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Tri-Me Tape 101

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Mindset, motivation and multiple sports, the Tri-Me Tapes are the audio journal of an amateur athlete, Abi Dawson.

Seeking a new challenge and an opportunity to improve her mindset Abi made the commitment to try new sports and compete.

Initially, she identified triathlon as a true test of grit, physicality and most importantly mental fortitude.

Join Abi and her partner in crime Matt as they discuss the journey to competition, the highs, the lows and lessons learnt along the way.

In this tape of The Tri-Me Tapes, we go back to the start! Unpacking the first blog and discovering why Abi is starting this journey and what are the goals.

If you are a new listener to The Tri-Me Tapes, we would love to hear from you. Please visit our Facebook Page and share your athletic adventures!

In this episode, we discuss:

00:56 Intro, What is the goal?

02:35 Why triathlon & mindset

04:46 Accountability, the power of putting it out there.

06:45 Athletic inspiration, documentaries

09:15 Getting in your own way

10:00 Progression and what it means to Abi

12:59 Mindful awareness

14:50 Habits of the mind

16:08 Meditation thoughts, contemplation

19:11 Examples of mind over matter athletes

23:00 Abi’s mindset toward training at the start

24:46 Over competitive mindset


Abi: Should we explain what we're doing.

Matt: We can explain what we're doing. What are we doing?

Abi: We're going to release some tapes that are going to basically go over the blogs that I’ve written, which explain a little bit, about my journey into a new challenge.

Scroll back,

Matt: scroll back

Abi: to 2019 pre- Corona

Matt: pre-Corona.

Everyone was outside touching each other. That's wrong.

Abi: Sorry, everyone

Matt: reset the podcast.


Abi: Take two?

Matt: Yeah take two,

Tri me tape number one

In October 2019, Abi Dawson wrote I'm not one to shy away from a challenge. And in April 2020, she shied away from that challenge. Abi, what was a challenge?

Abi: That challenge was a triathlon.

Matt: And why did you shy away from that challenge

Abi: Now let’s get something straight. I didn't shy away from a challenge.

Um, the challenge is still that it was it's just been moved on, so it is supposed to be. Earlier this month.

Matt: Right.

Abi: Um, and the training began in October, but we have found ourselves in a very

Matt: Unique time,

Abi: ... unique time, which this could go down in history. Um, well, it will.

Matt: You're talking about the podcast or the fact that there was a pandemic

Abi: that both,

Matt: this is going to go down in history.

Abi: This tape will, you know, like Jumanji

Matt: don't listen to tape one

Abi: Jumanji, people would dig it up. And you can hear all about the Coronavirus.

Matt: You said it,

Abi: this kind of locked-down meant that, um, events for all cancelled or rescheduled. So yeah. My event was going to happen on the 5th of April. The event is rescheduled for next year, but the training has postponed,

Matt: Training, Abi has postponed the training.

So let's go back to the start. Let's go back to October 2019.

Abi: I had long hair,

Matt: But you did have the choice to get it cut at the time. So times were different. Take me back to October last year. You decided to do a triathlon? Why, why did you try to

Abi: I'd started reading, um,

Matt: Dangerous

Abi: I know, it was only a small book. It pictures in it.

Matt: Pictures are a necessity.

Abi: Basically. We wanted to develop my mindset a little bit better so that I didn't feel like there was something holding me back.

Matt: What book led you to think that your mindset was holding you back?

Abi: The Chimp paradox.

Matt: Okay. That book, it was a good book.

Abi: Yeah.

I think there are lots of things in my life where I kept listening to my brain too much, which would get me in like strops or I feel like things around my control, um, which then kind of led to a spiral of why me or. Uh, things are tough and I, I can't pursue what I want to pursue. Um, so I thought I'd set a goal and put in a lot of effort to get there.

I wasn't afraid of the, of the hard work that was going to be put into it. But I think that I've never really said something out loud just in case that I, I couldn't get the goal.

