Figuring out what’s next
I feel like I’ve been in a sort of mid-life crisis lately, floundering around trying to figure out What’s Going to Happen Next. Our lives are in a weird state of potentially looming craziness, where there may be some major upheavals coming soon . . . or there might not be. We don’t know yet. Everything—our jobs, our home, where we live, everything—is up in the air right now. I picture this in a literal kind of way: all these major elements tossed skyward, and we’re standing around waiting to see where they land. Might be right where we are now. Might be waaaaay the fuck over there. No way to know yet. FILE NOT FOUND.
All my navel-gazing has led me to a lot of thought about fitness and what role I want it to play right now. Many weeks ago I signed up for the Danskin Triathlon thinking how I’d have all this time to focus on improving my swimming skills. Well, here it is about a month from race day and I haven’t put in much pool time at all, never mind getting in even one open water swim.
I also had the October Portland marathon in mind, but as that date inches closer I think about getting back into the ever-burdensome routine of long runs and I’m not sure I want to take it on.
It’s very, very difficult to suss out what I truly want to do about these things. On the one hand, I’ve never regretted a day of training and every event I do is an amazing experience (even if parts of it are purely awful). On the other hand, it’s summer and my life is in turmoil (not in a bad way, necessarily, but even good turmoil is exhausting) and maybe it’s not the end of the world if I just try and enjoy myself rather than meeting ongoing training goals. On the other other hand, training is hard by definition and maybe I’m being a pussy.
While I’ve been chewing on race-related decisions, I do feel pretty good overall. My husband and I hiked 18 miles of the Rogue River trail last week and I’m happy I’m in good enough shape to easily do something like that. There was a time, not that long ago, when I would have been freaking out about a long hike—could I keep up? What if I got tired? What if the backpack was too heavy?—and it felt like . . . I don’t know, like a gift I’ve given myself to be out there and feeling great and enjoying the challenge of heading up steep hills and marveling at the view below me.
Summer weather has finally hit Seattle and I’ve been going for some evening walks, which has been nice. I ran an easy four miles last night with the Garmin at home so I wouldn’t obsess over pace. I’ve been riding my bike, but just for fun, not with any distance goals in mind.
It seems okay, what I’ve been doing, but I have the nagging feeling I’m missing something. Maybe I need that extra misery of training. But maybe it’s okay to take a break. But. But. But.
I guess all I can do is keep checking in with myself, be as honest as I can, see if I’m happy or not, and go from there. I just wish the second part of that directive wasn’t so goddamned hard.