Monday, May 01, 2006

Stop and smell the flowers...and taper.

I'm totally busy right now, so why am I writing? Just so much going on in my head. Taper this week...scared/excited/scared/excited about Wildflower. Had a team meeting last night with my teammates from Lombardi's, and happened to sit next to a guy who's new this year whom I had not yet met. It turns out he's a physical therapist for Presidio Sports and has been doing tris for the last three years, but started road bike tris last year - in which he started out with a half-Ironman and then went for Ironman! Talk about jumping in feet first. Geez. Anyway, the point of my writing about this is that I began asking him a lot of questions and he started flooding me with information. I think I must have had a rather overwhelmed look on my face because he said "I'm sorry, I'm totally going off on all this tri-geek stuff you probably don't care about."

I shook my head and quickly said "no! The problem is that I love finding out new stuff, but you know, sometimes it's nice to go about all of this with my head slightly in the sand. Find out stuff as you go...ignorance CAN be bliss, you know!" He smiled and nodded encouragingly, and I went on to say that there is SO MUCH that you can learn about this sport that sometimes it can just be so overwhelming, and that you can easily become obsessed about searching for the right information and the quest for doing everything 'the right way' that you then forget why you were doing it in the first place, which for me was to have fun, enjoy myself and challenge myself. Sometimes I like not knowing everything there is to know. The pleasure of learning as you go, stumbling upon life's (and triathlon training's) little lessons can be more enjoyable than the lessons themselves that we sometimes rush to find out sooner than we need to.

As of late, however, tri has really put a lot of pressure on me and has begun to interfere with a lot of things in my life that I'd like to be doing. In all honesty, I think I'd get just as much or more satisfaction if my summer schedule were lined up with a few century rides and a big bunch of open water swims. I won't get to swim Donner Lake this year...well, maybe I will. It's the weekend after Half-Vineman, so it all depends on how I'm feeling. I'm just starting to become bitter about how I never feel like I'm doing enough and yet I'm already having to sacrifice things in my life for this sport. So I asked Jay (the guy sitting next to me), "how do you do it all? How do you have a life outside of tri training?" He didn't really answer. I took that as an "I don't. This is what I do." I don't want to be that. Then I said "How many hours of sleep do you get?" Jay: "5." UGH!!! I refuse to do that. (As an aside, good for him that he loves to do that - he seems passionate about it. It's just not quite my cup of tea!)

That said, I've made a commitment. I've signed up, pledged my word, signed a team contract and here I am. So instead of bitching and moaning about how horrible it all is, I'm going to take that and turn it around to excitement about the summer. I'm excited about reaching out to my teammates and about what I can possibly learn this season about nutrition, fitness and competition. I'm excited about getting to know these really cool people better. I'm excited to find out what else I can achieve. I'm excited to take on the challenge of truly living my life in moderation and keeping this balanced with everything else. Right now, the scales seem a little tipped. I need to work on that. But there are a lot of positive changes happening all around me, and I'm going to do my best to embrace all of them and learn from them.

So finally - what did the subject have to do with all of this? I guess one of the positive things that happened this weekend (as a result of a negative thing that sucked, but oh well) was that I was forced to to give up my car for a weekend (actually until Tuesday) due to a fuel leak they found. I literally stopped to smell the flowers as I walked from downtown Berkeley back home! I also realized it's not that far from downtown Berkeley to my house. It only took 25 minutes to get to downtown Berkeley BART from my house this morning, including a quick stop for coffee. It was so invigorating to spend some down time at home, spend time walking and thinking and just, well...stay put. I was a little saddened by the thought that it took my car breaking down to MAKE me slow down (that I couldn't do it on my own accord), but glad that I could be reminded of what it feels like to take a walk instead of take more time to do things like these. I've been more on time all weekend because I allowed myself more space and time to get to places instead of trying to squeeze so much in. I wasn't annoyed by Berkeley drivers. I didn't spend money on gas (though did spend money on BART), and I utilized BART in ways I never thought I would. I also realized my friends are more than happy to drop you off from BART or walk with me even if they have a bike to ride! It was a nice realization.

I also slept really, REALLY well.

Here's to smelling the flowers (which are SO GORGEOUS right now!). :-)


Ben said...

I just finished reading your last two months of posts and all I can say is wow- you are one of the most committed, passionate people I know. You are going to do a FANTASTIC job this summer. But yes, as you know, I am a big fan of stopping to smell the flowers. Good luck at wildflower!

Ben said...

BTW, guess what I was just re-reading

Ben said... :)