A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Friday, September 16, 2011

From crossroads to normalicy.

Most of the important things in the world have been
achieved by people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

I was lost. You know the feeling, you train for something with all the focus you can possibly absorb into yourself, and then you don't make it. You feel like a child lost in the woods (aw, that's actually is a great feeling! When I was not even 3 years old and a military brat, I ran away from home into the woods, and then they had to send out a whole troupe of solders from my dad's division to look for me, and I can't say I was thrilled, I was still enjoying my outing when was found). OK, so bottom line is, you feel lost. What's next? What's now? What's the purpose to go to the gym, to lift weight, to jump on much disliked stairmaster...it's an empty feeling. When it happens after running a goal race (and it happens every single time to a different degree depending how important that race was and how much I pushed for the performance), I call it a "Post-Race Depression", or PRD. When the "race" doesn't even happen yet all the eggs are in the basket...it just feels odd. So, on Tuesday morning, when I met up with Coach Drew to confirm my email stating that I, indeed, am out, and we probably should cut our losses short and get some rest from each other, we just stood there, at the weight rack, not knowing how to proceed, until I offered to go out and have coffee. We had a great chat, he is a very enthusiastic personal trainer with a hell lot of knowledge (and education to come along with), and I wish him best. Too bad he couldn't use me for advertising of his skills.

And so I set off on a 2-day mourning process. No gym, no food police. I needed a reset button.

And there it was. My PRD never lasts more than 2 days, lucky for me. On Thursday my alarm went off, and I spent an hour lifting and 30 min climbing. I was back to the foods I got used to during the last 3 months, and life became simple again. In the evening my son and I went to the gym...good ol' times. As we walked, he noticed a weird vibe, and I realized I haven't told him yet (in my pity) that the show is cancelled for me. He was hugely disappointed - I think he was the one who was upset the most! Who knew? He had to go through his own process of accessing and mourning (and offering me to move it all himself, and that I can just "run quickly and walk on stage and come back", and may be the show will get moved to another date...). But after 45 minutes of working out, as we walked back, he came to resolutions, all on his own. How I got fit. How I look good (I don't know if you realize that was coming from a 15 year old male to his mom). How it will help me once I start training for races. How proud he is of me. And how we developed our relationship and made it so strong based on our commitment to support each other, as we walk to the gym, every night, and do our own thing there. If he wasn't a 15 year old male and my son to boot, I would have squeezed him and cried right there...

So, this morning I went for a test-run. As I made my way on the usual street route, in the usual dark, meeting usual suspects doing their runs, breaking into a jogging stride, trying to be careful as I land on the heel, listening to the pain, the fears, the uncertainties, the silence, and the music (all at the same time)...it felt so normal. Just the way it should be. In a mere 3 mile jog I had contemplated on more life than in the last 3 months. It was a sense of peace. The world is still here. And so am I.

I was lost.  And now I'm found.

When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.
Alice Paul

5 comments:

  1. Love this post. So true on many levels! As athletes, we find many hopeful ways to stay motivated, whether it's finishing a challenging race or expecting the best possible outcome, only to deal with the reality of our limits for that day. Nonetheless, the process of training and all the benefits from it are ours to hold onto.

    Building your relationship with your son is monumental compared to some trophy collecting dust.

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  2. Hey Olga: Great post again! One thing that stuck out from the perspective of an athletic supporter (kind of like your son) instead of an athlete: Often the DNF's or DNS's are very difficult to understand for us as well. When Pam DNF'd at AC100 last summer, it was clear that I was affected much more than she was. All that time, energy, and preparation takes its toll on us as well. When results aren't as expected, then there's bound to be some confusion. It sounds like your son has already worked through it which is good, but I just wanted to share that perspective with you.

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  3. Anonymous19/9/11 16:03

    Put couple of pounds back please. Too skinny....

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  4. Anonymous20/9/11 10:52

    Agree with Thomas completely. The relationship you and Stephen developed is the biggest prize of all. Connecting with him in that way at his age is priceless.

    Glad to hear you were able to run and I hope your injury is over.

    Ronda

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  5. You have developed a beautiful relationship with Stephen. As a mother of a son, that warms my heart! Hope you're continuing to run and are on the mend.

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