I already told the story on how my bike named itself Storm, short for “I am the storm,” the moment I made contact with it…but there’s more to the story than that. This whole process of change since I sat in this very chair on January 23, 2015, and cried out to God in desperation that something had to change in my life has been a whirlwind–I feel like some days I can’t even catch my breath. I didn’t know at that point what those changes were going to be, what it was going to look like, but I was going to do was give up control (something I DO NOT DO) and go with it, because I was out of answers.
I have learned beyond volumes in the individual areas of my life physically, spiritually, and emotionally the last couple years, and obviously, there’s been YUGE document-able change there (‘cuz, #igotgoals), but what’s even more fascinating to me is watching the these three distinct areas of health intermingle together and how they play with each other. This is where the further identifiable growth keeps spurring me on to greater goals. It’s also pretty amazing to see the ripple effect of how working on all of these very deeply personal areas of my holistic health have had great impact on I would safely venture to say every single other area of my life–in relationships, professionally, etc.
I understand that people only see the public snapshots and what I choose to share, because in our line of work, I just can’t lay my day-to-day dealings and feelings out on the line. So, pretty much y’all get to see the insanity that is my physical goals (and honestly, the breadth of it–you don’t even know what I’ve got in my head and on paper. I am capable of more than I think I’m capable of) and a few other bumblings here and there that I throw in as I can. And that’s okay. More shall be revealed.
Life is life right now. All I can sit back and say is that God has a really good sense of humor to find even more mind blowing situations to continually bring me back on my face before Him. And that’s cool. I need it. I need Him. He knows I’m going to fight Him, I’m going to wrestle Him, I’m going to get angry at Him, I’m going to get knock-down-drag-out-royally-pissed-off-even-though-there’s-not-a-darn-thing-I’m-going-to-do-differently-but-submit-and-obey-anyway-two-year-old-tantrum-upset at God…and it’s all going to be okay. Could I handle life with a little more grace right now? Sure I could! These are all emotional reactions to life…they don’t change my spiritual relationship with God. God is still God. But these emotional reactions are having an effect on my physical self–and this is where I need to check myself.
My last couple long runs haven’t just been a representation of lousy summer weather, but especially this last week, getting my head and heart into focus wasn’t even a minute possibility–an activity that brings me such sheer joy and bliss even when it’s hard and requires work was basically sucking my will to live with every step I took. I was physically fine (except for a pulled muscle in my torso…genius here forgets to stretch when swimming), but I hurt from head to toe and there was not one thought in my head that could connect in a way to propel myself forward–not even the fact that I’ve got a race coming up and I gotta get my rear in gear.
I suffered through longer than I expected to this last week, I think I got 7 of the 12 miles I was scheduled for, but I don’t find anything acceptable in that place of defeat where I’m fighting myself constantly not to quit. And then the other key in this crazy puzzle too, is when I get into this place in my mind, it can also be a grey area for me to start justifying emotional eating choices that aren’t necessary or beneficial to my body. That’s a disturbing head space for me to be, because it starts to feel like (feel, not actually be…let’s make that distinction right off the bat) my former self–the one stuck on the diet cycle, that would always quit, start again Monday/tomorrow/New Years/etc and then it would never come. That scares me a lot. I’m totally okay with the fact that the path is not straight and we take curves along the way–let’s put it this way: bikes don’t go in reverse.
Thankfully, it’s not a me-game anymore. I’ve got other people to pull me out of my head too. Hooray for accountability on all fronts! By the end of the day, I had other scenarios go on that got my head out of my rear, and I had been reassured that regardless of my interpretation of the numbers, a couple bad runs aren’t going to bomb my next race and into my hands (well, kindle), was placed a phenomenal book, “The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion” (Marshall/Paterson). First of all, where was this book when I took psych 101 during my undergrad? I might have passed it the first go ’round then, LOL. Amazing stuff. I’m re-reading several sections of this book, and I’m positive will do so many times.
Part of this growing and changing stuff is relying on other people. I’ve talked a little bit before on some of my emotional goals in the area of developing confidence/self-confidence, and I’m coming to realize, I can’t do that in a vacuum…this one isn’t really just a God and me issue, this one takes a village. I have people, I just don’t always use them well. Trust is hard for me. Better than it used to be, but it’s hard. I can place my confidence and faith in others, but I very much still have the cognitive disconnect in place when it comes to myself. I intellectually realize this fact, but it doesn’t change the issue at hand. Prime example, I asked someone last night about my ability to tackle a cycling event I was interested in–they countered with asking why not bump up to the next category. Asked another person the same question this morning and they told me an out of the park answer, but that individual forgets I have responsibilities beyond my health and wellness goals and can’t spend my life training. I underestimate myself constantly. I’m not sure what the answer is yet…but it will come. I do know in that finding whatever this confidence is, it comes with a voice–something I’ve never had or used before. I can’t say I’m always using it the best as I’m learning along the way right now, but I’m using that voice, and that’s a new experience.
For now, I rest in that it will be okay in just where I’m at right now, in the chaos of it all and savoring the time I have in the moments for the next several weeks. Looking forward to the adventure of race day, the excitement that it brings, and also a little bit of a break from reality if just for a few days. It will be good.