Archive for June, 2011

TRIATHLON SUCCESS

As many of you know, I have spend the past couple months training really hard for the First Try Triathlon. Well I am happy to report that my training paid off. The event was this past Saturday over in Linden. I have done many races but as we got closer to this event, I was really nervous. To do 300 yard swim had become kind of a simple thing, 9 mile bike ride-no problem, 2 mile run-piece of cake…but to put them all together and do them back to back, I wasn’t so sure.

So my morning looked like this…

Alarm goes off, get dressed, early breakfast and hydrate, load up gear, blast loud music as I drive over to Clover Beach, survey the scene, unload my gear, set up my transition area, get body marked with my number and age, put swim cap and goggles on, strip down to swim gear (it was about 60 degree with a treacherous wind and very difficult to part with my sweatshirt), line up in heats, swim, dodge weeds, catch my breath and swim some more, run up the beach to transition area, change to biking gear and bike 9 miles (shoot I forgot to put my sunglasses on), back to transition area, change to running gear, try not to throw up (I was very nauseous), run 2 miles still trying not to throw up (and thinking I wish I had time to use the bathroom), finish, cheer on my family and friends, find my mom and run the end of her race with her, and enjoy and celebrate the completion of my first triathlon.

WOW! That was so much fun! During the entire race I was sure that I was in the middle of my heat…not near the front nor the back…but figured I was right in the middle. I have abnormal anatomy in my heart that limits my oxygen carrying capacity so even though I do a lot of running races, I mostly do them to complete them rather than compete. At the end of the triathlon I go to check my times and of course I start in the middle of the list and work my way down…my name is not there. I thought that was a bit odd, so I scroll down it again. Well there is no way I should look above half way on that list…I have never been above that point. So I scrolled up the list and low and behold I found myself finishing at number 52!!!!!! I thought to myself “this can’t be right, there is no way”…but it was and I actually finished 4th in my age group!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!! I was and still am thrilled. I am not one to throw placings around (mostly because I am usually so far back on the list) but this time I have to.

So my overall view is the triathlon itself was incredibly well organized, I had so much fun, I smiled the entire time, I finished and felt great and the icing on the cake is the fact that I actually did really well. Of course you will currently find me trying to figure out when I can fit another one into my schedule.

I am always up for an adventure. I learn so much about myself and about life by taking on challenges like the triathlon. Life is about learning, growing and evolving. Have you been stepping outside your comfort zone to find your limits? The great thing is when we do, we find that our limits are in a constant process of changing and we can usually go farther and do more than we previously gave ourselves credit for. We may as well test our limits…we only get one chance.

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DON’T THINK ABOUT IT, JUST JUMP IN!!!

As the days go on, my love for swimming grows and grows. I feel like I have to get my “swimming fix” on a daily basis now. I pull into my parents house, walk down their gazillion steps to the water, set my stuff down, put my hair up, put my goggles on, walk to the end of the dock and jump right in. I used to be plagued with that silly “the-water-is-too-cold” syndrome. I would sit at the end of the dock and contemplate how cold it was going to be, how bad that was going to feel, how yucky that shock to my system feels, how much of a hassle my hair was going to be once it gets wet (I do not have the “wash and go” type of hair), how much mascara was going to be running down my cheeks and a number of other things. Half the time I could convince myself to jump in and the other half of the time I would try to walk away or dodge my brothers or step-dad trying to push me in.

A lot has changed lately and the ability to just “jump in” that lake is a HUGE deal for me…and you know me, the message doesn’t stop there. I have been thinking about how that “don’t think about it, just jump in” message is applicable in my life. Everyone has heard the phrase “analysis paralysis” and how we can literally think ourselves out of just about anything. Taking too long to make a decision, can result in not deciding at all. Analysis paralysis is not my norm, however I do fall prey to it at times. I have been using this (almost) daily jump in the water to help me with some of that stuff that holds me back in the background of my life. I will continue to do that and maybe even be a little more deliberate about what the jump really represents for me on that particular day, during that particular week or maybe in a particular situation…a metaphor for life.

When I jump, that first instant when I am all the way underwater, goggles on and I open my eyes…is really, really special to me. Bubbles fill my visual field, often I see my mom or step dad’s legs kicking as they begin their swim, I feel the freshness of the crisp water engulf my body, sometimes I see weeds but the picture that sticks with me are the rays of sunlight as they light up the underwater world. It is so beautiful what happens to the sunbeams as they pass through the surface of the lake. I do not think I am poetic enough with my words to do any justice to this picture. Maybe you need to go try it for yourself…and when you get to the dock, or the shore or the pool edge, DON’T THINK ABOUT IT, JUST JUMP IN!!! …since we only get one chance.

