So, I mentioned in my previous post that “I miss training”. Allow me to elaborate: my post IM “Hey man I’ll get up and work out when I feel like it” is shockingly failing on me. I mean, really, let’s all take a collective gasp of surprise that, after 9 months of two hour workouts every morning *before work*, I no longer “feel like” jumping out of bed at 5am, especially when you factor in the 20 degrees weather.
The first week post IM this “sleeping in” felt decadent and deserved. And it was. I worked hard, got rewarded (Ironman! WOO!) and now got to rest. It was fabulous. But now, two months later, well, it feels… off.
I am struggling mightily with the time justification. Training for an Ironman is completely and utterly selfish thing to do, a goal you pursue for your own vanity and/or to sooth whatever mental defect you have that thinks it’s a good idea. Training for an Ironman demands a YOOOOOGE amount of time away from family, work, friends, and there’s no real way to fairly balance it all; the best you can do is strike deals with the affected parties and promise you’ll be back eventually. (For example, see the post regarding the day Boss and I went to settlement on our house. I woke up, ran 9 miles, went to settlement, rushed to work, worked frantically, went to the pool, swam, rushed to the grocery store, and finally made it home with dinner around 9pm, where the boss had been unpacking ALL DAY and hadn’t eaten a thing. At the time, I felt unfairly pulled in about twenty directions, letting down work, the Boss and others, and ended the day in my new house crabby, tired and overwhelmed; looking back, I can’t believe I bypassed the occasion of buying our first family home and neglected to, you know, HELP UNPACK. Yeah, I totally win the “good partner” award for the year.)
So now, when I have the choice to cram in a run or a trip the gym OR walk the dog so the Boss can sleep a little longer, or make coffee while HE walks the dog, or make dinner while he’s working late, or work late because my coworker needs a favor (or, even more on point, because my job just needs to get done), I feel like that’s where I need to be right now. I need to be present, in my life, doing any of the millions of things that we do for each other to make life a little better.
But here’s the thing: This method isn’t working either. I feel less productive at work, I’m crabbier at home, and I feel infinitely less satisfied. So last Friday, in between work and dinner with friends, I snuck over the gym and pounded out a hard, sweaty, breathtaking 30 minute run. Now, three months ago I don’t know that I would have even bothered suiting up for “just” 30 minutes of exercise, but now, ten minutes in to my treadmill induced zone, I thought “Oh right. THIS is who I am.” That 30 minute run hit a reset button somewhere inside me, and I felt more like myself than I had in days. Exercise isn’t a vanity-motivated luxury that I selfishly do in my precious “me” time; it’s something I need to do so that I can be the best version of myself for the people around me.
So, yeah, maybe partly I do this because I like wearing my skinny jeans and I don’t want to give that up, and I’m sure that in the ever evolving quest for balance I’ll screw it up again and skew too hard in one direction or another, but I hope that I can remember this lesson: that taking care of myself enables me to take care of the other important things in my life, and there’s nothing selfish about that at all.
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