The Pursuit of Happiness and Motivation
I never thought I'd be writing this blog post.. at least from this point of view. It is my wish simply to let you in on how I am feeling and share some of the mistakes I have made in the hopes of helping others avoid making the same ones. As an athlete it is easy to hide behind a wall of nice photos of the places we have been and all the fun training we are doing. The truth is it's not always rainbows and butterflies. I've always done my best to be completely honest whenever I write and I hope this post is a shining example of that. Scrolling through my social media will give you an idea of what I'm about. I try to be the happiest and most positive person I can be in the hope of inspiring others to do the same. My life goal is to live so that one day when my time comes I can be happy knowing that I did everything I wanted to do. Since July 2012 triathlon has been it.
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a professional athlete. After getting *relatively* close to a good career in both swimming and tennis, I fell into triathlon with ease. I won my second race overall and earned my professional license just 15 months later after finishing top 20 overall at one of the deepest Ironman 70.3 events in the world. In the 3 years following, triathlon has given me everything. I couldn't have been more in love with the sport..... until now.
The last few months have been filled with some of the most frustrating days in my sporting life. I won't bore you with the details but imagine a bucket of sand. The individual grains feel weightless, but add a few clumps and soon the bucket is full and becomes hard to carry. Last week I dropped the bucket. I can't begin to blame anyone else for how I'm feeling because at the end of the day I knew I was putting myself into a giant hole. It was my responsibility to take care of myself but I kept on digging.
With a calf injury from Japan still lingering and only two weeks before my next race in Nepean, I made the easy decision to withdraw. With that I decided it was finally time to take care of myself and have a week or two completely off triathlon to get my mind and body right. The trouble with trying to break through and get a world cup start is that there is never a good time to have a rest. There are always races you 'need' to do and every race is a priority. Since getting back into training in August 2015 I have found this out the hard way, making time for only two weeks completely off. As I add it up,that's 14 months with 30+ hour work weeks and little more than 14 days completely off. I suppose that speaks for itself.
When I began writing I had no idea the direction I wanted to go with this post but on splashing my thoughts all over the keyboard, the message I want to share has become clear... Your body is the greatest instrument you will ever own- take care of it.
I have learned in the past that in sharing my thoughts and feelings, good things happen. I am extremely thankful for all the kind words everyone has given me over the last couple of weeks and I have no doubt I will come back from this short rest more motivated and inspired than ever ready to tackle the Australian season. After all, we have a world cup start to earn. For now I am using this time to search for the enjoyment I somehow lost in the sport that I love.