It can seem like everyone is "Stage Ready" and "Race Ready" all the time. It looks like everyone is eating clean, rocking morning abs, and running marathons every other weekend. Well I am here to tell you that balance and rest is A-okay too.
Last year, just before we left on our vacation to France, I said my goals was to GAIN 5 happiness lbs.
I defined happiness lbs as - pounds that are gained during a state of complete happiness and generally result from eating generous quantities of bread, cheese, and French pastries. They may also be gained by drinking many glasses of wine, and perhaps even some champagne for good measure.
Last year I found myself struggling with grief. I had lost my Dad unexpectedly, and as a result had also lost about between 5-10 lbs. It was not an intentional weight loss, but the anxiety and stress of those initial few months took its toll on my body physically.
I admit that I am a Type-A person and often come up with these grand plans/projects. And because I was struggling, I found myself looking for a distraction, and a positive place to put my nervous energy. I signed up for a Half Ironman, and threw myself into training.
By May I was exhausted. I half-heartedly race my first triathlon of the season in June. And promptly left on a flight for a much needed vacation.
While away, my husband asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride, and I quickly dissolved into tears. I didn't want to train. I didn't want to race. I was tired. I was worn out. But I struggled with this idea that I had to keep up with "The Jones'".
The tears were a clear sign that a Half Iron and hours of training each week, were not what I needed.
Deep down I had known that for months, but I felt this undue pressure to continue to keep pushing. I was stuck in this mental comparison game. It seemed like everyone around me was training hard EVERY day. Everyone was running insane weekly mileage. Everyone was eating super clean. Everyone was achieving personal bests and running race after race.
But I was tired. So relax is what I did.
And it was the right decision for so many reasons. My body needed the break - I found out a few weeks after returning from France that Surgery #7 was inevitable. And it gave me a chance to spend time, energy, and focus on other areas of my life. Greif, stress, and strife can consume all of your energy. And the little energy that I had - I needed to dedicate to my priorities. I focused on my husband. I focused on my new career. And I worked towards finding a peaceful place.
I am back in a place where I am training again. Putting more energy into my workouts and nutrition. But I am also in a place where I have the energy to give.
It is okay to accept where you are today. And if that comes at the expense of a workout, or a race, or a couple pounds on the scale you are still every bit as valuable, wonderful, and worthy. Balance is not a bad thing.
It is okay to say...
I can't do it all, but I will give my all to the things that I value.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,