It’s Not “If”, It’s “When”

It is not “if it will happen.”

It IS  “when it will happen.”

I think triathletes are uniquely conditioned to handle situations that delay gratification. I say “conditioned,” because over the course of time and training you are also conditioning your mind whether you realize it or not. For what? Persistence, grit, discipline, and small improvements daily in THREE sports, to name a few.

You may have had a “goal race” or race that you were training for in 2020 which now cancelled or rescheduled. But think about it, even if you did race, you would have put your training to the test, raced, and after your celebratory happy dance you would have gone back to the drawing board to assess what you learned from your race, created a game plan to improve and then gone back to training. Then train, race, assess, and do it all over again. In my approach, races are times where you can celebrate all your hard work from alllll these months. It helps take the pressure off and it reinforces the idea that you have all you need within you execute your race. During this time I want you to remember that which is within you.


Every triathlete I have worked with has a story; one that encompassed a theme of navigating the learning curve in a new sport/s, sport culture, gear, etc. Right now, we are all being called upon to remember our story – one that encompasses how resilient and gritty we are; one that encompasses us being able to learn new HARD things, new approaches, new sport, and new experiences. I don’t feel bad for you or me. I don’t feel sorry for you or me. I feel inspired by you and for us. We are all offered a NEW opportunity; one that is certainly challenging us. Hey I’m in it with you too, I was registered for Santa Rosa 70.3 and my hubby was registered for Oceanside 70.3 (a race that is very special to us for many reasons). We had to regroup and refocus. It’s not been easy but I do know this experiencing is shaping something within us that we WILL be able to use to our advantage come race day.

For example, think back to a personal challenge; one that delayed accomplishment or success for years. I’m thinking back to graduate school. It was HARD for me. I questioned myself everyday and wondered if I belonged there. I questioned if I was smart, skilled, and worthy enough. I remember that first year questioning whether I should come back. Five years to graduate felt like such a long time and many other things got delayed or put on the back burner for me to be able to EARN my doctorate. Obviously, I did it! I found small  ways to celebrate my success, cultivated support, remembered all the other hard things I survived in my life. I remembered all the ways that God, the Universe, rewarded my hard work. I remember that faith is believing in things not yet seen. My doctorate was not yet seen, but I knew it was somewhere down the road. I just had to keep going.


We are living in strange times and you may have heard the recent announcement that the Ironman World Championship is rescheduled. THE BIG DANCE, 2020 Kona World Championships is rescheduled to Feb 2021 and 70.3 Worlds is also rescheduled. Many other races are getting rescheduled too. Okay, so for some of you, now you know the “when”, it’s time to get to work.

Or dreams, goals, desires of our hearts, our purpose never dies. What IS meant for us WILL happen, if we stick on the path long enough to see it though. Because it’s not a matter of IF it will happen, it’s a matter of WHEN 😉

Keep the faith. Stay home. Stay focused.

-Dr. P

Published by

Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.

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