Mary Eggers

General

All good

We are up to week three, or is it four… of this triathlon break, and I am feeling the best I have felt in …. well in ages. We’ve ruled out retinal detachment, adjusted prescriptions for my glasses, I have one more appt with the neurologist in another week. Then we are home free.

I am running and as I said before I am loving it. I love the simplicity of it. I love that right now it’s my focus instead of the afterthought. The niggles that came with triathlon are gone and I am slowly building my mileage, as I also work on strength. These days I am bouncing from weight room to weight room and our home gym. I am lifting heavy, lifting light, utilizing TRX and Bosu and generally just playing, being creative with all things strength. Here are a few of my favorite things:

home gym

Strangely with just running and weight training those few pounds I have working to lose for years literally just fell off. Less can truly be more. With less activity you also don’t need to eat all the time. It’s actually quite nice! More on that another day.

Skiing took a backseat this week with a family member in hospice, but more on that experience another day too.

With last week’s snowfall I should have a few more weeks ahead of me. The park nearby also has SNOW!!!!!!! That means I have been getting in some cross country skiing. I do both classic and skate. Not well, but I do them.

In terms of equipment if you plan ahead to next winter there are loads of deals right now. You have to know where to look.

I am skiing on these Dynastar’s, which for my level (beginner) are really great:

new skis

I am setting myself up for next season’s adventure goals, which include telemark skiing and skinning. I was able to get an incredible deal on these, which are with my friend Amy right now, and Amy tested them out this weekend, YEAH!

telemark skis

I think I have found my SUP board to race on this year. This has been a process, boards are so different. I have demo’ed a million out and I really feel good on the Rivera. This one is a brand new release, is 12’6″, fiberglass and I went with 28″ width (even though we were thinking I would do well on a 26).

SUP board

And by the way….. all of the above was MUCH less than a bike! SCORE!

This new adventure is so so so much fun. There are Ski races and Lopetts and SUP races, trail running, hiking and backcountry adventures that I am ready to dive into and learn. That all used to take a back seat because I had this race or that race on the horizon. I have two rooms filled with trophies and ribbons and medals, which I am eternally grateful for.

Do you know what I remember most about those? Not the times I did races in, but the experiences I had during those races. With friends. With strangers. That’s how you know you have done a triathlon career right in my opinion. The wins are nice but the relationships formed are forever.

So three or four weeks in, and I am feeling good. I get to live triathlon through our athletes which has made this whole experience even more rich. Before I forget…. I will be the announcer again for the Score-This Multisport series this summer! YEAH!

I get the best of all worlds….. and not because I have had some stroke of fortune…. but because I listened, had the guts to step out and step in, and let go of the fear of diving into something new. Life is too short. Last I checked we get to do this once. I want to make sure i pack it all in.

I am slowly but surely learning that packing it all in doesn’t mean burning the candle at both ends all the time. I am loving being new to things, I am loving the feeling of being a beginner again. So this far in…… it’s good.

 

General

Leading

I have fallen into a running build (and weight training, and skiing, both XC and downhill). It’s taking me places, and for once in 20 years it’s not bookended by swim and bike sessions. Like I felt so in love with swimming this summer during my swim focus… I have fallen for running again.

I have always been too afraid to “just run”. But triathlon… it’s going to be there for me when I get back. It’s going nowhere. These days however…. I am.

I am running everywhere. In the morning mostly because that time is my time. With our new fallen snow it’s also when the world is blanketed in white and I get to witness the most astounding sunrises.

sunrise

Sometimes I run down near campus in the morning, and alongside the lake. I always take pause and just look out over it. Words can’t articulate the beauty, the serenity.

The other morning I was running towards a hill. The color in the photo above, was the color of the sky. The hill was in front of it, and there were snow frosted trees. The light was shining up through the trees giving off the most magnificent glow. I was taken aback, astounded, and fulfilled.

I guess I needed just running right now. I know that in the coming weeks I am going to need it. On Monday we transition our mother-in-law into hospice, then we hold vigil. She’s not sick, in fact she’s lived a long robust and healthy life. She’s a tiny woman with grit that makes Ironman World Champions seem small, with a sense of humor that revels any comic I have ever seen perform.

As she is now 90 she’s slowing down, gradually some days, more quickly the other days. We placed her on hospice to keep her comfortable, to allow her to make her transition with grace and the dignity she deserves.

Death is tricky, and this will be Luc’s first big loss. How I guide him through it makes significant impressions on his life. I want him to understand that she’s lived and it’s time for her to make the transition, that we will miss her so dearly but she’s lived and she’s lived a great great life. I have a feeling Luc, Curt and I will share many miles in our running shoes together soon. That feels like the way it should be.

It seems cliche to say that I am grateful for her, but I am. She’s always been real. She’s taught me the finer points about not giving a f*ck. She raised Curt….. and if you know Curt you know what a man he is. I am grateful that she did so well by him. I can only hope we are raising our son in the same light.

The other night I explained the process of death to Luc, and for the first time ever began to share some of the stories of death I have endured as a nurse. As a pediatric nurse. I cried during a few stories and it was clear that Luc was seeing a side of me that he didn’t consider before. It was revealing.

I feel uneasy when someone passes away alone. So I will hold vigil nightly with her, aware that she may wait till I am gone before she goes anywhere. I just want her to know I love her and that I am so very proud to be her daughter in law and so very proud to share her last name. Her gift to me in Curt is the greatest gift. I want her to know how thankful I am. I want her to know I will take good care of him and of our son. Always.

Those are the feelings that I don’t bring to work. That I process in the crisp morning air watching the sunrise through the trees or over a frozen lake. Those are the feelings I process while my heart rate climbs and my legs ache and I cover new mileage. I don’t run with music, I just run to my breath because all of that happiness and headache and understanding….. it gets sorted out in those miles.

For too long I have been caught up in volume, pace, power, speed….. it’s amazing, completely amazing to get back to my sport for the reason I became involved in it. I don’t know where this path is leading me, but it’s leading me on a grand adventure. It’s leading me through saying goodbye, it’s leading me to be strong for my family, it’s leading me to shed tears when no one is watching and be the rock that I am for those who need me. It’s leading me to love the ache of that fourth hill, and the feeling that I might throw up again because I ran too hard. It’s awesome.

Sport is so magic. All of it. I love that I get to experience the rebirth of it for me. I could still be trudging away for goals that don’t mean anything to me any more, instead of for the hunger for new paths and new adventures. The snow underneath my skis and crisp mountain air (well…. our mountain).

I feel great empathy for those stuck on the hamster wheel when I can see they want to get off, yet don’t know where to tun. Yes I was forced off, for the promise of one month. Three weeks in…. I am in my absolute glory.

Triathlon will be there for me when I come back. If I choose to. As one of my colleagues always says “There is a reason why your windshield is so big and your rearview mirror is so small.”

That’s truth, right there.