Friday, April 12, 2013

The Checks and Balances part of the Journey

I started off yesterday with my usual 5:30 am strength training workout but what unfolded throughout the day was anything but usual.  While I was doing my pull ups I had one of my all time greatest training moments, I did 10 pull ups without help from the bands and 5 with.  At no time during any of my triathlon training over the past 20 years have I been able to do 10 pull ups.  I realized that at 43 years old, I am the strongest I have ever been.  At that moment, these past 7 months of training had been worth the 9pm bed times, 5:00am wake ups, freezing cold rainy runs, too sleepy to move my arm swims, etc...  It was a shift and those so call strains became gifts as I reflected back.  Best of all,  I officially moved one step closer to my UMWC goal.

A true journey though is filled with "checks and balances" (coming from the small business owner in me).  My second workout of the day would be a 15 mile mountain bike ride, 1 of the 4 loops I will race in May.  About 3 miles into the ride I was grinding up a single-track and with all my force I snapped the chain, my leg swung down so hard  and my body hit the bike harder than I thought possible.  For the first time in 2 decades of riding I crashed and actually remained motionless with my face in the dirt until I could figure out what had happened.  I finally rolled over, noticed the beauty of the trees against the sky and then wondered if I had just fractured my pelvis and was my UMWC goal a thing of the past.  I got sad and then reminded myself that the best part of training is the journey which had so far been responsible for 10 pull ups, lots of fun workouts with Rob, cleaning up our diet (which has made us feel so awesome) & feeling so much support and love from my friends and family.  I realized that if it wasn't going to be, I had all of those things and they are pretty great.

I then reflected back on a conversation I had once with my friend Colleen Cannon (one of the best triathletes of all time).  She told me that sometimes you will do everything right and things happen that you have no control over.  She told me that we do however have control over the way we let them affect us, and its from that moment on that determines how our journey will unfold.

After that I thought, "so what if I really hurt myself, I can pool run, ride on the rollers and still swim and I don't need my stupid pelvis to do pull ups.  All this is- is an obstacle and I sure have successfully worked through many of those."

About that time Rob came screaming down the trail looking for me .  He had the, "OK, I need to analyze the situation and figure out if 911 is appropriate" look.  Before I let him get too far in his thoughts, I rolled onto my knees, stood up, took a step and said, "well, if I can walk, I'm pretty sure I didn't break my pelvis".  He took a sigh of relief and we walked the 2-3 miles out of the woods together.  We loaded the bikes in the back of the truck and made a pit stop on the way home.  There's this 16 year old boy whom I have adored since the day I met him.  He's been mountain biking and loving it & even racing.  I have known for a month or so  that he needs a new bike but as with everyone these days (especially a family with 3 kids), a big purchase is about the money juggle.  We  own a mountain bike rental shop, & I have other bikes to ride so  we drove to his house & I handed my bike to his dad and told him it's yours for $500 (the wheels sell used for $400 and the bike around $1,000).  "I followed up with don't pay me until November 22nd".  Why the 22nd? I leave for Kona on the 23rd.....

So in 24 hours I realized that I am the strongest I have ever been in my life and at the same time I was reminded of how delicate and vulnerable I am.  I took a time to appreciate my journey and I provided a sweet mountain bike to a kid that may now realize his true potential and begin a journey of his own.

I wonder what today will bring.


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