Curve Ahead

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.

image-2-11Now 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Keep curving!

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bananas and Spray & Wash

Life is a series of fleeting moments. Whether it’s a sunrise, an unexpected interaction with your teenager, a quiet moment with your significant other or your last conversation on this earth with someone you love most.  The trick: sometimes you just don’t know when you’re going to miss something until it’s not there anymore.  Like, the last time I was able to physically carry Techno to bed. He now stands taller than I in a size 12 men’s shoe in 8th grade. I don’t remember the last time I was able to pick him up off the couch after he’d dozed and carry him to bed. But it’s been years. And I miss it.

I am now knee-deep in these fleeting moments, my dear Reader. Instead of being able to chronicle them in this blog as I have so enjoyed these last three + years, I have been too full of living them. And enjoying almost every moment.

If you want something done, ask a busy person. ~Benjamin Franklin

I am not sure I fully understood this quote until recently.  Ten weeks out from a triathlon on my bucket list for  5 years has kept me incredibly busy. Just the thought of it makes my heart beat a little faster. Time management has been of the essence these last four months. Honestly, it has become a part-time job.  And it seems the more I have to accomplish in a day, the more I just want to rise to the occasion and get it all done -or curl up in a ball and nap for an entire weekend.  Just depends which day you ask me.  With it all comes doubts, anxiety and worries – they all creep in from time to time.

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Recently, I found myself doing laundry after some training while simultaneously consuming  a banana. In the moment it struck me, “You chose this?!”  I can’t even sit to get a decent breakfast to nourish my body anymore. I must do it on the fly and while doing chores no less.  The next item up was preparing  my three-and-a-half-year-old for pre-school, seriously, a Herculean task some days.

And while this random date (of the triathlon) in my universe almost glows with significance on my calendar, it is nothing compared to the reality that there are Moms everywhere who work full-time out of dire necessity and do so many of these things that keep me running and spinning and exhausted.

I have friends and family who are single Moms, who are cancer survivors,  whose children are sick or have died, whose spouses have battled illness or whose parents have struggled with disease all while working, raising a family and fighting to make ends meet.

My selfish and deeply individual goal pales in comparison. Yet, every time I am out on the road or swimming in the pool I challenge myself to push through the doubts and fear and to believe with every cell in my body that “I have got this.” It has been humbling to make the parallels of what I am facing now with how it stacks up to the stuff life throws at you. It parallels motherhood on so many levels. The ups, the downs. The endurance through challenges and the will to see it through.  The difference being, if I am blessed enough to reach my goal and put it in my rear view mirror come July, I am done. The endurance race of Motherhood never truly ends.  Truth be told, eating breakfast over the washing machine probably won’t stop anytime soon either.

My hope is that my children can see their Mom giving her all to a goal and accomplishing it.  But even more important to me is that they see their Mom as always committed to each of them and always there for them.  Hopefully this is not something that is fleeting. Hopefully it is something that stays with them their whole lives.

And by this time next year, I hope I will look back on this goal, this time in my life and say,

Remember the time I did that? I miss that.

 

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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.