Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Planting the Seed

Somewhere, deep within us, we have the innate need to connect. I think we satisfy that need in various ways depending on our background, history or surroundings.  If we're talking about people, or even nature around us, after sitting in a cubicle for long enough we want to break out like a rash.

I don't think we were meant to be caged. I don't think we were meant to function in the PC correct environment all the time where we have to dot our I's and cross our T's and see the world through a fluorescent light haze.

Granted, I know that we have a need for productivity and our Country requires a certain amount of this to survive, but man, do I wonder how people don't go nuts sometimes (or aka how I didn't).  I think the world of triathlon lends itself to forming those connections, whether it be through the internet via blogs or Facebook and eventually at actual races or whether it be the connect with nature that we get to experience when we're out there riding over the hills, swimming through the lakes and running by green pastures or through trails within a forest.  We NEED these things, we have a longing for that connection because our world hinders that kind of a connection on a daily basis.  It's all emails and staring a screen and such!

My husband is adamant about our garden this year and I'm right there with him. Not so much on the planting side of things.  I've got my work cut out for me with my own three to four jobs that including everything from being a coach, to professional triathlete to dietitian to consultant.

 Tomato plants happy to be in the ground! 

 Green onions!
 I can taste the tomato and basil salad with olive oil right now!

 Apple trees (those are going to be a few more years yet!)

Maybe it was because when we moved into this house we met the Amish family who lived here before that had approximately ONE year of food stored up in jars lining the walls in the entry way.  No matter the reason, I'm pretty dang excited when he plants those seeds about what we have to look forward to this summer.

I've been planting a little too! :)  Just not the garden!

Last year he was a bit of a novice and planted 30 tomato plants.  Seemed like a reasonable number of plants to me, I told him! Neither of us knew it would produce enough tomatoes to keep a large cohort of Italian women busy for a year making spaghetti sauce!  We had well over 500 of the smaller Roma tomatoes!

Garvin, Top Gear's Finest doing bike fits for our athletes

This past weekend I had a chance to connect in another way.  Three other coaches and I spent a weekend planting seeds of knowledge with a group of triathletes ranging from beginner to intermediate on everything from heart rate training, to power, to nutrition, to recovery.  It was the first annual SAVAGE TRI CAMP and boy was it awesome on so many levels!

Cindy & Karen celebrating a great day! 
Showing Sarah how to "find her power" using her lat muscles

We spend mid-afternoon Friday through Sunday hanging with some very cool folks and got to learn about their personalities and really understand their struggles with the sport, as well as, their drive to continue to achieve their goals.  After swim and run video analysis, some great training and lots of amazing fellowship we left a bit better people, all of us. The seeds planted have a very bright future if nurtured and cared for in the future.  Just connecting with people who are where I was about 3 years ago was really fun.  We didn't have all the answers, but most of us had a story or two to empathize, lend a hand or just listen with a willing ear.  It was well worth my time and reaffirmed once again that I'm right where I need to be just now!

Open water swims x 2 in beautiful Deep Creek! Thanks to Powerbar for sponsoring the camp! Also a huge huge thank you to Kyle, Jen and Garvin from Top Gear, as well as, my three fellow Coaches Jeremy, Matt and Chad for making this camp a SMASHING success!  We just had a blast! You can read more comments from the athletes themselves on our Facebook Page.  Great responses!

With that said, it's race time once again.  I can't believe how fast it's come! This weekend I'll head to Cambridge, Maryland to try my hand once again at this new pro thing!  This time I come in a bit more prepared and yet recovering from a sickness that just hasn't wanted to leave my body until I finally forced it out with an antibiotic.  There were times this past weekend where I felt like I was wearing a snot-coat rather than a regular jacket while I was riding!  One athlete commented that he was glad he wasn't the one to do my laundry! Roger that! Sinus infection or no sinus infection, I think the bit of work I've done over the past two months is solid.  Is it enough to pull off some stellar performance that validates the fact that I should be competing as a pro, well, that's a much trickier question, but I'd say the further I get in this journey the more I realize the factors that have to come together are vast for me to have a day at this level.  Mostly, this year is going to have to be about planting seeds and not getting too too caught up in the outcomes.  If I can LEARN how to race and slowly but surely have the "mental fitness" that it's going to take to show my "physical fitness" then that in itself will be a huge victory!  Taming the beast that is our mind is a whole psychology class in itself!

It's nice to have a coach by my side this time that understands the demands of what I'm trying to do and can design an appropriate plan that I don't have to "think" about too much!  Until then, I'll just keep planting those seeds hoping that someday it will be time for a harvest.  Too early to tell now when that will be!

I think Kelly Williamson had a great blog post that said it best this past week when recapping her experience at Quassy Rev 3 Half "Every time we step up, we put ourselves on the line.  We'll either succeed Brilliantly, or we'll fail miserably (or of course fall somewhere in between).  That is part of it.  It's nerve-wracking, it's scary, and especially if we have doubts, it's even more daunting.  But how do we learn how deep we can dig if we quit or even fail to start?"

Agreed Kelly.  Let's plant those seeds and see how they grow shall we?

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