This week's blog is going to be a bit more personal but one that every person can relate to I am sure. Whether in the past, currently, or in the future, I am sure this scenario has, is, or will happen to you. Often times, like with me, it is easy to keep things bottled up inside and difficult to let them out in the open. We typically worry about being vulnerable, weak, or defeated but in reality, I believe sometimes we do not express our current challenges for fear of failure and not proving to ourselves that we are good enough.
It can be weight loss, quitting smoking or drinking, ending a bad relationship...anything really. Why don't we face our challenges? Are challenges fears? Sometimes, but I believe that challenges are internal tests that are provided to us to make us better. It may take a few tries but try we do and eventually, no matter how many times we fall, we will get back up and succeed.
Reflect on a current situation that you have gone through. Did you feel deflated, mentally fatigued when thinking about the mountain you had to overcome? Did you feel it was impossible (which in my dictionary really means I-AM-POSSIBLE). Sometimes, we do let it get the best of us. But sometimes, something special happens. You know that special as it is the "get up and go", the "I'm not taking this", and simply the "why not?". Whatever motivation you use, use it now. Tell yourself that it is important. Change, do, succeed. Make no mistake, you will be a better person in the long run because you learn more about yourself, the obstacles that try to stop you and the ones that you overcome to succeed. Succeed at being an athlete, a parent, a sibling, a friend, and most importantly, a human being. It will be difficult but you will make yourself proud.
As I reflect on these words, I look back at my athletic season this year. While it may sound shallow, sport and competition is a very important part of who I am. Setting and achieving goals is very important to me but I also use sport to teach life lessons to youth and juniors (and myself!), and influence others to lead healthier lives.
Earlier this year, I got a sinus infection. Pretty typical as I usually get one per year. Now, I'm probably not the wisest but I just do not like going to the doctor or taking any medications so I just powered through it and let it run its course (probably not a good idea as you will see). This was in April and May. I did some light training and was able to do a back to back Spartan Sprint and Super race in May. Then I transitioned into triathlon training (short course).
My first triathlon was the end of June and while I was training, I never really felt good. I completed the race and will tell you that I had never felt so lousy during a race in my entire athletic career. Something was off. I found out a week later that I had walking pneumonia and raced with it. The medical person I saw gave me antibiotics and said to take it easy for a month. I listened and did very little training in fear that the walking pneumonia would resurface. I played it safe and saw my fitness level plummet. When I thought it was safe, I started to train a little and found that I, again, did not feel well. Another trip to the medical clinic last week and another diagnosis with a sinus infection. This time, I knew what had to be done: take antibiotics. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Ten days of antibiotics now to hopefully kick this second sinus infection.
So, here's the kicker...I have a Spartan Beast race in two weeks, at altitude. I have two sprint triathlon races in 4 weeks and cyclocross season after that. A week ago, I threw in the towel, literally. I gave up on my training, my season, and my goals. I knew I didn't have enough time to train to accomplish the high goals that I had set. Just today, I threw that idea in the trash. Why, you ask?
It doesn't matter if you don't feel like you can accomplish the goal that you set for yourself. We will always be underprepared but you know what? You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I learned that when training for 100 mile runs. To give up my season would be a failure in my mind. I have decided to march through the bad luck that I have experienced this year and move forward because my health is important to me. Fitness is important to me. Proving to myself that I can do this is important to me.
So I ask you: what is important to you and what will you do about it?
Until next week...
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