Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Breakable

It has been more than 4 months since my last post. A long time during which I have written multiple entries but never made it to the keyboard. It has been a season of training as I prepare myself for Ironman Lake Placid (now, less than 5 weeks away). And it has sucked.

I have generally prided myself on my ability to keep moving forward. Granted, up until 3 years ago, not a lot of hardship came my way. I was pretty much like everyone else who worked at a demanding job and tried to manage a personal life in spite of it. There were certainly bad decisions, unfortunate circumstances, and life in general. But I didn't let "stuff" get in the way. I maintained a positive attitude, and, in terms of being an athlete, I stayed mostly healthy.

Then, life got turned upside down, and I discovered something about myself.

I am breakable.

For whatever reasons, I have been struggling much more with Ironman training than before. I could offer up all kinds of excuses. My favorite, so far, is that it's harder to do this volume of training as a single person because there's no one to help with mundane everyday life sorts of things like laundry, groceries, housecleaning, cooking, walking the dog. My second favorite is that I have no time to sleep, and isn't sleep an important part of training?

But they are all just that...excuses.

In the past, I would have reminded myself that if I wanted something badly enough, I would have found a way to make it work.

From the beginning, though, this cycle of training has been incredibly hard, both mentally and physically. 

When I sprained my ankle 3 days before my first race of the season, the Gulf Coast half ironman, I kind of lost it. I needed that race. I needed it to get my head back into race mode. Then, when that ankle didn't heal up as fast as I would have liked, and I missed another race, I spiraled down into a black hole. I decided that, no, I wasn't going to do IMLP. It was a waste of time. I wouldn't be ready. I wasn't looking forward to it. It was stressing me out. It was costing me too much money. And, really, what was the point?

With a little help from my friends, I reversed that decision, and I am going to Lake Placid in a few weeks. My head still isn't anywhere near race mode. I still am not really looking forward to it. I will probably need every minute of the 17 hours they give you to finish the race. It's still costing too much money, and I am still stressed out. 

But it's okay. I'll get through it. After that, a new adventure will begin.

I'm not sure I like knowing I am breakable. 

I am not the same person I was before. Not the same person I was 3 years ago. I don't really know who this new person is...what her place in life is. She is, however, less stoic and far more breakable than the old me. Her emotions are closer to the surface. Her hurts are far more visible. She is a lot more vulnerable.

And, I think, she is probably very strong.