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HANDS

I have a job that I stare at my hands all day. I mean that is not all I do in my job, however I because of my work I am keenly aware of them. Have you ever broken a hand? sprained a wrist? done something that made one or both of your hands un-usable for a while? Usually within about 10 minutes of something happening, you begin to realize how much we take for granted when it comes to our hands.

Just over 2 weeks ago, I fell while running on one of the trails out at Seven Lakes State Park in Holly (I LOVE the trails out there). I landed in a way that severely bruised the soft tissue in my wrist. I was a little nervous about it and going back to work, however I trust my body to heal whatever is necessary and do it in an efficient manner. I did a little work on it myself and was adjusting people just fine that day and for the rest of the week. The weekend came and besides the unsightly bruise, my hands felt great. I consciously let them rest and took it easy over the weekend. On Monday, I showed up at work like normal and after the first adjustment, I knew I was going to have to alter what I was doing for the morning shift (which I am grateful to have a bunch of options for adjusting people because that change is made easily and effectively). I have no idea if it was a manifestation of the fall or not but things just felt off. The afternoon went by okay I finished the day well. The next day they felt great and the rest of the week went well. This past Monday, the same exact thing happened. My first adjustment of the day, I could tell I was going to need to alter things a little bit again. The rest of the morning went well and the day was great. The next day they felt great and the rest of the week has been awesome.

So I am bringing this up because the challenge I was having may be from the fall, however it may be from something else. I have a book called “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. The back part of the book is a list of body parts, some ailments that could happen and a possible thought pattern that could be feeding into the problem…so I looked up hands:

HANDS

Probable Cause: Hold or handle. Clutch and grip. Grasping and letting go. Caressing. Pinching. All ways of dealing with experiences.

New Thought Pattern: I choose to handle all of my experiences with love and with joy and with ease.”

When something comes up in my life, I go and see my chiropractor and get my spine checked, see my massage therapist, check in with some acupuncture and look at my thought patterns. In doing all this, I want to maximize my potential for healing and health and trust my body to take care of whatever is going on.

Things happen in life. I am a human being like everyone else and there has been a little bit of challenge in letting things go as of late. It is so interesting how much our body can teach us if we look at how it is communicating with us. Life is an ongoing chain of experiences and a process of learning and growing. I am grateful for all the places life has taken me and all the things I have learned. And I am also grateful for this lesson and am ready to let go in a big way. I want to learn as much as I can about life and living…since I only get one chance.
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I AM IN LOVE

…WITH SWIMMING!!! In my trek to my first triathlon, I have discovered a love for swimming. I am so crazy about it and I had no idea I would enjoy it this much. In fact, I find myself so excited during the day knowing that I get to go out there and jump in the water and swim! So in this crazy joy I am finding in swimming, I am taking a step back and trying to understand what is happening in my mind that makes me love it so much.
I do most of my swimming out in the lake and the water has been really, really beautiful. I have been focusing on free-style stroke which I am hoping to do for the entire swim distance of the triathlon. I have been working really hard on rhythmic breathing in order to be able to tackle the stroke which is a challenge in and of itself for my body. The breath is taken through the mouth and then the head goes in the water, breathe out the nose and then coming back up for a breath and start again. I have found such a peacefulness in the time that my head is underwater. I have goggles on of course and can see in the water but cannot see anything because the lake is rather deep. I see the bubbles coming from my nose and I watch my arms as I take strokes and watch the trail of bubbles that follows my hands as they move through my visual field. There is something about that scene that I am completely mesmerized by and I think about during the day. It is really quiet underwater. That peacefulness is contrasted every time I take a breath with all the chaos on top of the water from the sights and sounds of the world above the surface. Then I return to the peace, then chaos, then peace, then chaos. I also notice how much of the water I can feel when I first jump in and the temperature contrast of that first submersion when compared to the air. I have come to really enjoy the slight pressure on my skin as I move through the water and the sweeping sensation the water makes as I begin covering the distance. When I am finished and get back up on the dock, there is an incredible euphoria and sometimes a slight dizziness from over oxygenation of the body. I am hooked…in a really serious way.
Those of you who know me realize that I am continuously exploring and looking for new adventures and new doors to open. In that, I have made some really awesome discoveries. Have you been exploring? Are you finding new and wonderful things in this life on a continual basis? Life is a process of discovery…on many levels. Get out there and try something new…we only get one chance. …oh, and come cheer me on on June 25th 8:00am at Clover Beach off Linden Rd:)

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