Managing Anxiety Leads to Greatness

Anxiety Busting Challenge ~ Day 15

Hola Anxiety Busters! We are halfway through the Anxiety Busting Challenge!

Today I’m so honored to introduce you to my friend, Stefanie Frank.

Stefanie has a very inspirational story for you today on day 15 of the Anxiety Busting Challenge. I have been loving reading all these inspiring stories and I hope you have been too. The Golden Nuggets have been so empowering and Stefanie has more nuggets to share with you today. Enjoy!


Managing Anxiety Leads To Greatness by Stefanie Frank

Anxiety Story

In 2007, anxiety ruled my life.

Having left a lucrative job in late 2005, I was waffling about starting a business. Truth be told I didn’t believe I had what it took to be in business.

In retrospect this can only be described as a horrific limbo.

Even today I shudder to think about it.

Fortunately . . .

At the height of this horrific limbo, in late 2006, I discovered the sport of triathlon.

At 38 years old, not knowing how to swim a stroke, having absolutely no background or experience in cycling or running, I decided to train for triathlon. Not just any triathlon . . . oh no. I decided to train for Silverman, a half iron distance triathlon known as one of the most grueling races out there.

There was absolutely no logical or rational basis for this decision. I received an intuitive hit about Silverman and acted on it.

The fact that I had the audacity to even think I could swim 1.2 miles, cycle 56 miles, then run 13.1 miles set the stage for huge, lasting change that I could not possibly fathom at the time.

However, it would be a long, hard road to the Silverman finish line.

I had severe anxiety around the swim, and around racing in general. It took what felt like forever to learn to swim in a pool and transferring those beginner skills to the open water felt impossible.

Anxiety kept me up nights before a race in cold sweat and panic. Anxiety about the swim had me pulled from the water during a race in 2007 and anxiety about racing in general stymied my efforts at every turn.

I signed up for five triathlons in 2007 but anxiety stopped me cold from completing even one of them. Three DNFs (did not finish) and two DNSs (did not start) was my 2007 race record.

Despite the many failures of 2007, an unseen force larger than me seemed to pull me forward.

With absolutely no evidence that any of it was possible (and plenty to show it wasn’t) I registered for five races again in 2008.

I also hired a new coach – someone caring and completely unafraid of working with an athlete who had precious little confidence. Noticing right away that my issues were not for lack of training, she helped me manage my anxiety around swimming and racing.

She helped me turn everything around.

When I crossed the finish line at Silverman on November 9, 2008 I became proof that when you overcome anxiety, anything truly is possible and that outlandish ideas can indeed become reality.


Golden Nuggets

  • When you receive an intuitive hit about something, or feel (as I did) an unseen force pulling you toward something, act on it! It may be hard. You may fail. But you’ll find out what you’re made of. And you’ll realize how strong and resilient and brilliant you are.
  • Persevere. Triathlon saved my life. I’m grateful every day that I persevered and did whatever it took to finish Silverman.
  • Get the right support. I worked with the wrong triathlon coach throughout 2007 – I don’t regret it because it helped me see very clearly what is possible with the right support! The right sports coach, the right business coach, the right lawyer, the right writer . . . the right support where and when you need it can truly help your dreams come true.


Your Challenge

  • Pay close attention to what you feel called to do – even if it seems totally preposterous, impossible, or just plain crazy.
  • Honor your inner wisdom and figure out a way you can take a small step toward that calling – one small step is all it takes to get some momentum. What follows could profoundly change your life in ways you can’t even imagine right now.


Stefanie Frank is an entrepreneur, triathlete, and former lawyer who lives, works and trains in southern Nevada. She writes website copy and content for lawyers, business coaches, and service professionals who own small businesses.

Stef creates continuity between what her clients want to achieve profit-wise and what readers of the content want and need to receive in order to buy.

Stef is currently training for Ironman Boise 70.3 and is entered in the lottery to win a slot to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Henderson, Nevada.

Learn about Stef’s business:

Follow Stef’s training:


image by blmurch’s via flickr

15 Responses to Managing Anxiety Leads to Greatness

  1. Awesome story Stephanie and one I can seriously relate to. I was 32 when I did my first triathlon. It was a short one but it was the one I found out I did not know how to swim in. I dog paddled.

    I went on to do 9 Ironmans, 2 in Kona at the World Championships! I was horribly afraid of the water and over came it!

    My article will be published in a few days and I’ve included a free download to the Anxiety Busting Tour to How to Swim Through Your Fears and Come Out a Champion.

    Mahalo for sharing.

  2. Petrea thank you! MTN bike racing is so impressive! Huge props to you for doing that!

    Long distance supported rides are GREAT — I’ve done a couple of them around here.

    What’s great about them is that it doesn’t matter what your speed is, the food is usually fabulous and there are usually multiple distances to choose from. All adding up to huge fun and a sense of accomplishment.

  3. Hi Stef – thanks for sharing your story! There’s so much juicy goodness and inspiration in this. And naturally, it’s very well-written as well :-) I enjoyed it. Marcy

  4. Stephanie you are so inspiring. I have been saying for years that I would like to do a triathalon but have not gone forward with it. (I have only done MTN bike races and that was over 10 years ago)

    After reading your story, I feel inspired to train for a race this year or even do a long distance ride…..Oh the possibilities!

  5. Tanja thank you! And good luck with your marathon that’s huge! What you say here: “Completing made a HUGE difference in what I believed was possible for me . . . ” is so key!

    I remember a completing a five hour bike ride followed by a 30 minute run six weeks before Silverman — when I completed that workout I could “see” myself crossing the finish line for the first time. It was a HUGE moment.

  6. A truly inspirational story, Stefanie! A tri is kinda sorta in my long-term future planning (I want to get a couple of marathons under my belt first though, and I’m doing the first of those in April this year)

    Although I haven’t experienced the level of anxiety you mention, I did sign myself up for a 100km-in-36-hours charity walk last year. Completing made a HUGE difference in what I believed was possible for me, and really made me feel as though I was embodying my mantra of “Fall down seven times, stand up eight”. I can only imagine what completing a tri – especially a half-iron tri – would be like!

  7. Tina thanks so much! I agree this is a fantastic blog series!

    Robyn, so glad this resonated for you — all the best on your new path and congratulations on what sounds like some breaking out of a comfort zone. :-)

  8. Hey Tina, thanks so much…I’ve been loving it too! I love learning about other peoples’ stories.

    Keep forging onward Robyn!

    Thank you both for stopping by and sharing!

  9. Wow… what an amazing story, and so timely for me, as I recently decided to go down a new path which scares me to death. Forging onward…

  10. what a fantastic triumph!! Stef – you are such an inspiration about working past anxiety and doing something life changing! Thank you for sharing your story.

    And Gina, this has been such a fantastic blog series!

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