Thursday, August 25, 2011

Every Day I'm Shufflin!

I can't believe I'm quoting a song called party rock anthem. Really Kim??! Yes, really. Well - it's catchy darn it! I find myself breaking into some little techno dance right in my car sometimes (when I have the energy, which is pretty rare these days!).

Did you ever wonder what motivates people? I sure do, all the time. For some people it's money, or power. For others it's improving the world or helping others. For still others its finding a peace about their life. What I've found from both coaching AND life is that people are very different in what provides that motivation. Of course, for many of us, it's putting better numbers on the board, making progress and occasionally, having a breakthrough training session and hopefully race.

What do you do in the dark time though. The times where you're barely balancing everything you have to do, with everything you want to do. When the world is demanding of your time and energy, but let's face it, there's only so much to go around right?!

I'm faced with this question all the time. Sometimes between work meeting that cut into my evenings, pool closings due to weather and even friend or family commitments I get down right disgruntled. I feel lost. I feel like I can't do it, that it's just to much. I try to take it day by day, but darn it, "how much more can I really fit in!!" I ask myself! Reading - PLEASE - no time. Watching TV - again.. laughter... not even close. Life is just too busy for our own good sometimes and the part we miss out on most - you guessed it - recovery.

As I was driving from my house to the airport to pick up business associates, after my 18 mile run yesterday sucking on a 20oz bottle filled with chocolate milk and shoving almonds in my mouth at mock two, I was thinking how nice it would have been to do an ice bath. How my legs were literally throbbing while I was sitting there in the car. There was JUST NO TIME. I could have got up at 4:00am to start, but I could only muster 5:30 because I felt a minimum of 7 hours sleep would get me through long day ahead. Sometimes, something - has got to give.
Ironman training will beat you down. It will wear you out physically and mentally. It will push the limits of what you and your family and friends consider acceptable. If you're like me, you'll miss workouts sometimes just because you'll try, but they just won't happen or sometimes, you'll just say _____ it just because you're tired of trying so hard and killing yourself.
That's when it comes back to the why. It's the same why as on race day, the same why you'll probably think 723,390 times over the course of 10+ hours as the sun beats down on you back and you pop salt tablets like they are candy.

For me, the why is complicated. It changes slightly from year to year, early season to late season. It's a combination of all of these different reasons that sum up how I feel about my life and all the time I spend putting into this ONE thing. It doesn't make it any easier, it just makes it bearable at times when I'm up yet again at dark o'clock, pulling countless yards in the pool or on my bike seat until my hiney / women parts actually feels like they will fall the freak off.
I don't even know if I could put the "why" into words if I tried.. the best I can do is say I believe I'm doing this, all of this, for a reason.... if that reason changes or just doesn't seem right anymore, I'll do something else. So all the "when are you going to __ insert - settle down, have kids, be more normal" you can put that in your pipe and lite it up!

For now, only God knows why I've seem to have been given the combination of glutton for punishment, extremely hard worker and a tieensy tiny bit of talent that has me totally in love with this sport and the people in it. The fact that I can do something I love AND help others like Ryan Ballou and our Ballou Skies team raise money, well, that pretty much sums it up for me at this time. Sometimes I'm gutting it out on the treadmill thinking about the finish of the ironman, and sometimes all the motivation I need is a big old steak dinner or ice cream after the workout is over!

Whatever your why is, figure it out, make peace with it, and keep it in mind when life really starts to bite you in the hiney. Sure, back out of a workout here or there.. it's good for you.. go shopping or spend time with the people you love instead. That's part of sport, that's normal, THAT my friends is a good thing.

If you're not enjoying it, and not motivated to do it - don't. There's no reason to keep pushing yourself to do something you're just not into. Sometimes we go through phases and we need a break. Go ahead, give yourself one. It's ok..

No matter what you love to do though.. keep on shufflin.. life sure is good, and even when it's bad.. because of the people that surround us with love and understanding.. it's still pretty darn good.


Alexa said...

GREAT POST! I love this! I can totally relate.. especially since my training partner veto-ed my planned trip to Darien Lake (an amusement park in Western NY) because it was a week before IM Wisconsin and I should be "resting." I almost started crying because I get frustrated that I sometimes have to do the things that I want to do for Ironman.. but would I ever give it up - nope!

Steve said...

I like this update a lot. I think one main reason, is yeah, why do we do what we do? I think you training like you do is just as good as anything else.

"little talent" ??? My ass missy, you izzzz fricken good. :)

Keep up the good work. :)


BriGaal said...

Ugh, I like that song, too. *palm to face* Embarrassing! But I totally turn it up and bop around my seat when it comes on.

Libby said...

oh my god thank you for writing this. feeling so many similar things. so glad you were able to put it into words for me. this post is exactly where I have been mentally lately!!!
can't wait to meet you in kona!!

Dr. TriRunner said...

At least you didn't quote the Black Eyed Peas and the line about steppin' on leprechauns...


My dad and I were actually having this conversation this morning. I thought of a T-shirt (or maybe it was a poster...?) I saw at a race: "Obsessed is the word the unmotivated use to describe the dedicated." Sometimes I have to ask myself (/teammates/all my athlete friends) the same thing... are we obsessed? Or dedicated? In the eye of the beholder, I suppose. But it still comes back to the WHY.

I think the WHY changes over time. Right now my why is way different than what it was when I was still doing marathons. I can't always pinpoint what the WHY is in the moment... but damn I'm glad it's there. :) Good post Kim!

Jamie said...

Live would be a lot easier without it, but that doesn't mean it would be as fun, rewarding or fulfilling.

It is easy to just float through life. it is also easy to be completely miserable with your life.