Matt: So, but to do a triathlon, was you like putting something out into the world and be like, I'm going to do this thing, but it's pretty hard.

Abi: Yeah. I think so. And I think it comes a lot with like, who think about, um, like the way my family are and stuff, maybe we, I think we kind of play it quite safe. So if I had said that, maybe just to them, it'd be like, why?

Matt: Yeah. Okay.

Abi: So it was just for me and it was just me to do well and I'd, I hadn't like said, Oh, I want to win. Or, um,

Matt: You did want to win.

Abi: Everyone wants to win, but it's not, it's not like I had a natural ability that I was like, Oh, I could try. And it was just like, this is going to be really hard. And I've got to put my blood, sweat and tears into it and we'll just, we'll see how it goes.

Matt: Yeah. So how did you start then?

Abi: I started well, again, I think that the first thing was actually telling people that I was going to do it, um, which made me do it because I think it makes it a little bit more accountable just to say it out loud, especially to like you,

Matt: to me.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: What, saying I'm going to do something then.

Abi: Yeah. Because I make you feel so bad. I make you feel so bad. If you say that you're going to do something

Matt: this is on tape, Abi as admitting that she does this. Never say you're going to do something and then not do it. No, no,

Abi: no, no. don’t do it,

Matt: what did you do? Did you do a triathlon?

Abi: No,

Matt: no.

Abi: I was going to, I had it booked. But unforeseen circumstances meant that, um, the event had been. Postponed due to the Coronavirus.

Matt: Okay. So you've been blogging since October, but now we're doing a little Tri-Me tape audio journal, and we're going to go back through. Everything that's happened since October last year,

Abi: we think it's going to work better by going back and looking at the blog and maybe reliving some of the moments rather than talking you through each app and each blog post and being like,

Matt: Yeah, not rigid. We're just going to try and whiz through

Abi: just a recap.

Matt: Because a lot happened

Abi: a lot happened. I think I learned a lot. I think actually, by going back for it, it's going to do its purpose of what I wanted it for.

Matt: Yeah.

Abi: So hopefully a little bit entertaining for you guys to listen to as well.

Matt: Yeah hopefully,

Abi: especially if you don't like reading, let me, I've written it and I don't want to edit it or look at it again. So if there's any spelling mistakes, please don't tell me, I’ll die.

Matt: The blogs in it's like carved in stone now just leave it. Okay. It's there. It's posted. So let's go back then back to the start. And you decided you wanted this challenge?

Abi: Yeah. So. I loved looking at, uh, different athletes and different kind of accomplishments that they are getting that were incredible. And I just thought they all started from somewhere.

Matt: Yeah. Everyone started somewhere,

Abi: just normal people that obviously people have natural talents. And, um, we were watching some like triathlon documentaries as well.

Matt: Yeah.

Abi: Someone who was doing like an ultra ultra Oh.

Matt: Ultra ultra so Seven in seven days or something, wasn't it?

Abi: What was it from? Like Morocco to Mexico

Matt: Monaco. I think.

Abi: That was a long way

Matt: Mexico ... You can't run across the Atlantic and you sure as hell can't swim it, but we'll give it a go.

Abi: But here's the football I wasn't here and he

Matt: was a football, I got injured and decided I'll do something else. That brutally punished is my body. And he was running while he was asleep.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: We'll find that film and we'll stick it in the show notes as I mean yeah.

Abi: Which is kind of an exTri-Me and of why I was doing it, but it kind of coincided of let's just get it done. I've said I'm going to do it.

Matt: Well, let's go back to why, why, why, why do you watch these documentaries? What do you get out of watching these sports, documentaries, or? Because they inspired you to do this. Did you watch them for inspiration or did inspiration come through watching?

Abi: I think about both.

Yeah. Yeah. I forget both works like, like now in the present, this is all I want to watch. Like is.

