So I didn't go into much detail about last week but I thought it might help me figure some things out if I did. I have recurring bouts of uncertainty about my dedication to training and calling triathlon my profession. There is a part of me that feels guilty about committing most of my energy to such a self indulgent endeavor, so it is hard enough to be confident and resolute about my training. There is another part of me that rears its ugly head from time to time, and for me this part is harder to clarify. I have struggled for a long time with some very self destructive tendencies and beliefs that has left me depressed at times, lost and in a state of abject instability. I am sure there is some biological contribution to this problem as well but it is something I have been working on for a long time and it has gotten better but is something I still struggle with.
Last week I lost all motivation to work out and then started questioning my dedication and things just started tumbling downhill from there. Once I get going, I can't think anything positive about my goals or myself and it is really debilitating. I suppose the biggest thing that troubles me is that even with years of improvement the best I can hope to be is mediocre amongst the professional field. I worry that this means I will never have a result that I can be proud of or even if I do it might take years to get even one and I just don't know if that is worth putting everything else I could accomplished with my life on hold for so long. The only real tool that I have is that I know that it wil pass and I just have to try to minimize the damage in the meantime. Trying not to make any big decisions, eat to much junk food or burn anyone around me down is a struggle but those are areas where I just try to lay low and wait it out. The part that I hate the most about this kind of low is the lingering negativity. Often when I am experiencing a bad patch I can't help but start thinking that I am never going to accomplish anything and those thoughts are hard to un-think.
I am feeling better this week and it helps to think about all the things that I love about what I am doing, the people that have been so supportive and the things that keep me inspired. One of the people that was a big part of sparking my interest in triathlon in the first place and has been a lasting inspiration for me is Ian Carney. We swam together in college and I think the thing that I admired most about him was that he approached training the way I do. He would never turn down a challenge to train harder and more often, never backing down from a race and sought adventure wherever he could find it. He was one of the most enthusiastic, positive and joyful people I have ever met and I am honored to have known him.
Over winter break of 2004 Ian died in a hiking accident and the lives of everyone that knew him have not been the same since. I am one of many that carry inspiration found from having known Ian and we are all better for having had him in our lives. To us his memory is a reminder to live life to the fullest that we are capable of, not because it can be cut short but because we know the joy that poured from our friend who lived that way. Ian would have been 28 this week. To those of you who knew him I am certain that you share the strength I draw from him and to those of you who didn't I hope that you have someone in your life who inspires you like Ian inspires me.
This week I took it slow getting things going again and chose workouts I was confident I could do and knew I could recover from. I actually had some really solid workouts and felt better physically and mentally as the week went on. I talked to a couple of friends of mine and consulted with some long time athletes and coaches that I respect to get some perspective and advice. Support from the people in my life has gotten me through a lot and I am so grateful for that and for them. For now I am back on track and if you made it this far thanks for reading.
Swim 18,500 yds
Bike 11 hrs
Run 42.5 mi