Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2010 – It Begins

Anxiously I waited for my Training Peaks account to be updated; since October 5th, the day after the South Carolina Half Iron I was hungry to continue my triathlon journey. Triathlon in two short years has ceased to be a sport and has now become a way of life for me, it is a journey that has had people flow in and out of my life and a challenge that has brought me both happiness and despair. At the end of my 2009 season I finally realized that my love of sport, that my love of spending hours on my bike is about living in the moment and realizing how incredibly lucky I am to have the opportunity and desire to enjoy this sport – it has opened my eyes to an entirely new world. Diabetes got me into the sport; my heart and soul is keeping me in it.

Yesterday, Coach Orton finally updated my Training Peaks account! For two months I had created my own workouts like a schizophrenic on crack; intensity here, going long there, some kettlebells sprinkled in. Eric wanted me to take time off, to mentally rest and to just go out and do the activities that I enjoyed. I would go for slow runs, I would go for fast runs and would smile with each step. However, I was anxious, I was anxious to begin my 2010 triathlon journey, I was anxious to see what hidden treasures would be found during my journey to the starting line of IMCDA. With energy, enthusiasm and excitement that journey began yesterday.

For 40 minutes yesterday I rode my trainer with joy. My mind filled with how much fun training for IMCDA is going to be. I thought about the adventures I'll have in Oceanside, I thought about how amazing it will be to go through this journey more involved with Triabetes, I thought about how my good friends at Darden think I'm crazy but support me in every way possible. Classmates of mine always offer to go for runs, rides or swims with me, some have traveled to races with me and a few are thinking of going out to Idaho for the Ironman. Each of them, in some way will help get me to that starting line in late June. For 40 minutes I thought about the long journey ahead of me and promised myself I would soak in every moment and enjoy every second.

There will be times over the next year where I'll become frustrated by results, where the stresses of searching for my post-MBA job (fingers crossed, big things might be around the corner!), trying to start a small company (triathlon and diabetes led to that idea), enjoying my last semester at Darden and juggling workouts will lead to some stress. But a major goal of mine is to not let any of that get to me and to always remember how lucky I am to have this opportunity. Sport has always been the one thing that has entirely made sense to me; I so often analyzing things in life and try and figure them out, but I never have in athletics, athletics has let me bare my soul, it has let me be comfortable, it has let me, be me. As long as I remember that during each 30 hour training week this season will be nothing short of incredible.

In my e-mail exchange with Eric yesterday we talked a bit about the season and one sentence I wrote struck me for how this journey has changed me. I wrote to him that I realize triathlon isn't about beating the guy next to me, it's about pushing myself to do as well as I can, within myself, not because results matter, not because my time matters, it is because that moment matters. During college football I hardly ever worried about "winning" the play; the plays or games I did worry about that I didn't do very well. When I worried about soaking in the moment and giving that moment all that I had for me, for my teammates, for my coaches is when everything came together. In South Carolina, I only worried about each foot strike, I never worried about my time, I only thought of the journey, not the destination. This season there will be no shouting out Idaho!!! As I shouted out Placid during my 2008 training because this journey is not about beating the course, it is about soaking in the journey.

"Nature without check with original energy," that is my motto for this season. I have learned much about myself over the past two years through this sport. Over the past two years I had a lot of questions that I sought to answer, in a way that made the past two seasons about the destination; 2010 however is all about the journey. Where it will take me I have no idea, what I do know is that my goal is to do each workout with joy and passion. 2010 here I come!

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil,
this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.


~ Walt Whitman

Song of Myself (I, II, VI & LII)

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