This past week was more about reflection rather than training.
The training was there and it got done. But this is a New Year. And while I have never been one to make resolutions – I do have a good look at what the past year has been like.
If I was to be totally honest it was a bit POOP. I qualified for Kona last year, February. Something I had targeted and worked towards for quite a while. The victory didn’t taste as good as I dreamed it would, I was never well enough to enjoy my little moment of glory. And then things progressively slid downhill from there to the point I withdrew from the October World Championships.
I struggled all year with my self-esteem, demons, one minute up the next minute down. I reduced training. I stopped training. I exercised. I put on weight. I started to really dislike who I was and what I saw when I looked in the mirror.
I thought it would all be okay if I just got back to where I was post illness and fatigue. I thought if I could make the outside look the same as I used to then I WOULD be happier and learn to love myself again.
Don’t get me wrong; last year was far, far from ALL bad. I have found when I am away racing or working at races I transform. I simply love to be in the triathlon playground. For me it is like going to church. There is so much positive energy all around, you cannot help but get high on life and being alive.
I first learnt this when I took a month out and went to Kona as a spectator. That month’s holiday was perfection. I started to heal and spiritually feel good about me again. And I am now going to make that trip (so long as financially able!) my annual pilgrimage, as a friend said to me over the weekend. You can’t take money with you when you go, so enjoy it.
So back to the outside casing of Emma; after hitting rock bottom I had (with the help of some guidance) a revelation of sorts. It all seems so simple now. Why did I not see this before? But sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can start swimming back to the surface. This is going to be a long journey, hence my use of the swimming analogy – the swim is slow but steady as will be my recovery!!
I am trying although it is extremely hard to forget about what I look like on the outside. I now understand the real battle lies deep within. Get control of that and everything else will fall into place. It works. I am learning (and again this is VERY hard) to focus on me, one thing at a time, and to have belief that I can heal.
It seems crazy to say I find that hard, as I never had any trouble believing I could qualify for Kona. But this belief is deeper and a slower, calmer process which is totally the opposite of how Emma functions.
I went for my first Pilates class the other day. The instructor was shocked at my lack of movement and also the first comment was; you are not used to doing things slowly are you? I started laughing. "NOPE. That’s why I am here. I need to learn how to slow my life down, one thing at a time."
So training went smoothly and slowly and calmly. Kristian was very helpful with his advice and support in my woes and worries and information on CFS. The more you read, the more you learn, you can never stop learning.
Once again I cannot emphasize how helpful it is to have a coach with sound advice in your corner. When the chips are down, just a few words of encouragement are all you need to start moving forward again, or in my case get out of bed! :)
So if I wake up in the morning and feel like I have slept. That is a result, a HUGE result. In the old life I would have a list of 10-20 tasks to do in a day. WOW I am scared just typing that. These days I have maybe a maximum 5 tasks a day that includes training and meetings.
The goal is not to think about any of the other tasks until the first is finished. When that is done if I feel good to do the next and am clear in the head then I will do it. If I don’t finish everything in the day – then it’s not a problem, I will not stress and the world will not stop rotating!
I have been very lucky that I am still able to work whilst feeling so pooped. I do not think I have let anybody down and while some people have to quit work and have no income when handling CFS I count myself lucky that I am still able to do what I love.
2011 - THE ONLY WAY IS UP !!!
Happy New Year Everyone!
Train Safe, Train Smart, SMILE :)