Another year, another adventure

Getting back into the routine and grind of training can be a bittersweet journey. My mind and body have long been ready for structure and a break from being on a break. The off-season provided some much needed time to fly by the seat of my pants, indulge and otherwise float along free and without constraints. And while it was good for me, I also came to the realization that structure works in my favour. Without it my life is one giant zig-zagging swirl, much like a carefree child running after dandelions in the wind. It’s fun and freeing for a short while, but eventually I have to float back down to reality. So, here I am, looking ahead to the new year with a plan in my mind, challenges on the horizon and an uncharted path to carve out.  Despite being my second Ironman year, I have no doubt this one will become unique in its own way. There will be new milestones, new tests, new triumphs and new stories to tell.
On December 7, the start to the season was kicked off with a swim. As I do at the beginning of every year, I pulled my bathing suit off the back of the bathroom door for the first time in months. It’s the dreaded moment of putting back on a bathing suit that may or may not fit. As tradition goes, the straps felt tight and my ass seemed large.
Once at the pool, I shuffled half asleep onto the deck with my hoodie still on and looked through my half open eyes at the turquoise still water. As with every first day back, I pondered whether the pool was longer or not. Either way, it didn’t matter, if I procrastinated any longer my coach would have dropped kicked me in, so I eventually lowered myself into the cool water and kicked off the wall. Despite always being the last one in, the water is my favourite place. While some of our training sessions here can be gruelling hard work, it has also been a place of healing for me and I always look forward to the first day back at the pool.

In just the first few weeks of my new training schedule, I’ve already felt in familiar territory but I’ve also realized I’m starting in a different place. My mindset is more focused, my knowledge and experience base has broadened and with each start to the new season, I’m stronger than the last.
As 2016 begins, I’m at the beginning of another year of many unknowns and unchartered territory, but that’s the beauty of celebrating the start to a new year. I get a blank canvas, and I look forward to painting it with all the patterns and all the colours.  2016 will be my year of adventure – in work, in play, and in everything that comes my way.

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