You may have remembered me saying on Facebook or on this blog that I was ready to be “normal” for a while. Sleep past 6am every once in a while. Workout once a day for an hour. Skip a day of working out if it didn’t fit into the schedule. Play lots of golf.
Why? Well, for the last 3 years I have had “key” races on my calendar that I worked hard for.
2016 Vermont 50 where I trained for the win.
This meant lots of early morning wake ups. It meant saying no to a lot of social events and dialing in nutrition and sleep for maximum performance. It was lonely and it was tough. It brought blood, and LOTS of sweat and tears. It made me question what the hell I was doing and broke me down physically, mentally and spiritually.
So, why did I do it? Why? Because when I look up at those three races listed and I think about those days….June 1, 2015….September 25, 2016 and July 24, 2017…..I can’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. Those three days…and the thousands of hours that got me to those finish lines…taught me more about myself then ANYTHING ever will. The amount of joy I felt in those 29 total hours of racing cannot be described. The pride I felt at the end of each of those races were worth every ounce of pain I endured.
However, after IRONMAN I thought that maybe it was time to take a year off. For the first few weeks it worked well. “So, this is what it feels like to be a regular person?” However, it quickly became old. I kept trying to convince myself that this is what I needed to do. I needed to give my body a rest. I needed to not have the stress of training for something. I listened to those around me, “take some time off…stop doing this to yourself.” Yes…this is what I needed.
One thing…I was lying to myself and I knew it. What I need to do is keep pushing myself EVERY DAY and EVERY YEAR to be a better me. And waking up late(r), doing casual workouts, etc IS NOT WORKING!
I don’t regret these last few months. I learned a lot during them and also gained a perspective that will serve me in my career as a coach and personal trainer. I learned that mental toughness is a habit. It is a muscle that needs to be trained the same way any other muscle group has to be trained. It becomes so EASY to give up during a workout when giving up is an option. It becomes so easy to start eating shitty food when it won’t affect your performance. It becomes easy to become MENTALLY WEAK and start to convince yourself that this life is okay.
When you aren’t stretching, growing, and training for something bigger than you, you lose a certain “something”. I KNOW THAT NOW. These last few months have taught me that. The only way you know what I am talking about is if you have been through it. I have realized long ago that you can NEVER explain to people why you would want to “run for 50 miles” or “do these crazy things”. It is hard to understand until you have done it.
Being on the other side of it right now, when 3 miles on a treadmill feels like an eternity….I can understand why people think it is impossible. I can understand why people think it is stupid and crazy. I am there now. I understand. But I don’t like it.
However, what I have going for me is I’ve seen the other side. I know I have it in me to push through this funk that I am in and get back to the other side. I know I am capable of 50, 100, 200 mile races even though 3 miles feels SO. DAMN. HARD. right now. I KNOW I need to get back to spending time with those who are stretching their limits and living a life of passion. Those that are literally CHANGING PEOPLES LIVES by what they are doing on a day to day basis. I realize that by distancing myself from them it made it easier to think, “this life is okay. It’s okay to just live this life that may not challenge you.”
Ha! Nope, that’s not me. It physically hurts me to not be that person right now. I know deep in my soul I was born to be the person I am when I am training for these events that I once thought were impossible. I know I am a better wife, daughter, sister, friend and person when I am that person.
It has been something I have known for awhile, but it has been easy to bury it down because I’ve been so busy and not able to spend much time with those who inspire me. Then last week happened.
It started with a mission FITNESS meeting. A sat there and looked around at my coworkers who are so freaking inspiring. Each one of them makes me want to be better in one area of my life. The are all working every day to be the best version of themselves, and it is so special to be a part of. Toward the end of our meeting, Matt took time to thank Kim as we celebrated her 4 year anniversary at mission. Anyone who knows Kim knows what she has done for mission. It is incredible.
To think of the lives she changes each and every day brought tears to my eyes. Isn’t that what life is about? I am so passionate about the fact that it is our DUTY to make this world a better place by being in it. My TEAM at MF does that, certainty Kim. He then said, “I don’t know how you do it. I wake up at 430am and you already have an inspiring post on MFers on a mission Facebook Group. You work full time, your a single Mom and in July you are going to do an IRONMAN. I don’t know how the hell you are going to do this, but I know you will.”
Kim then said with so much certainty, “I WILL” That’s when I lost it. See, it isn’t about the IRONMAN. It is more than that. Kim will do this IRONMAN and know that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. More importantly, she will now take away so many peoples excuse that they “don’t have time”. By her doing this IRONMAN she knows she is affecting hundreds of peoples lives. That’s powerful.
Fast forward a week. I have a new fire under me. I woke up again and realized it is my duty to inspire others through my actions. It’s what I chose to do in my career and I know it’s what I was put on this earth to do. So, my workouts picked up a notch after that. Wednesday I was on the treadmill, finishing my last half mile at a 7:02 pace. I was dying. Then…Kim walks in.
She walks over the treadmill and asks how much longer I have. I say 1/4 mile. She says, “well pick it up then.” Suddenly, my 7:02 became 6:45. I felt her energy, “that’s it!” 6:20. “Hell Yeah” as I finished at a 6:02 and I felt amazing. 3 minutes ago I had nothing left. What changed?
What changed was who I was surrounded by. I jumped on the bike and talked to Kim for the next 30 minutes. She listened as I poured my heart out to her after she asked, “what are you training for?” She didn’t need me to explain why I needed something on the schedule. She gets it. And I realized in that moment that this is what I need…this is why I feel my life is so broken right now.
Surround yourself with those who get it and that will push you to your greatness. I couldn’t be happier to have so many of those people around me…it’s time to start spending more time with them and time to get something on the calendar.