Einstein made a few solid contributions to humanity in his lifetime. One of which was this quote:
"Insanity: Doing something over and over and expecting different results."
So when you find yourself working your a@! off towards something, a goal that is important to you (a dream if you will) and continually being set back, largely with injuries that aren't allowing for consistent preparation towards that goal, it's, shall we say, a little confusing. (It's actually a total piss off but I'm trying to keep this blog positive, so confusing sounds like a much 'nicer' word.) Hard work is supposed to pay off, right? So, if this is the case then when hard work and leaving no stone unturned is what you do over and over again and continue to be lead into to setbacks and disappointments that are not paying off, then something in your equation is just not adding up.
It's exactly what was happening to me. So I've taken stock.
When you break nearly every major bone on the left side of your body there is some adaptation that needs to take place if you want to again train/race as a professional triathlete. And that adaptation can be a complex, tricky, and a downright messy process. So, in a sport like long course triathlon, forcing your body to do the impossible, again and again, doesn't work. Especially when it already did something impossible by the 'simple act' of surviving what it probably shouldn't have survived in the first place.
I have accepted that I may never be able to train at the necessary consistency required to make a career/reasonable living out of this. It's hard enough to make a living at this crazy sport but when you throw a near-fatal car accident into the mix it has the tendency to become pretty lousy. I say 'may never' as opposed to 'can't' because I don't really believe in 'can't', but at some point you have to look at past scenarios and ask yourself if you really think it's miraculously going to change. Sometimes you have to be realistic. You have to become sane, or at least it's sane to become sane!
So I had to figure out what I wanted to do with this newfound sanity. I seriously toyed with the idea of leaving triathlon behind completely. But that didn't feel right, something was off. It wasn't until I realized, "Dammit, it's IN me to do this!!" And what I mean by "this" is to have my race. That special race that I know is waiting for me.
But the singular focus, the selfishness, living out of a suitcase, feeling the weight of the pressure cooker to do well in each and every race just to get by, the other parts of myself that were being ignored, the injuries...I could go on, but you get the gist, it wasn't working for me. There isn't anything easy about the 'normal life' of a pro triathlete. I'm just done with doing things the hard way.
So, I'm going to do things my way. I left my teaching job because I believed I could make a living as a professional triathlete. It's highly likely that Nov. 21, 2010 changed that. Accepting that. But the race that I see so clearly in my mind, that moment...hasn't changed. I can still do that. Even while subbing back at my old school, doing some speaking, living in Calgary, and training back with those who got me started in this crazy sport to begin with! Quite looking forward to this new approach actually!
All the while staying on with what works. Mark Allen - I can't possibly say enough good things about this man to justify how awesome he really is. My sponsors that have been there from the beginning who are truly proving to be in this for the long haul. The love and support that has kept me going in the toughest of those times. The belief in a dream. And the firm conviction that hard work...pays off. Keeping these things:)
My project isn't yet complete, and I think it's a pretty important thing to finish what you start, while allowing for change along the way. Now the pressure's off. Given, it's an approach that won't win the world championships, but it just may be the approach to get me to that moment that I see so clearly in my mind...all the while approaching it in a way that just simply, works for me.