Well that was a very long break.
At this very moment I’m winging my way to Austin for the 8th Annual Danskin Triathlon. Yes, that first race that started it all is coming up again. I approach this race with a little more trepidation than usual for this year I’m just not prepared.
Now I know I’ve said that before but this time I really mean it. For the past year my focus on fitness, racing and nutrition got put on hold. Well hold his a nice word. I stopped. It wasn’t the priority. I’m going into this weekend’s race knowing I will finish but it’s going to be ugly. It’s my head that’s going to get me over that finish line not my legs.
What happened? What was the priority? Work. Sound familiar to you? I started a new job in late 2010, a job that I was very excited about and knew would push me and challenge me in ways I couldn’t imagine. Boy, I had no idea how much of a challenge it would be. Increased travel, hours, responsibility and stress meant that lacing up my tennis shoes was the LAST thing I wanted to do first thing in the morning. And let’s not get started on my attitude at night. When I’d come home at the end of the day the only thing I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch whatever ridiculous show was on the Bravo channel. While the TV was on my mind and body were well and truly off.
Then there’s my life long war with the munchies. Not surprisingly the increased stress and total disappearance of exercise induced endorphins (trust me – they DO exist) had me heading to the snack counter pretty regularly to make me “feel” better. Each time I grabbed a bag of goldfish crackers my motivation was to feed the problem. I usually had 30 seconds or less to “medicate” and taking a moment to think about what I was eating or take a moment to decompress wasn’t even a glimmer in my head. “Feed the beast”, that’s all it said. So I did. Oh, and all the stories you’ve heard of the snacks and goodies they have at startup companies, all the rumors are true.
The combination crazy schedule + mind numbing TV + easy and available access to snacks took its toll.
But if you know me, you know that I’ve stood here before. You know the story isn’t over yet…
For the last couple of months I’ve been wallowing in that terrible place where you KNOW that the priorities and the way things are now just can’t continue. You KNOW that you need to create some balance. You KNOW how to get fit and lose the pounds that have crept back on. You KNOW you can do it. You KNOW that if you do all these things both your body and your mind will be happier. You spend multiple weekends heading to beaches and remote parks and write furiously in your journal about how TODAY you’re going to find that motivation to change. TODAY you’ve found that “thing” that motivates you to crawl out of your warm bed in the morning and face the foggy, cold, running trail of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. You change and focus for a couple of days, and then you walk out of a challenging meeting and come face to face with the bowl of mini-chocolates you pass 100 times a day. But the beast needs feeding and while you said “no” the other 99 times you said “no”, this time the willpower just crumbles. We all know what happens next. The day is “ruined” and the snack attack continues. It’s a slippery slope and I’ve slipped all the way to the bottom.
But this has been a long long journey for me and each time I face this I learn more about my motivation and what it takes for me to finally turn a corner. I’ve been here before. Historically I’ve allowed myself to be in this fairly self-destructive place for years on end. The “go” and “give up” happening over and over again while my fitness level declines and the scale creeps higher and higher. Heck, you can even see this pattern on my blog. The good news is each time I learn a little more about myself and each time the “wallow” period gets shorter and I get back on track.
Am I back on track or am I still wallowing? Well I hope so. At least I think I am.
I’ve made some slightly crazy decisions in the last week that show all indications that my motivation to cross the finish line is back. I’ve made the status quo a little bit more painful and given myself a very tangible reason to embark on the journey again. Why now? A lot of this motivational mojo is tied to the race this weekend and the idea that in two years Laura and I will be competing our 10th annual Danskin Triathlon. You all know how I just LOVE a big milestone. My head has been full of ideas on how to make it memorable. And that’s when the idea came…
I’ve defined myself a new finish line. A “finish line” that celebrates the 10th Danskin and, quite frankly, kinda scares the daylights out of me. I’ll save what the new “finish line” is for another post but either way it means I’m back on here for at least another two years journaling.
We’ll see if I get to the finish line THIS time. I sure hope I do. Are you ready to go along for the ride again?