For the past few years, I’ve been able to really focus on triathlon training. If you asked me back then, I would’ve said, “Man, I wish I could train more. I’m barely training.” But now I can say with absolute certainty–I was lucky to have the focus/motivation I did back then because it has momentarily left me.
No one really knows this. People still comment on my muscles and ask me about my training/races. I feel guilty when this happens. Yes, I’ve still been racing–April, May, and August were all race months. I even won first (!) in one. But my training kind of fell apart. I can’t explain it really. It’s one of the loves of my life–getting outdoors and being in motion. I can’t name many things that have made me happier, more grounded, more appreciative, more alive than when I’m outside moving.
So, therefore, it should be THE thing I make time for in my life. But it kept falling out of my grasp. I would wake up early Saturday morning, when I usually hop on my bike & out into the world before everyone is up, and instead find myself getting breakfast and coffee. I lounged. Weekdays brought typical excuses–an intense summer camp where all I could seem to do when I got home was eat and sleep. I kept reading the triathlon magazines, planning big training weeks & it was just more of the same. Sure, I worked out. But the gym workouts went from two times to maybe one time a week. The ocean swims stopped when I saw the diesel fuel in the water. Runs became short and fast.
Oh, and did I mention, I moved…this meant post-work was a hub bub of box-packing, loading, unloading, etc. I convinced myself this was a workout of sorts. It just wasn’t the one I loved to do. My mood suffered because of it. I raced with almost no training. Sure, I was a triathlete–but the joy just wasn’t the same when I didn’t actually train to race. I became a bundle of excuses. I could not get into a groove. The other day, after my crazy summer had calmed down–I was in the gym with my trainer. For the first time, I said out loud: “I have no motivation anymore.” He’s like, “well, doing well in triathlons, isn’t that your motivation?” I was as pitiful as ever, and I said, “Why? What’s the point?” But we kept working out anyway. And, like always, it felt good afterwards. And, like always, I was pretending I was in the Olympics when he had me do sprints and hurdles. He told me I could try to join the bobsled team if I had much bigger thighs. I declined.
This past week, I had my bike sitting– ready to go, clothes, helmet, shades, and all–right by the door. It still just sat there, the tires slowly losing air. This morning, I jumped out of bed before I come up with an excuse, and I hopped on & went outside for a ride. Even though I hadn’t biked that route in a month at least, maybe more, it was the same familiar thing. It was hot, but the heat felt good. I wasn’t all that speedy, but that’s what I get for staying gone so long. The post-workout-sweat-toast and coffee-treat was amazing. My mood had lifted.
And so I hope the training fog I’ve been in is done. Luckily, the triathlon coach I love to train with sent an email today that he was continuing his intense Wednesday workouts for one more month. I plan to actually make it to them this time around. Another friend is getting a wetsuit & we have an ocean swim date for next week. It’s not so hard to come back. I was so pumped from the workout today that I spent the day cleaning, listening to new music, and working on my business website.
I really want to try this year–not to squeeze in as many workouts as I possibly can, but instead–setting myself up to be in the perfect mindset to go and have a blast working out. I want to eat food that fuels me (oh and drink wine, you know, antioxidants!) and make sleep a priority. I want to not get too wrapped up in my day job, as it enters what its’ calling a “year of transformation.” I would love to be able to take my teacher hat off as soon as I enter the door of my (new) home…because my head is big, and I still have to put the helmet on.
Oh, and before I get too down on myself, these are things I was lucky enough to do this summer while not training/working/moving: swimming/making movies/eating with/laughing with my nephew and niece, family reunion of sorts in Midland & a mini-road trip across TX with my parents, Alamo Drafthouse with my bro and sis-in-law, Palm Springs–mountain-biking, disc golf, croquet, pool time, birthday karaoke FUN TIMES, surfing (attempt), mountain biking Santa Monica mountains, free concerts at the Pier and the Marina, watching Olympics non-stop, Big Brother! So thanks to those of you that invited me in on all that fun! Here’s to motivation as the school year begins.