Friday, January 18, 2013

a little help from my crazy friends

I do triathlon for a lot of reasons. Many are very selfish. I've talked about those before. I want to be stronger, faster, fitter, leaner. (all incredibly selfish). Though selfish, I think they make me a better person (not the stronger, faster, fitter reasons.. the calmer Zen reasons). Better adept at able to withstand the stresses of my little life in Boston, MA. Be a better physical therapist assistant, teaching assistant, friend, sister, daughter, and lover (god willing!). I make better decisions. I hope that I contribute to society in a more thoughtful way. All this because of triathlon you ask? Yea I believe it is. Triathlon calms me and allows me to gain perspective more than any other thing I know.

The other ginormous reason I do triathlon is the for all of the amazing personal connections, friends, and acquaintances. This was not part of the plan when I set out on my triathlon journey. I figured I'd make a few friends, maybe meet a cute lesbian and live happily ever after. Instead, on Jan 1, 2009 when I joined Team EnVision it changed my life forever. I have made wonderful friends and met the most amazing people. They have taught me patience, shown courage when tackling open water for the first time or riding on a new bike with clipless pedals for the very first time. They encouraged me to do my first Ironman and celebrated when I did. They train in the snow, rain, cold, and heat with me. They make me laugh. They provide that little extra push when I need it the most. This will be my fifth year on TE and I cannot imagine my life without these ladies.

This past Wednesday I did a 6 mile run after working 4 hours, then teaching for another 3.5 hours. It was the last day of my workout week before a rest week. I was exhausted. The driving had been terrible. My patient load has been not so good. It was my job to run the swim practice this week as our coach would not be there. Though I love this TE and these women I have to be "on" as I am a leader. After a long day at work the last thing I want to do is be "on". I got to the pool and parked and just made in to the pool and was inundated by my team. Folks were inpatient to hop in the pool and it was up to me to provide the workout. It took every part of me not be inpatient and snippy. I answered questions like a good doobie and leader should. My workout was terrible. I had nothing left to give. Though I got some encouragement from Laurie and Edith I left the pool feeling rather deflated. But then I watched the team swimming the last bit of practice. I watched the laughter and banter between two new swimmers. I watched two experienced and fast swimmers complete sprints. I could not help but smile at the diverse group of womyn that were assembled in the pool that Wednesday night. I arrived home happy and re-energized.

I have met a few pro triathletes, virtually chatted with amazing men and womyn across the world with which we have one thing in common: the love of this sport. We all find a reason to get up in the early hours of the morning, workout on our lunch, or workout after work...sometimes all three, because we have that drive. We all have different fuels for that drive. Some days I forget why I do it. But Team EnVision and all my "FB triathlon friends" remind me why on a daily basis. And for that I thank you. Some of you many never know how much you influence my life. How a quote you post can get me through a workout. You are all badass and I am proud of each every one of you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hey there 2013

The year ended with an athletic BANG! I participated in Miles for Marly. A fundraising event organized by CMSC (100x100). My goal was to swim 50-60 including a 500 yard warm-up. I did it, 6000 yards total! I kept pace and actually got faster towards the middle/end. WOOT. Over all I felt fantastic during the workout. It was an amazing environment. At this time pre-Vineman I had not swam more than 3,000 yards so I am way ahead of schedule and really do think I will improve my swim time this year!

My training with Tri Hard started yesterday. This week is test week, to establish my zones and baseline. This meant I would also have to do a bike test after swimming 6,000 yards. I came home after the event, fueled rested and did the test. I felt weirdly good. Today I went for an amazing 5.5 mile run. It's been a long time since I've run in the day light and forgotten how motivating the sunshine can be. I sang out loud, waved to my fellow runners and riders, glided through the snow, and bounded over snow piles. Something is clicking in my body again and I love every second of it. My workouts are not easy, by any means, but they are hard in a good-challenging way. I have regained some fitness and lost some of that early fall weight. I feel 100% ready to start my Ironman training. And I truly believe my sub-12 goal is attainable.

As I reflect back on this year most of my memories are of disappointment and challenge. I lost my job, quit another, got blown off by a girl, did not achieve athletic success as I'd hoped, I crashed my bike suffering a concussion with memory loss, and struggled financially for much of the year. Not to mention all of the disaster and tragedies that happened, far too many. It has been a long time since I'd had such a trying year. The big difference this time around is that I now have an amazing network of people who helped me get through this year. Team EnVision and all of its beautiful members are a huge part of that. In one way or another all of them, whether they knew it or not, assisted in getting me through this year. Some played a deeper role than others, some simply served as training partners that allowed me to not think for a period. I made new TE friends, as I do every year. Friendships got deeper. My non-tri friends continued to support me when I needed it most. My family was there for me. I asked for help instead of struggling on my own. My best friends got married. I found a new promising job that is local. I dated more. Some of those dates were crappy. Some ended before I wanted them too. Right now I have a budding something with someone. Someone with whom I feel my walls coming down around (those 10 ft tall steel walls 10 miles thick). Someone with whom I have already had a relationship discussion, who actually likes to talk about things! Who knows where this will lead. She may simply become a good friend, but maybe something more. The good news is that I am feeling again, more than I have in 4 years.

I have found my mojo and am back to the Kristi that was prior to getting laid off. The confident happy Kristi. I am, of course, stronger and wiser because of all of this. I would not undo any of it. I am smiling and laughing more and deeper. 2013 is going to be a good year. I can feel in all of my cells.