Archive for August, 2013

TEARS HELP

There are a few moments in life when there is so much internalized intensity that tears help.  Just letting a small explosion come out of your tear ducts helps to alleviate the pressure of the current moment and the stress that is building.

I am a pretty sensitive gal and do my fair share of crying, though crying is not exactly what I am talking about, though I guess it would technically be what is happening.

This past weekend I re-visited Bower’s Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City to compete (or rather complete) the Traverse City Triathlon again this year.  I was signed up to do the same distance I did last year which is called a “Sprint” and consists of 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3 mile run.Fenton Chiropractor Triathlon

I had quite a bit if anxiety building up for about a month prior to the race last year due to the distance of the swim.  This year I was much calmer…until the morning of.

I had a few friends accompany me in the race this year which included my Mom and step-dad.  They had each done two shorter triathlons in the past and had been training and gearing up for a few months for this one.  I think I was partially picking up on their nerves that morning as well and hoping and praying they had good experiences since I was the one that encouraged them to participate.
The 5:30AM wake-up time came all too early and we were grateful most of our gear was packed the evening before.  The drive up to Old Mission took just over and hour from where we were staying.  As the miles passed and the time ticked away, the most intense nervous/anxiety feeling started to brew inside me.  No amount of deep breathing or meditation could contain this feeling.  It could have possibly been the month-long anxiety from the year before all being packed into one single hour.

I had to come up with a strategy and chose to turn on some loud music and let it out somehow and that is when tears started streaming down my face.  As I sat and watched my body do this, I checked into my thoughts to discover there was a little bit of fear creeping around in there…okay, it was sheer terror.  Over what?  Why such terror?  Then I tapped in to the fact that this swimming thing never gets easier for me.  I struggle and gasp for air due to my challenged heart and decreased ability to carry oxygen.

So I just let it flow and allowed myself to settle into the idea that the wet suit I was about to put on will keep me on top of the water no matter what and all I have to do is put one arm in front of the other and kick my legs.  Tears help a lot in relieving that kind of tension.

We pulled up to the parking lot where we would unload our gear and head down to the starting line.  My Mom walks over to me and says “I think I am going to throw up.”  That didn’t help the nerves any however I was grateful to have had the avenue of release already figured out and felt better, though still super anxious.

The morning continued.  I survived the swim easily this year.  The race went well.  I beat my time last year by 7 seconds…which I was happy about.  At least I am consistent I guess.  My hopes in doing these events is that my anxiety will diminish with each event and I can get to a place where I can thrive from the starting gates and focus on the event rather than being distracted with so much anxiety.  2 Sprints down, many many more to go.

Speaking of triathlon, I would like to mention one of my heroes that happens to be doing the Ironman Triathlon this coming Sunday.  My cousin Kelley was born 2 years after I was and we grew up together.  She has taken on endurance events over the years like it is a side job of hers and will be completing the ultimate endurance challenge ever…Ironman.  The race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 110 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run.  I wish I could be there to witness this huge accomplishment in person but will be there in spirit.  And I have to admit that during my race last Sunday, I thought about her and was grateful to not have that kind of a race ahead of me.

Bottom line…tears help.  They do.  There is a reason they are part of our physiological make-up and can really be used to our advantage from time to time.

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