Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quitting the thing that defines you...

The next several weeks if you go to the grocery store in my area (and probably any area in the USA), you have to run the girl scout gauntlet.  Lord knows I love their cookies.  Lord also knows I don't need their cookies.  Today was the first day I had seen them outside the grocery store so I stepped up to get a box of Samoas.  I happened to have on my Ironman Louisville ski cap.  The Mom in charge asks me if I had done an Ironman to which I said yes.  She said "well you DESERVE these cookies".  They still cost me $4 so apparently I didn't deserve them for free...  ha ha.

It is funny what kind of admiration that race gets you and in the most unusual places.  I have never been one of those people who wore that accomplishment on my sleeve.  (Granted, today I had it on my head but normally I keep it on the down-low).  I could talk to you for hours about my hobbies and never mention it.  As much as I don't like to put my accomplishment out there in the course of conversation, until recently it was very much a part of my every day life.      

"What I learned quitting the thing that defined me" was the title of the article I saw on Hey Eleanor yesterday.  It kind of describes where I am at perfectly.  The thing that defined me.  In many ways after five years of 24/7 triathlon, specifically Ironman, it defined me.  It was I did in most of my waking (non-working) moments.  It was a part time job; twice a day and all weekend long for most weekends.  When I wasn't swimming, biking or running I was thinking about swimming, biking or running or packing my gear for my next workout (which I suppose still counts as thinking about SBR...)

...and 100% happy with it!

Back in December when I decided that burnout had gotten the best of me it felt very freeing.  Lately it feels like a weird place to be in.  It isn't that I haven't moved on and managed to fill every waking minute with other things but it is still a transition.  For years, when Rick would talk about his friends they were always "skydiving friends" or "motorcycle friends" or...  you get the idea.  As your hobbies change, your group of friends sort of change as well.  The thing that makes it harder to not feel like a quitter is that your entire facebook feed is filled with these groups of people.  People you used to have things in common with, people who are still doing the thing that you stepped away from.



Don't get me wrong, I have been filling my time with some awesome 'crossfit-like' workouts at the gym (AKA crossfit but they can't call it that because of branding. You still get the same hand callouses).  So there is that.  I also played a little tennis this winter.  I have been running here and there.  I had a great 10k race yesterday.  My goggle marks have *finally* gone away.  LOL.  All in all, it has been a great break from triathlon and I don't regret my decision to quit.  I have been able to take classes and do things I never would have had time to do in the past and that is worth so much more to me than any medal at this point in my life.  For now, I will enjoy my transition time and cheer on my triathlon friends from the sidelines.  :)



5 comments:

Carolina John said...

I totally get that. still not motivated to ride, but i'm swimming and running a bunch and loving it. not missing multisport at all.

Kate Geisen said...

It's funny to read this because a friend and I were just kind of talking about it today, particularly the way that your friend group tends to be the people doing the same things you do and the need to cultivate friendships that don't rely on only that common hobby.

toughasnails1 said...

I've been participating in triathlon for 33 years (since 1982…did I add that up right? I hate math) and have been running since 1971. I have never called myself a "runner" or "triathlete" as I love to do so many things other than train/race. I am a speech pathologist for special needs kids and next year will be my 40th year of this. Retirement is just around the corner….and then I can maybe focus more on my workouts and races and finally get a real tri bike! I am training for my 123rd tri this spring and hope to finish a 3rd IM soon after I retire. None of my friends I hang with are triathletes. It pays to have other interests and I really don't talk to anyone about triathlons much…no burn out here!

ajh said...

I can see how this would be appealing. The time that you put into IM training must be incredible.

B.o.B. said...

AMEN! You know I'm all about being a quitter. LOL! And congrats on your kick ass race! Now come run with me so I can get faster.