Matt: Just you want to watch sport or you want to watch like inspirational stories, documentaries of sport.

Abi: Yeah. Inspirational. So like a documentary of how people have like, progressed. So this is, I think this is kind of a very novice and small case of it, of being like. Then, and now, um, but that's, that's kind of what I wanted out a bit more for my own

Matt: watching your own progression

Abi: progression. Yeah. Like, you know, if you're going for a weight loss and people would take pictures of before and now. Yeah. Because yeah. In the moment you might not think you might still go, Oh, well, you know, I still feel exactly the same, but then if you put those two pictures up next to each other, you're like, Oh wow.

I've come quite a long way actually

Matt: you never notice your own hair growing till all of a sudden you go, my head is now long.

Abi: Yeah. So it's a little bit like that.

Matt: Okay. So you decided I'm going to do a triathlon.

Abi: I'm going to do a triathlon. I'm going to go for the goal. I want to tackle the demons that may be, would have held me back previously of just having unbelievably high standards or expectations of myself.

Matt: So where you stop yourself doing things because you have high standards that you just you'd rather not do it, then not meet your own standards.

Abi: Yeah. I think a lot of people will have that. I think you have so many ideas in your head and then you just think, well, I'm not going to be able to do that. So I'm not going to do it right or the way I want it.

Um, which is why I think I never gave myself a time to aim for, I never looked at anybody else's times or it was all kind of just go as hard as you can do your training, tick the boxes, see where you are.

So just you're racing you all the time, beating you all the time.


Matt: So let's look at this blog. Your first topic headline is progression. You say up until October 2019, you never really thought about progression. Is that because you saw things is just like start and finish. Like everything's just a completion thing. So you never think about personal development or

Abi: no, especially, I think when it comes to change the mindset, like, I think I'm a completely different person now.

Matt: Yeah, definitely.

Abi: But yeah. As well, I saw a really different side of myself that almost wound myself up. And like, almost like out of body experiences of being like, that's not how you want to react to that situation, or that's not how you want to behave. Um, and I've always thought of myself as like calm, cool and ...

Matt: Yeah. Collected with a great sense of humour. Hello.

Abi: That's put a little bit of a. Positive vibe on my own blog

Matt: little spin on my very, very mental health-related blog episode one.

Abi: But actually like that is exactly what I wanted to change. And like I say, I'm a different person. Now. I listen to so many podcasts and try and read a lot of things about changing your mind and, and making situation a positive one.

And. Not do it for anybody else or live by anybody else's rules

Matt: Yeah, I’ll attest to that even myself, my own kind of ups and downs over time. There's a point where blaming yourself or blaming everything around you doesn't change anything at all. And you have to kind of get yourself mentally prepared to do it on your own.

Abi: Yeah, and I think it's also come like reading this. It's come at a time where I have worked really hard to get where I wanted to be, not knowing the whole time where I wanted to be. And then having a little bit of freedom to play with whatever, a choice of just doing whatever you want. And then you put that time in you haven't got any guilt to be anywhere else or.

To do anything else. There's no essays. There's no, there's no shift work and it's kind of just, that's your career now. Like you're happy. You're settled. They're like, what's your challenge. What's going to make you better.

Matt: Okay. So you've really like. Opened up at a wider view on life, right? I've you changed your career twice retrained as a massage therapist, and then added another skill on top of that and trained as a personal trainer got the job. And then this was like, right. Everything at the moment is settled. It's up to me to push myself. And that's, that's you all of a sudden you had an awareness, a better awareness of what progression was?

Abi: Yeah, for sure.

Matt: You also wrote about the idea from dr. Steve Peters? Is that the Chimp paradox guy?

Abi: Yeah. So I think this comes a lot with, um, what you understand as meditation of being able to actually listen to your thoughts and not shut them out, even if they're bad.

Matt: Yeah.

