it’s interesting to feel your values shift as you grow older. when i was in my teens, all i wanted was to go to the olympics in three-day-eventing. there were some unfortunate events that happened. things happen when you’re not the sole part of a performance and instead, in my situation, working with/on a horse. i gave it my all the summer before my senior year of high school, only to come out beaten and broken. at that point i finally listened to the advice given to me and took a step back.
the guilt i felt making that decision was horrible. i vividly remember the emotional process and it took me committing to leaving the country (new zealand) to walk away. i remember my dad said he wouldn’t sell my horse while i was gone and let me think about it while i explored the world. [even typing this makes me tear up] i came home and didn’t want to ride. i struggled with losing my identity.
running filled the void and triathlon quickly followed. i have never committed to triathlon and running the way i did to riding. because i learned things change, i change. i have known it’s better for my well being if i don’t let triathlon or running completely consume my life, it either adds to the greatness of my life or i should find something else.
i have been asked by many if i feel “free” since retiring from triathlon and walking away from the pressures of training? i don’t have a straight forward answer. the thing is, i made conscious decisions to limit the amount of stress the sport put on my life. not having a coach was the most beneficial decision i made towards my enjoyment in sport. i am smart enough and resourceful (i have ingenius friends who are more than willing to provide direction). also, i do not feel pressure by what other people post on social media. what other people do and post doesn’t negatively impact my day and if it does, i simply, “unfollow” the offenders.
i guess what i am trying to say is, sport wasn’t negative for me. it just became too demanding at a time i wanted to put my focus elsewhere, like now, towards grad school.
i was recently listening to a podcast where they were talking about, “the glorification of being busy.” there is one thing i pulled out of it that truly resonated with me. it was the process of not filling your plate 100+% full in order to get the most out of yourself, instead we should shoot for 80%. i am one of those people that doesn’t feel content unless they have far too much on their plate. it’s a constant problem and i am in perpetual crisis mode. i am probably not going to get this right, but the reason for the 80% is that things often take much longer than you anticipate. if i didn’t understand that well before, after 24 grad school credits where we’re constantly relying on technology, i get it.
instead of committing to endurance racing, i am committed to working through some of my biggest limiters [in life]. i am also working from scratch, doing something i have wanted to do for a very long time — build my strength and core muscles so i am better, more balanced athlete. doing all those little things that are the first to fly out the window when you get in the thick of long distance training without any stress of squeezing in some miles. i also need to get my health on track as i am a hot mess, but that’s another post for another day.