On every one of those personality scales that exist, I always – without fail – come out in the dead center for the Introvert/Extrovert scale. And it’s right on the money. I’m totally at ease in a party situation (for a while) and I’m totally at ease by myself (for a while). I can go to a movie or restaurant by myself and it’s no big deal, I even enjoy it. I can also be very much “on” when I need to be as well for presentations or social events. Apparently there’s a word & definition for this middle ground known as an “ambivert”…
One unexpected outcome of all this tri training that I’m doing is that it’s highlighting my introverted side more & more. On the surface triathlon seems like a group event, almost like a team sport since there’s so many people, a crowded transition area, lots of spectators…but it’s really not. It’s actually the opposite of that. It’s the opposite of a team sport, where there’s the push & pull of others on the team…one person slacks off & the others pick it up for them. I get that most sports require a lot of personal dedication, but I don’t think I was really prepared for the weight of the quiet and alone time involved in training.
But… I love it! I love walk/running by myself, swimming by myself, and when I can ride by myself it’s the BEST! It really has become a spiritual, inward focusing discipline for me. Yesterday I rode 22 miles by myself, in beautiful & gorgeous weather, on the greenway trails, and it was awesome. On the flats I kept a 17 mph pace, which was great for me. I can’t maintain it through sharp turns and hills, but I did keep it up most of the time. For walks & runs I always have something in my ear as a distraction, but I never use anything like that when I ride – so it’s just me & nature & the other cyclists out there.
Also, I’m in the midst of a 2-week break from Facebook. There are 2 groups that I’m a part of that I’m missing, but everything else is just crap and noise and does the opposite of feeding my soul. Combining the introvert, triathlon, and break from FB is maybe the trifecta of genius-ness that I’ve been looking for!
Since I don’t see this tri stuff going away any time soon, my guess is that I’m going to get deeper into the Introvert mindset. I’d much rather be working on myself than doing many other things these days. It’s definitely easier to say NO to the “noise” lately. It’s been a while since I ran a simple mile without stopping and I did that tonight! Slow, like a turtle walking backwards, but I didn’t stop and stayed true to my little challenge I gave myself tonight – just run a mile and don’t stop no matter the speed!