Mama! Curve Ahead!
All summer long this was shouted to me from the back seat by Little Bee. She found a game on her tablet that featured some road signs and every time we were in the car at least three or four times per car trip I would hear the most animated shout from the back seat as she noticed such signs out and about.
Curve ahead! We’re curving! she would shout.
Now that it’s been over seven months since my last post (holy crap have I missed writing!), she couldn’t have been more right and I just missed the signs.
Things were just meant to fall into place this Summer. The kids were on Summer break. Little Bee was set to start 4K in the Fall and Techno was moving up to high school. Gulp! I was hot on the trail after a victorious finish in my first (and only!) Half-Ironman Triathlon in July. Things were pretty hunky dory.
Then good ole life shook me up a little bit, left some minor bruises and like usual changed me for the better.
Late May standing on the playground to pick up my pre-schooler news broke of my company closing its doors effective July 31st. In disbelief, standing with my daughter’s sweet and sympathetic teacher right there by the tire swings this news launched me into a bumpy ride.
My half Ironman journey ended without closure in July. Storms and torrential rain canceled the swim altogether, delayed the race for over three hours and downgraded the bike portion. At the end of the day, my friends and I put in one helluva training day but nowhere near what we had trained for the previous six months.
The month rounded out with the loss of my former job, the decision to start a new business and attendance at their annual convention. After being forced out of my comfort zone on a daily basis for the better part of a year anyway, it wasn’t so bad being the new kid again. Resiliency was building and the seeming discomfort was starting to feel more normal. And another Triathlon was booked. Things had to get back on track.
Late August brought attempt # 2, this time in Minnesota. More rain, more turbulent waves, a course sorely lacking in safety support and in mere minutes it was over. I was devastated. While the race was still in progress, Ice and Little Bee and I drove home. It was a very long and emotionally uncomfortable ride. I was so unsettled and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Still reeling from the curves on my journey I scrambled to sort out my thoughts, plan my next move and try to get a read on how much more of my crazy training, early bed times, 4 am wake-up calls and laundry pile-ups Ice could stomach.
I quietly signed up for my third attempt in Missouri in September. Marketed as one of the most scenic and picturesque triathlons in the country with a bike and run course containing “rolling hills” (Ha! sizable understatement) I put all my hopes on this being my race. If it wasn’t three times a charm…well I just couldn’t go there. It had to be.
Almost 12 months ago, I started this long and intense journey. As I sit and type I still marvel at what the power of one’s mind can do. Twelve months ago I could not swim freestyle more than 75 yards in a pool. And yet my target was over 2100 yards.
Twelve months ago I had ridden on a road bike exactly three times. And yet my goal was to cover 56 miles upright and intact.
Yet, twelve months ago I had the support of my husband, the encouragement of friends and training partners and the mindset that with a lot of guidance and help I would try to figure it out as I went along. There was a reason the training lasted for six months, right?
Well…my training spanned nine months. I finally got “the baby” on a gorgeous and hot Saturday in September with my sweet husband and my littlest camped out under a tent in Missouri waiting for me to emerge and get on with my life. The goal that consumed me for so long had been reached. The box was finally, irrevocably checked.
I am now happily missing work outs, consuming way too many Christmas cookies, sleeping in (6:30 is now sleeping in!) and yet looking forward to that first ride when the final snow thaws.
I am forever changed by the curves and challenges of 2016. The perseverance I truly did not know I had emerged from some mysterious place and served me well. The motivation to do things then that now simply make me cringe (never again Lake Michigan, you can keep your 56 degrees!) But I know it happened. I know it lives somewhere inside of me and I will lean on it when I need to in years to come.
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© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.