Alcoholism to Ironman: Part 6

Along with many of you, I am currently coming out of the winter off season. Of course, this implies that I previously had an actual "season" to begin with. I don't have to explain the degree of disappointment we had in regards to 2020, ending with an equally disappointing trail race in November.

As a triathlon rookie, I have not yet been through the full cycle of training-racing-resting over the course of an entire year. It's all a little new to me, so I'm not really sure if what I'm feeling is normal. I'm simply having trouble getting started.

Something seems to be missing...

Confidence? With the lack of race success last year, I don't really know where I stand. I'm having difficulty measuring my gains. I was relying too heavily on race times and performances as a gauge.

Competition? I liked chasing my fellow Tri Fitness athlete, Rhiannon, each lap in the pool on Saturday mornings as much as I liked drowning Roger (another fellow Tri Fitness athlete) in my wake as I blew past him. Friendly competition is fun.

Accountability? I feel like I'm kind of on an island, doing my own thing. I follow the training plan, and even though Vicki (my coach) is watching, it seems a bit lonely. I'm hoping that these are just winter blues, and they will thaw with the snow.

Effort? Everything seems hard. Workouts seem hard, running seems hard, and even getting out of the house is sometimes hard.

Peace of mind? I worry. I worry about everything — workouts, timing, diet — and I can't really explain it. It's just plain, run-of-the-mill anxiety.

I don't know what exactly was missing or what combination of the above was the real issue. I just felt "off." I, of course, discussed my laundry list of issues with Vicki. She, in her solution-for-everything kind of way, introduced me to some black magic voodoo she calls "meditation." Scary stuff.

So I began meditating by listening to podcasts and guided meditations a few times per week, and it truly helped calm my mind. I simply felt better. I also rolled up my sleeves and pushed through each workout, and that also helped mentally as well as physically. This relationship between my mind and body seems interconnected. I'm not sure which comes first or which is more important, but it has gotten me back into the swing of things. I think I'm finally getting back on track. I sense the momentum building, and I'm getting excited about training all over again.

I've learned two things over the past few weeks:

  1. I am more effective with a calm mind and an active body.

  2. If you move your ass, your mind will follow.

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