Bumps in the road

Life is bumpy. I haven’t yet decided if I’m Ok with that or not. Sure it keeps me on my toes but smooth and straight, predictable and comfortable are kind of a reassuring thing. Right now, I don’t like bumpy. Right now, I want comfort and ease. I’ve thrown myself a curve ball (we are often guilty of the bumps we face) with a major change and I’m struggling to get back on track. Back on track with sleep, training and figuring out what I’m doing with myself. I’m in a major slump and I have yet to see the light. I thought my first swim back on Monday and a new job would reinvigorate me and recharge my batteries but there was nothing. I had visions of dipping my feet in the cool water and feeling alive again, and sparking back the motivation for my dreams, yet I was a fizzling engine as my tears of sadness just melted with the chlorinated water and disappeared. It was a punch to the gut, and the ensuing workout was a floundering mess like Dory without her Nemo. The rest of the week has been much of the same as my emotions yo-yo, going from loud and bright to quiet and dark. The loneliness, confusion, stress, and worry, and unknown have made me feel sick to my stomach. The long nights where I lie awake watching the numbers on the clock tick away are pure torture.
I know that with time though I will smooth out the bump and I will look back on the darkness with a new perspective and strength but as for now I just want things to be normal. Right now I am longing for laughter as I experiment with new training tools, or a smile as I accomplish something I never thought I could. Those are the moments in this journey that make it worthwhile. Sitting on my ass and dwelling on what was, or could have been, or choices that I made, is not what it’s about. I know I just need a swift kick in the ass but I need it sooner than later because Ironman doesn’t wait for the laggers. Tomorrow starts a new day, and maybe as I dip my toes into the cool water, I will feel that charge I have been desperately seeking for the past week. Maybe tears of happiness will collide with the water and I will feel strong again. Maybe I will sink or wish I was sinking. Maybe it will be good and the next day will be bad. Or maybe as my mom has always said, I just need to put on my big girl panties and get over it. But either way, I’m not giving up, because Ironman also doesn’t accept quitters and I have a journey to complete.


Changes are on the horizon

I’ve never been one to set resolutions in the New Year. I’ve always just thought of January as another month, where the numbers turn over and a bunch of people start swearing they’ll lose weight, go to the gym, be nicer, and overall become better people. We still have a few weeks to go in 2013, but with or without resolutions, I already know that 2014 is going to bring a lot of change into my life. I just accepted a new job, and I am over the moon with excitement that I will be embarking on a new journey with new challenges. Anyone who knows me knows I need change, and I need it often, otherwise life becomes too predictable. More importantly, though, this new job breathes new life into my training. For the last five and half years I have worked in the wildfire business, where summers are nothing but flames, planes and fire trucks. Between on-call shifts and 12-14 hour work days for three weeks at a time from May to October, the summer can leave me with few precious hours for anything else, let alone, swimming, biking, or running. But come January 6, 2014, I will have my summers back, which means I can focus all of my energy during my spare time on reaching the goals I’ve been dreaming about for the past year. No more 10pm swims after my on-call shift is over, no more running with the Blackberry attached to my hip, no more wondering if the next big fire will interfere with my next big race, no more riding the bike while talking on the cell phone (which, I might add, has almost led to some epic crashes). During race season, my life revolved around work, and I have spent a lot of time over the last year wondering if I could ever reach my goals, especially an Ironman distance triathlon, while working those kinds of hours.  In fact, there were times when it seemed impossible. Now I feel like a weight has been lifted, and it’s one less thing to think about. Now when I see smoke in the air, the only thing I’m going to worry about is how the particulates will affect my lungs during training, not about when my phone will start ringing.