Abi: You have to have an opportunity to like, listen to all perspective of how you're going to react to a situation

Matt: 360 of your emotions. Right.

Abi: And then come up with a plan of where to go with it. Yeah. Which I think there's like the smallest things that you can change. Which is like how you react. If someone pulled out in front of you in a car, this is the biggest one that always turned back to because I was, I've been that person who has just sat in the car and just screamed in my car at the person in front.

Who one, can't hear you, two, if they can see you doing what you're doing, like if you're putting your fingers up and stuff, one, you look so prophetic and it doesn't change what they're doing. And if anything, like. They're just, they're laughing that they've wound you up so much. Yeah. And then,

Matt: So that's your screaming metaphor for life.

If you scream at something that is almost out of your control and you let yourself get riled up to the point that you embarrass yourself

Abi: only affecting you,

Matt: literally only affecting you. You'll never know if that person goes home is like, Oh, someone swore at me. You just never know, and it's completely out of your control. And yet it can put you in a rage.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: So do you think now that you have better control of these things? I mean, you wrote this last year,

Abi: way more chilled than I was last year.

Matt: So this is good.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: We are actually checking off some boxes of things you wanted to accomplish from triathlon.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: Without even doing one, uh, what are the other themes?

Uh, use it.

Abi: Well, that's kind of reiterating of control basically saying like, if you keep practising, how are you going to change something? It will become habitual. So if you keep, if I keep going back to being like, it doesn't matter, doesn't matter. Like in the end, you're going to believe it doesn't matter.

Matt: Right. But do you feel that you might have approached it? Uh, Like a fake it till you make it. Like, you didn't really believe it, but you just faked it until you made it or

Abi: back to like where I said, listen to your thoughts. Like I said before like I've always thought. I've always thought that I was all that cooler person.

So if I have an instant reaction, that's like a bit more yeah. Angry, which I like, I think I wasn't like a lot of situations because it was just, it's kind of, again, it's like a habitual thing and it is an easier one to go to, to be like, blame it on something and

Matt: Yeah. You're saying like, you, you need to keep rehearsing this like change of attitude or change of mindset, change response. You need to do

Abi: basically practice the way you want to be.

Matt: Yeah. Be the person you want to be. Yeah. Work out who you want to be. Yeah. Which interesting. You said you didn't know where you wanted to go. You didn't know what you wanted to do, but you gave yourself a challenge in the hope that you would deal with these things that you want to kind of get straight. Contemplation.

You're not a fan of meditation. It's not something you want to partake in.

Abi: I like the ideas about and thoughts of it, but I think that. But we do yoga. Don't we? And at the end of yoga, they give you like two minutes of, of like chill time. And even then I get fidgety and I can sit down for a long period of time and like just chill out and not do much.

But if you gave me the task of sitting down and doing nothing. I like it. And maybe that comes with not liking my own thoughts or something, which would benefit. I did do meditation, basically. I think lots of people who do it would say I would benefit from it.

Matt: Yeah. I think you would, but I don't think anyone should go into meditation unless they've got the right reasons to do it.

Yeah. Because otherwise you will sit there and I've done this, you'll sit and you'll be impatient and you'll just be like, well, I just need to get this over. And then. You do 20 to 25 minutes of meditation because you told yourself you do it. And then you, all you're doing then is sitting and you spend the whole time sitting, waiting to go and do the next thing. And that completely defeats the object.

Abi: Yeah. And my situation now, I think that I'm quite comfortable. There's not really much, sorry. I would say like, Oh, you really need to like, change this about you or you need to like, Calm yourself down or pull your finger out. Something like I liked the fact that I'm very chilled and I liked the fact that I am kind of content.

Matt: Yeah. So your introspection or contemplation led you to, I need a new goal.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: I know what I'm going to do.

Abi: Yeah. Triathlon,

Matt: triathlon, I guess, triathlon being an endurance sport leads us onto your next topic, which is mind over matter. Have you always struggled with like, stopping where you've said that you stopped before you start?

