The beginning is not the time to quit

It’s one thing to have a dream, but to endure through the battle of getting there is the true test. The ups and downs are like navigating a roller coaster through the dark, and every twist and turn, upside down and right side up are completely unpredictable. I am only three weeks into this year’s training and I’ve already been through enough ups and downs to last the entire season. I have shed 30 seconds off my 800 TT’s in the pool, for the first time ever I have found rhythm in my running, and my legs have never felt more powerful on the bike. But in my success I have also found failure. A rocky start to the New Year has thrown me in a tail spin of self doubt where I have questioned every aspect of… well, every thing. There have been sleepless nights, confusion, indecisiveness, and I am constantly plagued by a jittery inability to relax, sit still or otherwise feel like espresso isn’t shooting through my veins. Which is ideal for pumping out two or three killer workouts a day, but much more unproductive for most everything else. I have also felt the consequences of physical pain. After destroying the bike in a two hour session this morning, I immediately hit the pavement for a run when I was greeted by a stabbing pain that shot up through my body like a knife. I grimaced through every step and instantly my head was teeming with negativity and frustration. My shin splints have returned. This is a huge step backwards. I was so patient, which is exceedingly difficult for me, and I have been waiting with my running, waiting until I was 100% and now here I am, right back to where I was. I can’t afford to falter now; not ever. As my timer signalled the end of the run, I hobbled gingerly and painfully back to my car, opened the door, and the floodgates of tears rushed down my face. With my forehead resting on the steering wheel, I sobbed tears of disappointment and anger onto the muddy floor beneath my feet. The whole half of my body felt numb and ached in an uncomfortable pain. Immediately I began to question myself. This isn’t even half of the physical challenges that lie ahead of me. photo (5)This is supposed to be the easy part. This is supposed to be the beginning to an amazing, fulfilling journey. So far, it’s eating me alive.
My father has been a constant reminder that I will face wonderful successes along the road but that I must be prepared to face defeat, and injury. It is inevitable that when you push yourself that at some point you will find a limit. I fully understand and appreciate the road I am embarking upon, I just didn’t think the obstacles would come so soon. I am only into the base building of my training and the thought of struggling at this point is unbearable. The snow hasn’t even melted yet and my mind is rushing with thoughts of defeat. If I can’t get through this, what lies ahead for me? In these moments though, I also remember that no one said this would be easy, at any point, beginning or end. Being defeated before you even begin is always guaranteed to end in failure.
Tomorrow starts a new week and with a little bit of patience and perseverance, I know I can start mending and getting back to where I need to be. I’m not ready to give up; in fact, it really isn’t an option. I’ll just bank this in the learning folder of life and keep trekking on, because even if my body wants to give out, I still have a mind of steel that won’t accept failure. If there isn’t something that kills me along this road, then I’m just going to keep going and going and going… But first I’m going to need an ice pack and maybe a few pain killers.

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