The past 8 weeks have been nothing short of amazing. I made a pivot back to clinical practice in the midst of a pandemic, I started a journey in the mountains that I never anticipated starting, celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary, and I developed a drive to return to a level of competition I haven’t been at in ages. I have also healed my soul.
That’s the short version. The longer version will trickle out eventually. It has to do with being a nurse, but let’s save that for another time.
I planned on competing this year, and I was feeling pretty ready to tackle a few 70.3’s that had me crazy excited. When everything got cancelled, it felt fine. I learned I can live with competition and in this case, I can actually live without it. I don’t feel like we lost anything (except my race directing friends who lost money, and my fellow athletes who lost direction, that’s the part that hurts). As an athlete I have learned that patience always pays off. Always.
At the same time the step back from competition has allowed that hunger for competition to grow. I have always believed that my best performances are still out there. I don’t believe best performances are defined by personal best times, qualifications, or even winning. I believe those performances are the ones where you cross the finish line, totally wrecked knowing that you did everything you could do, and you gave everything you can give. Sometimes those DO comes with PR’s, qualifications and wins, but not necessarily. I still have those performances within me, and I am eager yet patient to unearth them.
The pause has driven me to a different type of challenge, driven by our son. It’s always been on his radar to hike the 46 peaks in the Adirondacks. Because our lives have been so driven by triathlon, we just didn’t make the time.
We forget how incorporating something like hiking mountains, can be so incredibly beneficial to our respective sports. We are afraid to veer off the schedule to spend a weekend adventuring. This pause has helped me realize that.
I have also come to realize that we need to pursue what calls us. We need to get it going, now. Our son begins construction trade school in a few weeks. It’s a program that runs from Sept through June and involves a co-op upon completion and even job placement. There is a high probability that he is going to be starting his career next summer and these opportunities to help him reach his goal, these chances to spend time with him, are going to diminish. It’s weird being on this side of parenting. Real weird. It’s our job as parents though, to render ourselves obsolete. His independence is the mark of our success.
Of all things that have come to light during this pandemic, this is the most important one.
So I am soaking up all of the time that I can. Spending the weekends hiking locally and in the ADK because these times will be fewer 365 days from now. I did not have the foresight to consider all of this before the pandemic, which makes me thankful that someone stopped the world for me to take a look around.