Abi: Stop before I start, I was probably more mental and then. Again, this might be more mental as well, but like if I was going to go out for a run, uh, you know, I think everyone gets this, but like their first, like 20 minutes were just like in pain and they're like, Oh, it hurts. I just want to stop. I would probably stop or just concentrate so much on that moment.

And then think that I'm unfit and then have the negative playlist in my head going round and round a band like. Right. Why bother

Matt: why do this? Why are you trying?

Abi: Or even like getting out the door sometime is like, like you've got put on your shoes, you got to do this

Matt: this commitment,

Abi: do a warm up.

Matt: This commitment was literally giving me again, the opportunity to habitually fight your own mind. Every time you went out and trained.

Abi: Yeah.

Matt: You got some good examples in here Fiona Oaks. It was a good documentary. The woman is basically bat shit crazy.

Abi: She eats one meal a day and she works on the, her, animal farm for rescue animals

Matt: horses?

Abi: all animals

So she works all day at on a farm and she would go and do her like running training, which is just miles and miles. And then she adds the fact that she doesn't have any knee caps.

Matt: shes got no knee caps and she says repeatedly in a documentary, she dislikes running,

Abi: oh yeah she doesn't like running,

Matt: running, and she's got world records for running marathons, everywhere, North pole or crazy deserts.

Abi: And she'll do it because she wants to win the prize money to pay for the animal sanctuary. Didn't she?

Matt: So it's just, it's the most selfless, but insanely selfless. She must be able to raise money another way, but. Turns out she's good at running. So she just does that. And that she's a real demonstration of mind over matter.

She doesn't think about it. She just puts her shoes on and goes.

Abi: Yeah. Dan, Luke.

Matt: Yeah, we talked about Luke. Luke Tyburski was the ultra marathon and he really likes football.

Abi: Morocco to Monica. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah. Not Morocco to Mexico funny that.

Abi: But his goal was to do that. And he literally was so bad. He was so tired like crawled across the finish line.

Matt: Yeah, he was, he was broken. So I guess other people would watch that documentary and think, well, that's why I don't do these things. Cause, look how hurt that man is. But you didn't, you went, yeah. I want to have that mindset.

Abi: I didn't choose ultra, did I?

Matt: No not yet, but yet there's still time.

Abi: Uh, and then Alex Honnold is the free solo climber.

Matt: Yeah, that's a great doc as well.

Abi: I think the thing that stood out for me was the fact that he was out to do El Capitan and he's obviously he's got this production company with him who are filming him 24-7, and waiting for him to climb this wall. Yeah. And he's got to try and make the decision of the best time to go.

Like the actual time, it's not going to be damp or is going to kill it. Or he's like, not feeling very strong. So he's got to think about that. And he's got to think about. They're going to have to get me on camera. So the pressure of

Matt: obligation, massive obligation.

Abi: That's the thing of being like I say, I'm going to do something, so I'm going to do it.

I, so I'm going to do something it's fucking dangerous and it needs to look good and everyone needs to be ready for what I could do it.

Matt: I can't imagine that pressure of like, you know, when kids are on holiday with their parents, they go, mummy look at me, mummy look at me, mummy look at me. And sometimes when they look, they just don't know what to do.

That would be me like, Hey everyone, I'm going to climb this wall. I would never, I wouldn't be able to do it because everyone's looking at you.

Abi: Yeah. I like so distracting as well,

Matt: but it is that mind over matter or do people have a different genetic makeup to allow them to not consider the rest of the world around?

Not in a rude way.

Abi: He did stop in there a couple of times and actually went home. It with that with the cameraman and stuff that who were ready to film him. Yeah.

Matt: And then your last thing you said in your blog, just yesterday, I trained with my pal. Ah, okay. We won’t delete these blogs. They're here for eternity. They're in stone. That's cute with your pal, a painful endurance of ski-erg, wall balls and burpees and box jumps.

