Has triathlon saved me again?
So I have now officially “moved” to Sherrills Ford in North Carolina! It feels to me like I am in the middle of no-where, surrounded by cows, churches and a lake that seems to be everywhere you look. The weather has been well below my likings – cold and rainy. Something I have not experienced in over 13 years living in the Middle East, and experienced rarely in Australia. Needless to say – I am not exactly over the moon with my change in location (not my idea – but that’s another story). I started to feel like things were really unraveling in the first few days – a sense of dread and unhappiness was washing over me. This change, combined with post race blues (after ADIT) and a full recovery week resulted in me being a pretty unhappy camper. I knew I needed to do something pretty quick to get back on track.
First attempt was to go for a run – well not sure if anyone else has experienced suburban America but it is not set up for pedestrian activities – after running around in circles for a while I decided to head home – frozen and feeling even less than excited about being here. Second attempt was to go to the local YMCA in town. I was already behind in my training so I decided I would do a little mini Triathlon but with a bike, run and then swim. The place was better than I expected and after 45mins on the bike and a good solid 30 mins on the treadmill I was feeling ready for a few kms in the pool. I was starting to feel myself again, more optimistic, positive and…well happy. I got changed and jumped in the pool and on one of my rests I got to chatting with the lady I was sharing the lane with. Turned out she is training for a her first triathlon in the summer, and had only been swimming for 2 months. I also noticed a very fit “chick” in the lane next me – an obvious Ironman finisher as I noticed her M dot bag and swim cap. Things were looking even better – I was surrounded by my “people”. On my next rest I then met the “fitchick” in the lane next to me – turns out she is the wife of a recently retired British Professional Triathlete ..whoah…Ok – so not only have I just had a 2 and half hour kick butt work out – that has my endorphins flowing, I then get to meet and chat with like minded people. I feel better than I have in weeks – Triathlon – again has saved me from slumping in to the darkness.
So it seems that for me, Triathlon (and all the training that goes with it) has given me an identity, and a common passion that allows me to connect with people. Not only that, it has given me direction and passion that allows me to connect with myself. It gets me out of bed in the morning, it gets me to jump in the car and go looking for places to run and ride, places I would maybe normally not visit. It keeps me moving and working, especially when you sign up for a race. The best part is that it allows me to start-up conversations, meet and connect with people who without a triathlon connection I may not have gotten to know. My point isn’t that triathlon specifically did this, it’s more that when you find something you truly love to do and you put your heart and soul in to it, even sometimes when maybe it’s hard or you start to lose interest, well this is where the magic is.
I know that it is going to take a while to find my way here, and that it’s not going to be as easy as it was in Abu Dhabi, and definitely not as easy as it was in Brisbane – but what I do know is that I am going to keep training and TRIing…..