Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pinch me

OK...just one more reflect on Cozumel blog post.  I know - blah blah Ironman blah!

The last few days, I've realized that I am still lost in a bit of a dream.  So much has happened as I reflect over the last month, and yet, so very little has changed.  It all depends on perspective.

Four weeks ago, I was teetering on that very fine line that one teeters on before a big race.  I had been training, hard, for nearly ten months and was feeling fatigued, anxious and full of angst.  There is so much that gets shut out when you are training - weekends disappear, social activities are non-existent and the struggle to stay on top of all of your commitments in life becomes close to unmanageable, leaving you perilously close to a complete breakdown.  You just pray that when it is all over, that there will be some semblance of the life you left behind and that the pieces won't be too shattered to reassemble.

Then, press fast forward.

My sunburn is nearly gone, the pain is forgotten and those long-angst filled weeks before the race have faded into memory.  I'm still tired, in fact probably more tired than I was a month ago.  But, somehow, life is just on a more even keel.  The anxious expectation is gone, replaced by a lingering happiness.  The feeling of accomplishment, the thrill of achievement, the knowledge that the plan you followed and executed was the right one - every day they fade a little, but they are still bright enough to make the tired go away.

It is an incredible realization that the little inside voice saying "you can't" was wrong and that the other voices telling you "you can" - your coach, your friends, your family - were ones that knew better.  Somehow you always expected that they were right, but that little voice inside is awfully persistent sometimes.

So as I start to pick up all of the things I abandoned while I was lost in training, the fading memory of race day will undoubtedly motivate me to push forward and give everything I can.  I am truly blessed to have been able to finish that race, and to have had the guidance and support that enabled me to realize my goals.  I am fortunate to have people in my life who support me in my endeavours (even though they may not entirely understand them), and I hope that I am somehow able to return the unconditional support at some point.

Yet, it is not enough to pat myself on the back and rest on those laurels.

I have a lot to learn, in triathlon and in life, and I am quite cognizant there will be many ups and downs on the road ahead.  Goals evolve and take on a new life.  The maybe-could have-would have that was four weeks ago is no longer an uncertainty, but I still need to work hard to manage what lies ahead.  It is pretty crystal clear that I cannot stand still and lollygag in past success for long.....the world is continuously changing its expectations and will simply move on without me. It's time to pinch myself, wake up from the dream and start catching up!

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