Abi: I think that was Thomas.

Matt: Was that Thomas?

Abi: Think so

Hi Thomas, he won’t listen to this

Matt: No

yeah. Tell me what it says here. My mind went straight to the end. I'm not doing that last bit. No way.

Abi: Um, so it was kind of like what I would call it. it's like a chipper now, but basically, you have a certain amount of reps of each exercise and then you've got to go back and get it done. So basically you started off with, I think it was 30 calories on the ski erg, and then you had to do. 30 wall balls and then 30 box jumps and then go back and do 30 calories on the ski erg.

So that seemed like quite a lot to me is like 80 calories.

I'd probably take, you wrote about five minutes, which is quite horrible. If you've ever been on one of the ski ergs, it's just kind of like a, uh, a vertical rowing machine. Um,

Matt: they're not fun.

Abi: And. Just in my head already. I was just thinking, yeah, I'm going to bypass that last bit

Matt: and bypass the buyout.

Abi: Yeah. Just,

Matt: you just, weren't going to do it.

Abi: I was already giving myself an out and I'm almost let myself accept that. Yeah. Yeah.

Matt: But you did it.

Abi: I did it. And that sort of mindset is why I wanted to be a little bit more, um,

Matt: immediate to find exactly. It's in there or you wanted it.

Abi: Yeah. And I don't want to keep, I don't want to keep coming up to those situations of being like, you don't need to do that. You don't need to finish it. This is good enough. Well, not like you've given yourself the challenge do it.

Matt: Okay. So you're really capitalizing on your competitive streak in you there. Some people would say, Oh, don't be so hard on yourself. Just try. Well, you're saying it's no step up, get it all done. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to get it done, but never say I won't do anything.

Abi: Yeah. That's a big thing as well. Is that it doesn't matter how long it's gonna take you. Just get it done

Matt: Because this is something living with Abi. This is one of the things that comes up is she doesn't really want to know how well or badly other people have done, because you're not doing it for anyone else. That measurement that yardstick actually almost wind you up because you'd hate to have a yardstick that makes you,

Abi: I think it's cause I'm so competitive.

Matt: Right.

Abi: And then if I can't do. As well as I think I can. And then disappointed

Matt: before you've even tried it yet. And you think it's unobtainable by you? Yeah. And that's it? Yeah.

Abi: Yeah. Which is fine. If, like, if I measure myself up against like an elite athlete, Emma. Oh, well, I really, I think we're putting out more weaknesses of me now than when I was when I was mid-October

Matt: Tri-Me tape one, we're going to expose all of Abi's weaknesses. This is why she started it. And this is why it isn't over, because she has not solved all the problems. It's a journey. You've I love your little thing at the bottom. Anxiety alert. Already thinking this is a big mistake.

Abi: Oh, this is my thought. I'll make myself look like a Muppet. My injury will reappear.

God, I cannot speak my injury. Will reappear

Matt: try again.

Abi: Oh, come to the realization that I've got no natural ability for any of those three disciplines and I'm going to have to. Go backwards to be able to move forwards. So basically start from the absolute beginning of the skill of running or the skill of getting on a bike or swimming, which I saw I was good at.

Matt: You thought you were good at? Why are you saying that now?

Abi: Just in that moment of, of thinking about the sport, I thought that, that one, that one part of the sport I'd be okay. Yeah. I'm not going to say that. I wasn't, I'm just

Matt: I'm fishing for seeing where you're at. So Tri-Me tape one mindset, Abi's start. Fin!

Abi: What are we talking about?

Matt: Ending the tape.

Thank you for listening to the Tri-Me tapes. Don't forget to subscribe, to hear the rest of the tapes. If you'd like to give us a review, please head to or to share your athletic adventure. Join us on Facebook at

Abi: Maybe I need a really cheesy introduction.

Matt: Yeah.

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