Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Embracing "Normal"

On Easter Sunday, 3.5 weeks ago (and a day after my last blog post), I went on a run for the first time in over half a year. By the end of the week, I had re-joined the YMCA, swam 3x (about 30mins a pop), skipped a race walking lesson, dragged White Tiger out of the basement and put him back on the trainer. I'm not trying to make some sort of heroic comeback as a professional triathlete. I just knew I was getting very, very depressed, and I needed to change something.

It's been a strange and difficult year for me, and I've realized I just don't want to be "The Wongstar" any more. I don't need to go out and do epic things worthy of being a superstar and have people everywhere "follow" me on the interwebs, either patting me on the back or telling me I suck. I don't need to prove myself to anybody; I don't need my self worth determined by athletic performances or what others think of me.

It was fun to fantasize about the Olympics in this Olympic year, but it was pretty obvious that it would be difficult to reverse 20+ years of running to follow the rules of an artificial and unnatural "walking" technique that judges came up with. I couldn't get quicker than 12-min miles, and while Mr. Miyagi believed I could spend 2 years of working really hard to make the national team, I just couldn't justify the time and emotional commitment. After giving up 4 years of my life completely to triathlon, I think I'm finally ready to embrace being a civilian.

It was inevitable, but I wasn't about to relinquish being a superstar without a crapton of kicking and screaming. How does one make the transition anyway? And what happens to when you don't want to be the Wongstar any more? I'm pretty sure I bought 3 years worth of this domain. Priorities have shifted, that's for sure. I feel I've neglected my other career long enough, and that I'd rather prioritize more simple things in and happiness.

Maybe it's farewell...maybe I'll start a different blog elsewhere. For now, I'm just trying to get back in shape. The ladies at the swimming pool who remembered me from before are surprised I took so much time off and that I'm not a huge fatty. I haven't swam or biked or ran in over 6 months, maybe 7, and all I did was walk almost every day. I probably just ate a lot less subconsciously since heavy exercise makes you HUNGRY.

Anyway, I can see myself gravitating towards running races in the future. Just to get my own PR's and relieve the daily stress of a normal workday, not to try to get on the national team or anything. On the bike, I went outdoors once last weekend for maybe 25 miles, and was pretty proud of myself. I've still got plenty of post-traumatic stress from the car accident that I need to get over, so that's my goal. Be able to ride outdoors again without getting all sorts of anxiety from cars, downhills, and wind. I was definitely hyper-aware of all the drivers who blasted through stop signs and talked on their cell phones. GRR.

As for the swim, it was funny the first time I jumped back in. I was laughing at myself for how out of shape I felt. But after reading and watching the Hunger Games, and reading Unbroken (about a soldier who was lost at sea) I was kind of motivated to get back into some sort of swimming fitness. It's an important life skill, you know. Most of all, I needed endorphins.

That's all for now.