On Friday evening I had the honor of being a guest on Yanking Chains… which is a fun new podcast / video series that my friends Maria, Vince and Matt host. I got to chat with them for about an hour about all things triathlon. It really made me realize just how long I have been in this sport, the amazing things that I have somehow been able to do, the elbows I have gotten to rub…. and my place in the future. I felt like Maria could have been my therapist as I navigate this whole…. what on earth am I doing now?
Vince asked me if I am burned out on triathlon. It’s really the first time anyone has asked me that directly, and I was surprised that I admitted…. yes. Yes I am. I told him what I really do feel….. when I get to announce someone across the finish line…. it doesn’t matter if it’s first or last place…. I get so excited. My own finish lines these days feel….. ho hum. I have just crossed so many and trust me, I am so lucky that I got to cross all of them.
Maria said something that really resonated when she said “It sounds like you aren’t done with learning a new craft…” and she really hit it on the head for me (I swear this was a big therapy session for me). She was right. My passion for getting to that finish line first has ever so slowly been eroded by the passion for learning new sports.
Since turning 40 I have learned to speed skate, XC ski, stand up paddle board, and I have gotten back into downhill skiing. I grabbed a pair of telemark skis with skins (for skiing uphill) knowing I won’t put them to use this season, but next I definitely shall.
I am hungry to compete…. just in something different. And my thrills in triathlon…. quite honestly come from the journey I get to live through with each one of our athletes.
You can listen to and watch the whole episode right here. Warning….. I am naturally a little giggly and I am highly sarcastic. I make no apology for either. #IdowhatIwant.
And thank you Maria, Vince and Matt for having me on, I appreciate the fun we had more than you guys know!!!!!
So here we sit….. on the eve of February 29th, and it’s the end of my month of triathlon break. I don’t feel some huge pressure to make decisions, after all it’s a sport…. not a career change. I don’t have any big decisions. I am going to take another month to play however.
This week I am heading back to my favorite place to train MidTown Athletic Club. I used to belong there a few years ago, and then I taught there for a few years and I loved it. I made a lot of friends there and I just loved it. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the people, I loved the classes. I LOVED THE OUTDOOR POOL.
So I am going to head back, as a member, no teaching. I miss my 5am cronies and I miss the sunrise over the water. I miss my trainer Steve (he taught me everything I now know about strength) and I want to train the way he can now train me… as before it was always that we had to tailor it to triathlon. I can’t wait to step foot in there tomorrow. It’s seriously the best place ever.
I have found SUP races. One at the end of May in Buffalo, and the ones I did last year. Plus we have a local Wednesday night SUP series. I am close to hitting ORDER on my new race board, and I am so excited. The thrill of improving and getting in there like I know I can is so exciting to me.
I have decided I am coming back to announce the Score This !!! Multisport Series this season. Frankly, I have missed it, and my vocal cords are doing much better with a year of rest. I know I have to NOT SCREAM every time someone crosses the finish line, I just can’t help it. I will aim to exercise some restraint. This means yes I will be at Mussel and Mini and Fly by Night. I am adding one new race to announce as well: Gillie Girl. AHHHH! I can’t wait to see you all across the line. I swear I get to do the best things ever.
All in all I am feeling good. I have been running and skiing and weight training. My headaches are much better and my vision is back to normal. I kept my neurology appointment too, as I promised I would. I am sleeping like a teenager (I always wonder why people say they slept like a baby, they wake up and cry every 90 minutes?). I feel fitter in one month of less than I did with 15 hour training weeks.
I have had a lot of fun playing this month. I have had a LOT of fun doing my long runs with Luc. I have had a lot of fun on the slopes and dreaming up new dreams and adventures for summer.
I have also had a lot of heartache this month, as my mother in law continues on in hospice. As much as you know that someone has lived a long and beautiful life, as ready as you think you are to say goodbye, you really and truly aren’t ready. I know that’s normal. As always our little family bands together and we wait it out and do our best to carry on and do our best to be there and support her through her transition. We wipe our tears that come during quiet moments and struggle with being ready and not being ready.
It’s experiences like the passing of someone you truly love, or the impending passing that always remind you that every moment counts not only in how you live, but in how you teach your children how to live. It’s experiences like these that remind you that being vulnerable isn’t being weak, and tears are really because you love someone and that there is no protocol to navigate it except to be 100% present in the experience. Together.
So it’s been a month. It’s been a beautiful and heartbreaking month. The heartbreak isn’t over, not by a long-shot. And it will take some time for it to be. The break was something I needed more than I knew I needed it. I am letting go and letting in, throwing my arms open and opening up to the experiences rather than being locked in and stuck.
Who knows where I am going…. but man the ride so far has been a great one. I am grateful I am figuring all of this out….. now.