I've been struggling a bit in a number of different ways lately. One is the with this heat. One of the things about this heat wave we've been having though is that it certainly doesn't care about me, or what I have to do to survive it. It has no mercy and is not interested in helping me or anyone else out. Who else has been enduring 93 degrees and feels like 100+ with the humidity! We PA kids are just not cut out for this!!
I've also been struggling a bit with some of the mental aspects of all of this, the balance.. and losing it, and of course finding it. The dynamic of my lifestyle has changed, and while it's awesome and I love it for the most part, it also has had to bring about a different mindset along with it!
I remember the days of working 9-5pm. Of course I was up at the butt-crack of dawn every day trying to get 2.5+ hours in before work every day, napping in my car at noon, they called me the human garbage can at work (ha ha funny funny.. that hasn't really changed, I still eat people's leftovers sometimes!). After work I would change in my office, rush out the door, floor it to get to the park and train for another 2-3 hours all the while bitching about if I just had enough time I would be as fast as the other girls, or I would do this different, or I would do that different. In my mind, I would recover more, eat better, be smarter, sleep more, and of course, do my workouts perfectly. If I only had more time.. everything would be different. If only I was in charge of the schedule, everything would work out perfectly. These spout off sessions would happen upon any one's ears that would listen.. especially Kyle. He endured them all.
When this opportunity finally arose and all signs pointed in this one direction I knew in my heart I had to seize the day. This was it, my chance, my dream, my wildest wants and desires.. what could I really do.. maybe we would finally have the chance to see.
I do make my own schedule and I do have a very important job.. to be the best coach, athlete, dietitian and consultant that I can be. I have not one job now, but four. What I thought would be easy because I was in charge has come with its own completely new set of challenges. For starters, people think because I work from home, that I don't work. It's been difficult to get that point across that I am working, so stopping over to socialize is nice, but not super productive for me!
Other issues, getting to see Kyle more... awesome.. and yet, I'm staying up later. It's not his fault, but he's a night owl and I like to see him when he's not mowing the lawn or watering the garden which is usually after 8:45pm. Hence, I tend to be less rigid with my bed time and not as great about getting up at 5:00-5:30 like I used to. The 6:00-6:30am waking time has proved a bit of a problem with the pool times.
Finally, the mental aspect of all of it is a whole new dynamic that should be easier, and yet sometimes is much harder. Before I had excuses, I had reasons why things couldn't go perfectly.. concrete reasons.. it was work's fault, it was the fact that I had to travel, it was all the responsibilities I had out of work. I still have PLENTY of responsibilities outside of work mind you.. but I have more ways to work them in.. so no excuses honey. I also find myself working at all hours of the day and night with much less separation in my personal time vs. work time. I work from 7:00am when the first athlete texts me to 9:30pm when I finally get the last email answered. Sure, there's two hour breaks in there to do other things, but it gets to the point where Kyle will have to say "hey, stop working!!"
Shouldn't I be doing everything perfectly now? I ask myself that all the time. Why do I... still mess things up, have to occasionally move workouts, stay up too late with my friends, stand on my feet for 10 hours getting ready for a family party at our house until my ankles swell up and hurt? What am I really doing if I'm not all in? Am I all in? What does that mean? Does it mean giving up any social time that I have? What does it take to get to the next level of this sport? Am I really prepared to make the sacrifices that is going to take? Right now I feel like I'm 92% in, but what about that other 8%? Am I ready for that? Will it make the difference? Is that difference worth it?
I the ability to make some more executive decisions about my time, but am I willing to bend my life around triathlon in all completeness? Correction, am I ready for triathlon to be the center of my life besides God & Kyle and am I willing to give up any other aspect necessary to make it work..
That's a question I can't answer yet. I'm not sure what will help me know if I'm ready.. or where the balance lies for me personally. I think it's different for every person, but for me, I'm only willing to give this part of my life so much time.. if that time is going to really be the best it can.. am I ready to go all in.. miss events that are important to me to go to bed, time with my friends, social events, bring my own food to parties? Am I really ready for that?? I don't know.. it's too early to tell.
What's it going to take to get to the next level? Do I have the talent or the discipline to even entertain it? What else do I want in life...
If you aren't asking yourself the important questions, the hard questions all the time.. then you are doing yourself a disservice. No matter what we are talking about here, it's important to examine your heart.. listen to that voice inside you.. sit quietly enough for it to actually get a word in edgewise. It's there for a reason. It was designed to help you find your path and to also help steer you in another direction if you happen to be off on someone else's path wondering around lost in the dark.
We are all searching.. we are all wondering.. we are all alone, but we are together in that. I'd like to tell you that it's been all roses since I've been down this new road, but it's brought about just as many questions as it has answers.. I'm loving the journey, but I still believe for both Kyle and I's sake I had better start getting a sense of how I'm handling it from here forward.
I don't regret this decision for one second though.. it's a wonderful blessing and a gift.. until I figure out my place in all of it, I think I'll just keep taking it day by day.. listening and praying for answers.. being thankful for the gifts and getting ready for race day..
11 days to Lake Placid.. I'll race an Ironman in 11 days.. I'll be treading water on the starting line with 15+ other professional female triathletes in 11 days. Today, these are the days for soul searching.. because when the time comes.. their will be no room for questions.. only answers.. and you had better have them ready...