2017 year in recap: ahhhh 2017….. you were… so… ugh… special. (a sidenote: clearly this is just personal recap- not including family... so no comments about--- you are selfish and not addressing your role in life as a mom, which of course is my #1).
The YEARLY QUICK VERSION:
Best race: Luray Triathlon- august… BEST RACE AND BEAUTY and family day.. literally a 10/10.
Worst race: Annapolis 10 Miler- I’ve never spent 10 miles focusing on how to not start/quit.
Moment I am pretending never happened: That I left the Eagleman site and wasn’t there to get a rolldown slot to World Championships.
Unforgettable moments: being dry needled silly all year until I felt a zap of electricity and now am terrified of this treatment, paddleboarding in the ocean on both beautiful and CRAZY weather days- literally being airborne with my paddleboard going over crazy waves, riding in my first races with my new Quintana Roo bike…. (I’m sorry “Black Lightning”…. We will have some better outcomes next year…), volunteering for some local races and seeing different perspectives of these events that I love!
Proud of: doing 2 races in the "open" division this year and being 4th place- JUST OUT OF $$ spot! I'm so proud of signing up in this division, showing up as best as I could ask for, and having FUN!
I started the year very dedicated to my goals. Run/tri/performance goals were centered almost exclusively on .. of course…. EAGLEMAN. In a nutshell, I trained exactly as I wanted. Going into the race I was more fit than I may have ever been, and it just didn’t pan out. I still LOVED so many of my races this year and continue to love the sport, but I feel like I’ve had the most DOWNS this year in triathlon/running/training than in the past 10 years. It mostly just felt like things weren’t “clicking.”
Since the beginning of the year, I struggled to keep my back and hip in some sort of conversation to keep me able to even move on some days. At time I could run for hours, and some days I literally could not put on shoes. Or move my right leg from the gas pedal to the brake. Or then get OUT of said car. I had a hard time with my training schedule and finding out what would work, and that some days I expected to do a certain workout, but seemed to very often be pushing workouts around if I just couldn’t physically move well that day. I still do not know if it is:
2. The many unfortunate things that showed up on my back and hip MRIs when I finally had them done in early December: (torn hip labrum/impinged facet joint/trochanteric bursitis/hamstring tendonitis/pubic bone structure diminishing; back with 2 herniations, one is pressing on a nerve root).
But I am hoping to handle it better this next year. I have learned that I definitely cannot:
*do 2 intensity workouts day after each other/whereas I used to do this when needed because of logistical/schedule reasons
*sometimes it doesn’t make sense for me to run on a day when my back is talking to me… or hip…
*I’ve learned that I cannot skip a day of doing core exercises and yoga. I’m doing at least 15-20 min of yoga/day.
*I currently cannot kick in the pool. It took me months to figure this out. With always thinking the pool is so good on joints, I had a hard time believing this, but I need to just sit back and listen.
I feel like this past year I’ve learned and listened to my body in a way I never have needed to previously. Some of you know, but I’ve actually been super worried that there was something very WRONG- auto-immune/ or some major inflammatory markers or something. Blood tests so far reveal that everything is okay in that department, so I think it is really a combination of managing the above 2 things. (aging and all of the physiological things—herniations/ tears/impingements/ bursitis’/tendonitis, bleh).
As always though, I believe so strongly that sports are really just a manifestation of our universe…. A glimmer of our life lessons… little parables to sometimes just smack us right in the face.
This year was physically hard with my body not working, but it also bled into my heart and mind. Maybe it is feeling physically/bodily old that made me consider mid life questions. Maybe it is the conflicting desires of the nooks and crannies in my heart that are soul shattered by the world that we live in and the other nooks that remain so naïve and blissfully hopeful. I’ve been saddened to learn things I didn’t want to learn this year- things I didn’t think possible, imagines I’ll never forget, things people have said both to me and around me. People that are gone. Events that have happened. I’m sensitive. I’m passionate.
I worry about my legacy. (yes, maybe this is just mid life crisis). I worry about not being who I dreamed I would be, who I wanted to be, expected of myself. I wonder if I cannot continue with my triathlon passion and striving for my goals, what the essence of myself is. I know I am more than just an athlete, but it is also part of me that I don’t want to lose. I've never been me without being an athlete. It creates so much happiness in my heart that I don’t know what I’d replace that with. I worry because I’m not as hard working and over the top focused on my job and MORE MORE MORE MORE hours and training and opportunity. I’m thankful of the lessons I’ve learned in the past 5 years that have brought my life to a heart shattering, brake screeching halt… but I sometimes worried it took the entire steam and oomph and force out of me. On one hand, I know it is a GOOD thing—I value my priorities and how I have arranged my family time, my personal time, my work time, my community time, my life time. But it has changed, so that makes me always second guessing my work ethic versus my laziness!
I worry that I may not be as completely, selfishly fulfilled as I had wanted to be at this stage of my life. I miss being age 20, my time of being so fully engaged and challenged, my intensity to prove myself, crushing my expectations for myself.
But I acknowledge that I also am able to finally realize that I don’t need to prove myself. (and never really did)(actually maybe I did- to myself).
I don’t need to prove myself, but I am required and humbled to use the talents I’ve been given. I have spent time wondering once again….what are my talents? I’m not trying to be negative, but… I sometimes am feeling like I’m not even sure anymore what I am good at or will I be good at? I didn’t think I’d be asking those questions at this age.
One thing I have learned I am not good at/or good at… is my passion for looking out for those suffering. My heart breaks for those whose hearts are breaking. And… ohhhh in such a not good way. I allow myself and my heart to be broken far harder than it can handle, and I struggle emotionally with not being able to “fix” things- the world, situations, people’s losses. I expect myself to somehow absorb other people’s pain and help them that way. A part of me breaks and I don't grow back stronger.
I’ve learned this fall, through slowing down physically to allow myself to begin to unlearn some of my tendencies. I’ve learned this fall to actually take walks. They have to be slow for my hip, but I’ve allowed myself to just walk sometimes (and not run)! It honestly feels silly to me. I’m 42 and I don’t know how to “take a walk” for exercise. I can walk to the bus stop because there is a destination, but I’ve learned the joy in a 15 minute walk to just be outside in the air, to enjoy the world, to calm my nervous system, to be, to thank God for this breath, this day, this space, His plan.
I’ve learned to do yoga daily with no plan other than to follow where my breath and body take me.
I’ve learned to take a nap, and to some extent to teach myself to wake up from a nap not angry at myself and speaking meanly to myself the rest of the day for being so lazy. And to not let taking a nap write a script to myself that “there is something wrong with me.” That people can be fatigued. That everyone needs sleep.
I am slowly learning to begin to have confidence that I am okay. Fully okay. All of me. I am good and positive. It is strange getting to the place where we can see back some experiences that have led us to question our inherent goodness.
I’ve learned to begin having less doubts of myself, to be quiet inside my mind enough to feel my own strength.