Do you ever have people ask why you do Ironman, triathlons, or just train in general? Even better…how about the funny looks you get when someone asks what you’re doing over the weekend? Then there’s the 4am wake ups during the week to train before work…and then workouts after work. Oh, and you PAID how much to put yourself through this? The registration fee doesn’t even scratch the surface…don’t forget coaching fees, other races, travel, equipment, nutrition, AND the absurdly large grocery bills (not going to lie, love eating like a teenage boy…it’s my favorite).
Let’s be honest, it CANNOT be explained…you either get it, or you don’t.
I’m reminded quite often why I love this life. This usually comes in ways you might expect…the sense of accomplishment after crushing a tough training session, meeting and exceeding goals I set for myself in both training and racing, placing in my age group…the list could go on and on. But every once in awhile something happens in my life, and I realize just how much of a deeper meaning this lifestyle has for me.
Not but a few days after my most recent blog about choosing to keep a positive outlook on life, 5 days to be exact, I didn’t get the best news. Not going into details about it here, but one of THE most important people in my life was diagnosed with cancer. I found out about it on a Friday while I was at work…totally wasn’t expecting it. After the initial shock, I cried…to my employees, the horror ;). Thankfully they rock. I pulled it together and got through the day. I thought (and cried) a lot that night, talked with this person, and we made the choice to keep it positive. Nothing good would come of us crying, worrying, thinking the worst, or living in fear. Cancer isn’t a death sentence, but a negative outlook on life is in my opinion…
What did I do the next day? I got up before the sun came out Saturday morning to drive an hour away to do Jen Harrison’s Hill Workout in the freezing cold, duh. My mind was still spinning as I was making my way out to meet up with the team, but after 8 brutal hill repeats, and a hard mile, I was feeling better. Having that time to think, burn off some anxiety, and simply work HARD was just the therapy I needed. Sunday morning wasn’t too different, a long indoor trainer ride. I found myself working harder than normal, I was able to channel all of my thoughts and energy into the ride, and again felt much better after.
For me, this lifestyle isn’t always about race day and race finishes…the daily training it just as important. It’s my therapy. My training sessions are of course, ultimately all about getting fitter, faster, ready to race and achieve my goals from both a physical and mental standpoint…but there is SO much more to it than that. It’s my time alone, to think, reboot, and shut up that negative voice in my head. When I train I feel powerful, confident, and able to choose my outlook on life. Having a positive outlet to channel my energy into everyday is huge, and how I get through times in life like these. Training is in no way escaping my reality, but addressing it head on. I would be kind of scary if I didn’t train ;) #truth #notashamedtosayit
We’re going to get through this, I know it. I hope to look back on this in a few months and be thankful to have had this experience, with the cancer gone and a lot of lessons learned. Those lessons have already started, hands down top 2…
1. I want to make the time I have with my loved ones count. Be present, grateful, and in the moment.
2. I had no idea a few years ago how much Ironman and triathlon (racing and training) would change my life - in every aspect. 100% for the better.
So grateful for my life :)