hundreds of people that weren’t selected to compete, and how angry they must be to see someone so slow get selected instead of them.
These thoughts are toxic. I know that. I try to nip them in the bud, and sometimes it works. But sometimes I just spiral downward, thanks to these negative thoughts, and it’s like I’m sinking in quicksand, and every time I try to claw myself out, to a safer, more positive place, I just end up sinking in deeper.
When I am able to nip them in the bud, it’s because I given myself a pep talk, which varies from day to day but usually includes some or all of these affirmations:
I am deserving and worthy of competing in this race. I have an incredible story, and am an accomplished athlete, and the entire panel that reviewed the applications agreed with me, because they chose me. They want me to be there.
I’m going to Paris, and I’m going to have a great time. I’m going to have an excellent race. I know what that feels like to push myself as hard as possible, and leave every ounce of energy in a stairwell, and that’s what I’m going to do. Because that’s what I’ve done so many other times, at so many other races. Because that is what an athlete does, and I am an athlete.
Everyone else can fight it out for a spot on the podium. I’m coming for other reasons. I’m coming to do my absolute best, and show that I have the guts, strength and power to race alongside the best of the best.
I’m coming because I want to keep proving to myself that I’m capable of extraordinary things.
I’m coming because I want the world to see that it’s never too late to take control of your health, change your future, and excel at things that were previously beyond the scope of even your dreams.
I’m the only one that can do all of those things, and I WILL NOT LET fear, anxiety, or negative thoughts spoil this opportunity. I’ve worked too hard and come too far to let anything or anyone stop me.
I can’t be stopped. I won’t be stopped. Not until I cross that finish line, 906 feet above the streets of Paris.
That is one effective pep talk. The more I repeat these affirmations, the more they take root in my heart and brain, and I’m happy that lately, I’m not needing them as often. The fear and anxiety has peaked, and I’m noticing it less and less.
I feel vulnerable admitting that there’s been periods where I’ve needed that pep talk every single day, but it’s true. I created this blog so I can share these parts of myself, process my feelings, and get stuff off my chest so that I can focus on what’s important.
What’s important is that I’m about to head to another continent, and embark on an crazy, unfathomable adventure. It’s going to be a special race, on a special day, at a special venue, and I’ve earned my place there.
Keep it up, David!
Follow me! I’m @keepitupdavid on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and I’m on Google+ too! There’s also a “Sign Me Up” box on this page (at the top of the right-hand column) where you can subscribe to receive new posts via email!