I had a little realization yesterday.
As tri season is in full-swing for the first time since 2001 without me, I feel like I'm missing out. I worry that I'm doing nothing but getting fatter and slower, as my friends are all getting fitter and faster. This is pretty silly, and I am fully aware of that. My tragic flaw is worrying to the point of irrationality. I'm working on it. It's quite a work in progress.
So yesterday, as I was feeling pretty low after friends/coworkers little observations about (brace yourself, here) how I DON'T look like I did during Ironman training (I know...no SHIZ Sherlock), for some reason I remembered back in high school how my friend at the time, Joy, was going to spend her junior year as an AFS student in France and how I couldn't possibly wrap my head around it.
But, she's going to MISS SO MUCH! Like, FOOTBALL GAMES! And, GOING TO FRIENDLY'S AFTER FOOTBALL GAMES! And, like, the big yearly BAND CONCERT! I mean, how will she LIVE knowing she didn't get to go to HOMECOMING? Why on EARTH would you want to miss all THAT and spend a year in PARIS? What about SWIM SEASON?! And, like, AP ENGLISH?! How could you want to be ANYWHERE BUT HERE?????
Yeah. Pretty ridiculous.
Let's see....France, or small-town Ohio?
To 16 year old me I couldn't POSSIBLY GRASP anything but small-town Ohio. That was my little world I had created for myself, and that was all I knew.
This is a good thing that I'm being forced to study abroad this year. I've gotten a few books and have been reading about how I can fine-tune things: my bike, my nutrition, etc. I've been forced to step back and have fought it kicking and screaming the whole way. Workouts are getting shorter. Stomach is getting bigger. Kicks are getting stronger.
I'm being forced to live in the moment. Not thinking about this week's plans, or this month's goals, or hours on this or that.
This, to me, is a foreign country.
I'm sure that I'll look back on this I'll laugh, just like I do when I tell the story of how I thought Joy was absolutely insane for leaving my little world for 9 months. It all seems so silly now. High school didn't go anywhere, but she had an amazing experience. Neither are these races.
When you're at minute 32 of a 7 mile ride, you can't start thinking about all your insecurities and worries. You just keep spinning. If you worry too much, you waste energy. And that's DUMB. You just go minute by minute and deal with each thought as they come to you, and each problem as it arises. And then you move on.
How did I get through the Ironman last year, with my nutrition that I left in the trunk of my car, the surprise weather forecast that left many on the side of the road with hypothermia, the clock that ticked away and the initial goals in my head that slipped away, too?
I think, really, for the first time in my life actually, I didn't think about it. I just did it. I stayed in the moment or I would never, EVER have made it to that finish line.
Somehow, I need to do that here. I will get fitter again. I will get faster again. I've never let myself down before, and I damn well know that I won't now.
So maybe instead of worrying, I'd better just enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower this tri season.