Monday, May 12, 2014

Perspective

I started writing this post and as I read it, I realized how completely ridiculous it sounded and had to delete and start the whole thing over.
 
To sum up: I had a very bad ride yesterday and let my cycling frustration take me to a sad place where I beat myself up and negative self-talked my way into an embarrassing ugly cry meltdown. (Cue the hash tag: first world people problems.)
 
When I called the S.O. I immediately told him I was not having fun and if this was any indication of the how summer-long Ironman training was going to go, I should probably throw in the towel. He listened, made me laugh through sobs, and helped me look at my options.

Sure, I can throw in the towel and say this wasn't fun and I'm putting way too much pressure on it. And get my weekends and sleeping in back, before it gets really crazy. Plus, you know, I'm not really enjoying this cycling thing right now. Or I can also decide to stop being such a maniac and have fun. Realizing, that at the end of the day, finishing an Ironman really and truly doesn't matter in the bigger scope of my life. Meaning, it's not in any capacity as important as my health, my family, and friends. I've lost a loved one and I know how my perspective has changed, which is why I really need to not get worked up about a dang bicycle.

So what am I going to do? Well, I'm certainly not going to quit. For one thing, I paid a lot of money. For another, there are a bunch of people who didn't get into IMChattanooga and me just giving up now would be real shitty to them. In addition, I have awesome friends to train with and lean on. My biggest obstacle right now is me. I'm going to have fun dammit!

Ultimately, I'm not a quitter. I have had many tough races and I've always been able to find something positive in them. I've come so far on the bike already and one day of losing perspective isn't going to derail my whole journey.

To those who can't physically do what I am so blessed to be able to do and aim to achieve, I am sorry for being a baby. I'm going to finish what I started and I'm going to enjoy the ride.
 

15 comments:

Lee Davidson said...

Oh, Beth, I have been there (many times), and I don't do half of what you do. I'm glad you got some perspective, but I hope you'll allow yourself a meltdown every now and then, without judgement. <3

One Crazy Penguin said...

I think everyone enters that mental space at some point. Some training days just suck. Way to get past it though :)

Laura Anderson said...

Keep your head up, you are kick ass and will get through this. I feel like we all have times like this during training where the mental battle is just insane. Have fun and enjoy it, you are going to have an AMAZING summer of training!

The Padre said...

Total Perspective!! I find myself riding into the wind but still able to complete the full range of motion. Climbing hills with super strength to only find a rear flat to fix. Riding a short training day but not packing enough water. Enjoying the views and almost getting clipped by a car. And in the end, while laying on the floor with The Boy Dog, its all in perspective. Stay Strong, Grow With Each Day, & Remember That You Are An Inspiration. Free Your Mind & Your Bike Will Follow

Joanna said...

I've never trained for a TRI, and I'm sure it's more exaggerated there, but I've certainly been there with marathon training. Go get 'em!

Carolina John said...

Yep! Been there, done that. My cycling enjoyment is barely starting to come back. I did suffer through about 5 hours last week which was pretty good, and I didn't want to abandon ironman entirely because of it, so I'm counting that as a win.

Give it time. If the enjoyment of riding doesn't come back, the crazy stares from your friends when you tell them how far you rode this weekend will make it worth it all eventually. And keeping that goal in mind of crossing the finish line will keep everything in perspective.

Kristina said...

Out of the three disciplines, cycling for me is really up and down. I would say that most of my riding in April was a struggle - mentally and physically. But it was good for me to have those hard rides and to see the benefits, which seem to come much later than I want!
Good luck to you! It's definitely healthy to have some perspective, especially at this point in the game.

Kris said...

There was at least one (likely more) point during IM training where I wanted to heave my bike off the road into a ditch and hitchhike back to the car. So yeah.....perspective is a good thing.

FitnessFatale said...

I have definitely been there!

Do. not. worry. You will put in the work and you will finish! And it sounds like you have so many good reasons to keep going. I know you won't let one bad ride get you down. But I totally understand what you are going through and it definitely gets better!

Keith said...

You wouldn't expect everything to be all roses and sunshine and lalala every time. There will be some tough brutal workouts in your future.

But they're all in your head. Your mental attitude is key to success. Knowing when to dig in and give'r till you get'er done. Knowing when to take a break and go have some fun.

Just be sure that when you talk to someone about it, that they can say yes to an important qualifying question. Have they done Ironman. If they haven't done it, they probably don't know where your head is. Hang in there.

erin said...

Totally been there, too! The early mornings, the missed events… all about perspective. Remember: We don't have to do this, we GET to :)

Unknown said...

If you don't have fun, it's not worth it.

But the fun doesn't always show up at the right time. It might come from your friends at a later date based on shared experiences. It might come at the finish line, when you realize you actually accomplished what you had doubted you ever could. It may come from knowing how privileged you are to even participate in this activity. It might even come from your readers when you see how much they appreciate and admire both your athletic abilities and your honest blogs.

So try to enjoy the moment. But also remember those past victories, and contemplate the endless potential in the unknown ahead.

And have fun!

Rick Stiles

Redhead Running said...

Perspective, like it or love it, it's always right. Glad you were able to step away from the frustration and find a better place about it. Love and believe in you Boo!

meghan said...

I'm sorry you had such a hard day, Beth. I wish that I had known and could have done something. We're going to have more fun this weekend. And though I'm sure we're going to face challenges along the way, we'll always have the fun and funny situations to look back on to keep us smiling through it all. I mean, we stopped at a barbeque restaurant to buy water in San Antonio on a ride that took us almost 5 hours. And, you've got me and Tori to vent to. Please don't keep anything inside. Yes, this is all meant to be fun, and as I always try to remind myself when I get too analytical or hard on myself, this isn't what pays the bills. We make no money on this and spend lots, so we can make sure we keep refocusing on that as we're going this summer. September 28th here we come!

Jesica DAvanza said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this right now. I am basically working on a post titled "I Suck at Running." Hint: it is not about positive self talk. Haha. We all have these bad workouts. We just have to ask ourselves what we're going to do about it next. Stop thinking about what didn't work or what could have been better and just move on. You'll get your groove back when you least expect it. xoxo