I’ve been off the radar for a while. Training has been pretty consistent, I don’t think I have much to report on that right now, just working towards the Vineman Aquabike race in July (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike).
I started writing today because I have been feeling very humbled lately. It started with a wonderful note from one of the readers, who left me a comment saying that he completed his first triathlon recently, and that reading my blog helped. Wow – how can I take credit for someone’s amazing accomplishment! I’m so happy for that person, and I am just floored by his endeavor and congratulate him on starting a new chapter of his life.
I’ve been thinking – victories are great. Recognitions like this are great, and I feel pretty proud of myself sometimes. But, what about some of the not-so-victorious days? What if I never got any recognition for what I did? What is my true motivation for blogging about my battle with my condition? Am I truly helping those who feel hopeless when it comes to getting out of the vicious cycle?
Lately I have been focusing so much on my victories, what I did well, and what I did right, etc… but I ignored my struggles of not doing well, feeling defeated, facing confusion and pain… I don’t think I was identifying with myself anymore in this blog!
Maybe I got arrogant – as if I’m this can-do-it-all-by-myself endurance athlete, only going for the wins but not counting the losses, not appreciating how I got here, but only remembering that I am here right now… I know I don’t dwell on weaknesses and negativity, but perhaps I’ve become insensitive to what others are going through, or even sometimes very insensitive to what I’m going through when things are rough! I feel like I haven’t even been allowing myself to be weak, in the pursuit of perfection (my biggest personality flaw).
I’m wondering if my recent entries have become almost too distant for other fibromyalgia patients to identify with – I discuss of no struggles and no questions, I just always seem to be doing the right thing and I’m feeling great and I’m doing great and I’m doing these crazy workouts… kinda lame.
Arrogance and complacency is what eventually catches us by surprise, I think – just when I think I am doing great and my health is at its peak, if I don’t stay humble and cautious, I could just go back to where I started. I still need to eat right, exercise regularly, keep a healthy sleep schedule, and not overextend myself. Once the cycle is broken, then things start going off track… I don’t want to go there. And thankfully, I have such wonderful people doing amazing things that leave me very encouraging messages to make sure I don’t go there. Because they remind me of how it all got started. How hard it was the first time. But what it means to have gotten there.
At this stage in my experience with training and racing in endurance races, it is so easy to get wrapped up in meeting the training goals, performing well, staying strong, etc… but today I’m remembering why I’m doing this in the first place. It’s not about the race, or kicking butt, or boasting about my personal victories…it’s about sharing my experience with the pain, and how I lessen the pain…and how we can all do so by making small changes. I’m just a guiney pig to prove that even the hard-core exercising is not harmful for my condition, so that some of you can start enjoying a nice walk, a nice stretch and a better life.
I didn’t do this all by myself – my life as a triathlete started only because I was in so much pain and misery for so long, that I had no choice but to desperately pray and ask what I was supposed to do to turn my life around…and I was gifted with a vision of crossing that finish line once again. I cannot possibly take credit for all this… it was a gift. And I promise to keep sharing this gift with you, so that it helps YOU, not fulfill my own ego.
Ok, with that said – 72 mile bike ride coming ahead this weekend in Lake Tahoe … it’s going to take me a long time to finish this as I’m only trained so far for maybe 55 miles, and that is a stretch. But I will do it with joy and gratitude!