I’ve recently indulged in a spot of “mommy porn” with the much-hyped 50 Shades of Grey.

Despite faithfully reading a few pages every night until I had finished all three books, I can positively say that I couldn’t stand Ana.  And, frankly, Christian appeared to be a bit of a one-minute-man, if you catch my drift…  But while 50 Shades has nothing to do with my training, Ana’s “inner goddess” character does.

See, this “inner goddess” appears to be her cheerleader, inner nympho, librarian-slash-sexy-lady all rolled into one, who eggs Ana on when she feels a tad insecure and who will make her disapproval known when Ana does or says something stupid…

“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” “My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.” “My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheer-leading pom-poms shouting yes at me.” “My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”

I don’t really have an inner goddess, but I DO have an inner adventure racer.  She’s “Chrissie Wellington meets Lara Croft”, and she becomes my inner voice when I train / feel lazy / want to finish a slab of chocolate / panic in the pool.

So, if I were to write a book, my inner adventurer would sound a bit like this:

“My inner adventurer stares up at me from the pool, impatiently tapping her fingers as if to say ‘seriously chick – you won’t die'”.  “My inner adventurer jumps up and down with cheerleader pom-poms shouting GO GO GO!!! at me.”  “My inner adventurer sighs, shakes her head at me and bends backward to resume her camel pose.”

My Inner Adventurer

She was also at her most vocal this past weekend when I had a full-blown panic attack while doing the swim leg of our group’s first mock triathlon.

All I had to do was swim a total of about 400m in the Waterfront Canal.  In my wetsuit and the safety of a group.  What could go wrong?

Well, as it turns out, everything.  The moment I jumped into the water it felt like somebody had punched me in the gut.  I had no air, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t start swimming, started hyperventilating… in the end I did a bit of the swim on my back while frantically pulling at my wetsuit collar while trying to breathe.

My inner adventurer was not happy with me.  She just shook her head while taking bored pot-shots at a row of cans with her pistol.

I know it’s a mental thing.  I know it. And I’m disappointed for not being mentally focused and strong enough to get through the swim like everyone else.  So all I can do is focus on the advice I have received in the past 24 hours. Some from reading articles like http://www.daretotrilife.com/2011/05/open-water-swims-dont-panic.html and some from friends with Ironman & Tri experience.

Although it feels like I’m taking one step forward, three steps back, hopefully this week will be better.

So, from now on, my inner adventurer may also have a few things to say about my progress.  Please indulge her… she’s quite opinionated.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a snapshot from Saturday, after we completed our swim/bike/run.

The Fit Ones. And me on the right.