Saturday, February 23, 2013

Not How Far I've Come, Not Where I'm Going...but Where I'm AT!

As I was writing my last post, particularly about the "almost swim workout" I did Thursday before last, it made me stop and think about how far I've come since I started this journey just barely over three years ago.  (I won't recap here because I do that at the end of every year.

Although I do think it's important to take time to look back every now and then, it can be a bit distracting, especially when you've back tracked a bit, or when you're side-lined due to injury.  I can tend to get stuck on "well, I was doing well...but then THIS happened..."

Remember when you moved to the "big calculator"?
Last Saturday I was certainly experiencing that distraction and feeling all sorry for myself when I got a call from one of my athletes, some texts from another, and a FaceBook tag from yet another.  One of them had run her very first 5K one year ago in 39ish minutes.  She ran the same course last week in 28 something, and won 3rd in her age group.  To top it off, the run was just part of a long "slow" run (with miles before and after the event)!!

I could so clearly see how far they had come in such a short time and reminded myself that looking back, when you're not as far along as you have been, shouldn't be used as a tool to beat yourself up (GASP!).  It should be a reminder there's no reason I can't get back there again and move beyond that spot.

Why is it we (okay, I'll own it an say "I")...why is it I have such a hard time realizing how far I've come?  Even harder is imagining all I can do with hard work.  But even more difficult...I have the hardest time focusing on, and more importantly, HONORING, where I'm at right now.

At the beginning of every Spin class I teach, I tell everyone to think about what they came to get out of that class ("think about...why you're here").  I remind them throughout the class to not think about what happened yesterday or what they have to do later on, but to stay focused on their individual goal for that moment in time....and to give it all they have to give.  It's pretty selfish really, because I know it helps me to stay focused...I don't know if it really helps anyone else or not!  :D

And, remember when you lost the extra wheels?
It's too easy to get caught up in thinking about anything other than where I'm at on this journey RIGHT NOW, mainly because it's usually not where I WANT to be!!'s a GREAT thing.  That edge of discontentment means I'm driven.  It means I want more than to stay put.  I saw a picture on FaceBook that said, "One day I want to honestly say, 'I made it!'"  I don't know...I can see saying that (and I have said it at the end of long workouts or at a finish line) and feeling it ("I've made it") but only for a moment, not with the finality that picture implies.  I have come to love that part of me that never really feels like I've done "my best". 

The thing I'm coming to realize is I don't have to give up my drive and my desire to do better in order to appreciate where I'm at right now.  In fact, honoring this moment in time is part of the way I will be able to get better.  I look at what I'm doing now.  This day.  This workout.  This moment.  If I'm giving all I have to give to make the training session what it needs to be, I can say, "YES!!  That's great..."  When I can stay focused on the task at hand I am able to give it all I have.  If I'm distracted-thinking about anything else other than what I'm doing-I'm NOT giving all I have.  It's as simple as that.

Time to go give all I have to my swim this morning.  All I have today is not all I had a few months ago, and it's not much compared to all I hope to have next month....but I'll give it what I've got on this day.

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon.  :D

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Down But Not Out

Well...I was finally able to have an (almost) "real" swim workout Thursday.  YAY!  I'm not going into details because I know what I did, what I'm calling an "almost-real workout" is more than some people can do at all.  I'm not comparing where I'm at with anyone else and don't want anyone else comparing where they are with me.  I am however comparing where I'm at now with where I've been...and it's not even close.  As "inconsequential" as the "almost" swim workout seemed to me, I was pleased and felt like it was a good start....and then I started getting sick.  This is the worst I've felt in a very long time.  Terrible cough, fever...and now my throat is really sore from coughing so much.  I was able to teach Spin on Friday morning*, even though I coughed all the way through it; the sweat felt so darn good!  But after that I put on my PJs and haven't changed, or gotten off the couch (other than to move to the bed) since then. 

I can honestly say I have been less than happy.

As I said last month, pretty much all I've been able to do since early December is spin (and ride my bike).  I have had 3 walk/runs of up to 4.5 miles (during one I was able to run one whole mile straight), but they have all left my arm/shoulder VERY sore.  I was finally feeling like I would be able to make a slow comeback when I started sounding like Typhoid Mary!  I had planned to run Friday afternoon, but decided to just wait until Saturday since I would surely feel better the next day.  When I woke up I wasn't feeling 100%, but I just knew running would certainly bring that percentage up....and then I got out of bed. soon as I moved, I put "Mary" to shame; I thought for sure I would actually cough up a lung!!  And, I had a fever of 99.6 which rose later on in the day.  No run for me.

That "hag in my head" came back in full force with her accusatory and condescending words..How pathetic.  Here you are, planning to complete an IronMan in SEVEN MONTHS and you can't even swim X yards (nope-not going to tell you where I'm at), and you can't even run for more than a mile without walking (not because my legs or cardio are giving out---it's my stinking left ARM!!!)  --How pathetic is that--can't run because my arm hurts so bad??!!

I'm not going to lie, she was getting the best of me yesterday. 

And then I read a FaceBook post by a friend of mine who is injured.  She is feeling very down about it and super bummed because she had just started gaining momentum in training, and then BAM! she's out for an undetermined amount of time.  As usual, I could think of all the right things to say (well, in my mind anyway--those words may have been less than helpful to her!), but as I was telling her, "focus on all you CAN do, not on what you can't" I realized I had to practice what I was preaching!!

I woke up this morning being reminded...I may be down, but I'm not out.  The only way I'd be out is if I give up.  That's crazy.  I didn't work this hard to get to where I'm at (okay, where I was before I ended up where I'm currently at), just to give up!!  What if Rocky had done that??!!  (Yes, I know it's fiction, but so what?)  Rocky had potential and then ...well, I'm not sure what happened (did his coach give up on him because he became a loan-shark collector??) ...anyway, he was given the chance to make a comeback by fighting Apollo Creed.  He was knocked down and everyone was telling him to just stay down....but he knew he was not out.  He knew he still had fight left in him!

Spoiler alert, just in case you haven't seen the movie and you don't want to know what happened...skip this paragraph and go rent it-it's such a GREAT movie!!  Rocky didn't win that fight...but he didn't get knocked out either!!  He goes on (in Rocky II) to trade blows with Apollo in the 15th round that sent them both falling to the mat.  Because Rocky was determined to GET BACK UP, Apollo was counted out and Rocky (finally) became the Heavy Weight Champion of the World!!!  (:::and the crowd CHEERS!!!:::)

So, I have a choice.  I can whine and complain about where I'm at right now (which feels like what I imagine Rocky was feeling as he was flat on his face), or I can get back up and keep on moving forward (however slow that might be right now).

I can focus on where I've been or where I want to go, or I can stay focused on where I am, and what I need to do, right now.  And, for now that means drinking some more hot tea!!

*(I didn't really think I was sick Friday morning...I thought it was just a reaction from all the dairy I had earlier in the week.  I did, however, not use the mic-just in case. (So if I was sick I wouldn't be spreading my germs.))