But enough complaining, my life isn't really all that hard. It's actually pretty darn good. And my husband even cooks dinner most nights (and hand washes dishes-because he's just so much better at it than I am, of course). What I really wanted to reflect upon is something that came up today when we met (Dave and Logan Franks were there participating too) after my testing-the concept of balance. While Chrissie Wellington's retirement announcement surprised some, I honestly couldn't say that I was surprised-the woman did incredible things in/for the sport, and has nothing left to prove. I've been reading her autobiography, and I can relate to some of the things she described from her childhood days-excelling in school, a desire to use her brain for good. So, I can understand how after using her body instead for a number of years and accomplishing all their is to accomplish in long course racing, she might just want to go back to using her position and her brain and her time to pursue different pursuits. Throughout my high school, college, and graduate school careers, my academic achievements far outpaced my athletics ones. This might be part of what drives me so much athletically-academically, I could put in the work and get my 4.0 every semester, and that was that. Athletically, it's not as linear, and there's no ceiling-well, there is, but I don't know what it is and I won't unless I keep at it. Still, I can't turn my back on the 20 years of school and the doctorate degree I spent so much time (and money) on-and I don't want to. It's something I worked towards, it's something I continue to try to work at, and it's balance.
|I'm a libra, so I guess that means I was born level or something.|
I know what I need for my balance-I need time with my family and friends, I need sleep, I need a bit of time to take the dogs for a hike in the woods a couple of days each week, I need ice cream and chocolate and pizza here and there, I need human contact after four hour training days, I need to be gainfully employed, I need a chance to utilize my talents outside of triathlon. I also have outside interests-I like to garden, I like to deck out the house for holidays, I like to write in this darn blog, I like to walk around my dad's property and look at the growing plants and pick stuff, I like to watch a few mindless tv shows every week, I actually do sometimes like to clean. These "things" all keep me somewhat grounded in normalcy, and, conversely, keep my passion for the sport high (after all, nothing beats daydreaming about racing while planting vegetables on a warm summer evening). Next year, I do intend on dedicating myself to the sport to a greater degree, but not to the point where I lose my sense of balance. I can waste less time browsing slowtwitch and spend more time sleeping, reading something educational, or even preparing bottles to save time for the following week's workouts (and...ok...cleaning). I can get my butt to the pool for an extra session each week. I can clean up my diet more. These are all things that require more self-discipline, but the type that I consider worth it. I want to better myself as a triathlete, but not at the expense of worsening myself as a human being. Apart from a small charm I wear around my neck, nothing about my outside appearance or carriage of myself screams "crazy triathlete", and I hope to keep it that way.
So, as my offseason comes to a close, was I bored? Was I going nuts? Well...no. I was decking the halls, enjoying staying up past ten and sleeping past seven, spending my Saturday shopping with my mom and sister and having a grand old time, and putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. I even washed the windows and windowsills on the first floor of our house. Trust me, that's a big deal for me. The laundry...still didn't get done, but I'll keep telling myself someday on that. Basically, I righted the triathlon/life scales towards the life side of things, until I was ready to start building the triathlon bank again. That starts tomorrow, and I'm right where I need to be heading into it. I'll be pushing my limits and testing my thresholds and making sacrifices, but at the same time, keeping in touch with my sanity.
Just in case anyone was still worried I've been bored...here's some photographic evidence of our overly festive Griswold house. I love Christmas. It's like a disease. Dave loves me.
|Festive holiday mantle. No fears, the other dog has a stocking too-it's just hidden behind the woodstove. Because dogs have any freaking idea what Christmas is, or that they have stockings hanging.|
|More den. Dave likes giraffes, so he Christmas more when I somehow make them fit in the decor-hence the giraffe planter with fabric poinsettas jammed in its butt.|
|Festive holiday dining room table. Sometimes Dave comes in here with his laptop and does work and moves things. It makes me disproportionately upset.|
|We decorated the dog too. She's trying to hide. Yes, I do realize that it'd be healthier for us to have children someday.|