Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I feel normal.

Yes. I. feel. normal.

You might remember that back in Nov, I decided to take time off. I was at rock bottom. I couldn't take one more thing on, for fear of absolutely losing my shit....which BTW, would be a full blown emotional breakdown.

I took off for 4 months and did what I want. 

I set some rules in place.

My plan, if you could call it a plan, was to be active....that was it.

1: I wouldn't do anything that I didn't want to do.

2: If I wanted to take a day off, for any reason, I'd take a day off. 

I had no idea I would go like that. I had zero motivation for anything (except riding my bike which I did alot).  I didn't want to think about training at any level. I wanted to be as far away from anything related to triathlon. 

When Liz and I talked, I told her, "I'll be back".

But really, in my heart, I did not feel like I would be.

It was the greatest thing I've ever done. I went through the entire holiday season without any stress of trying to get everything done. I threw myself into work. I love what I do, so this was something that gave me a lot of purpose and feeling of success.

The New Year rolled around, and I started feeling better. In February, I changed up my work schedule a lot. During this time, I was able to figure out what "training" would look like with my new work schedule.

At the end of Feb, I decided I needed help creating a training plan, except that I wasn't calling it a training plan. 

As I told Liz, "I need a plan for someone with no goals, no desire to race. Oh, and I absolutely do not want to swim. And I might skip workouts a lot, but really my goal is prevent me from doing anything stupid and hurting myself".

She was totally with the idea. 

She set me up with about 5-7 hours a week of exercise.


Until it wasn't. I realized that I was skipping fewer and fewer workouts. I wanted more.

I still didn't want to call it "training", and I absolutely did NOT want to race. Of course, there was the whole NO SWIMMING thing.

Even though I wasn't doing much, it was probably the best quality work that I've done in a long time. 

I put myself 100% into doing all the things that I usually don't focus on, because I wasn't planning on racing. I was always focused on heart rate or pace. I wouldn't give real focus to the dirty work.

As much as I was enjoying this, I still wanted to be as far away from triathlon as possible.

As the months went by, my volume was increasing (in small amounts). 

One day, I woke up excited to SWIM.  After 7 months of no swimming, I wanted to swim again.

I told Liz: "Hey, let's try a short swim to see how it goes". I'm thinking 20 minutes with a noodle sounds pretty spectacular.

Liz being Liz, gave me 2300m including 100's.

Then, I realized she gave me 2 swims.

Ok. That's ok.

But I enjoyed the swims. After the 2nd one, I felt more like myself than I have in 1.5 years. 

I felt normal. 

(No. Still not interested in triathlon).

NORMAL. I felt normal. It felt so good to feel that way.

Then, it happened again, this week. I started getting back into the swing of things. I'm back to figuring out how to get my workouts versus finding a way to get out of doing them.

I'm now at almost 8 months of this. 

It feels good to feel normal again.

For those of you who have asked another athlete, "How did you know you needed time off"?


You've asked yourself, "I wonder if I should take time off"?

The answer is YES. If those questions are even popping in your head, the answer is YES.

I know. Because there have been times when my motivation has been high, and I never even considered taking time off. I didn't want or need it. 

Trust me. Take all the time you need. Even when you think you'll NEVER go back to sport, you will. It will come back to you. 

And you will be more refreshed and motivated than before.