Rough Patch

A week or so back I saw the following motivational video through a Facebook feed with a section that resonated strong enough to be repeated in my head continually throughout today’s long ride.

What stood out in my mind was the following –

“Anybody can feel good when they have their health, they bills are paid, they have happy relationships
Anybody can be positive then,
Anybody can have a larger vision then
Anybody can have a lot of faith under those kind of circumstances”

There are three foundational pillars that provide comfort in my life.  They are my –

1) Passion

2) Profession

3) Friends and Family

At any given time at least one of the three will be out of flux, that’s just the nature of the thing and the significance of Balance in the life of anyone with a passion.  Generally for me work is a constant, as it’s what pays the bills, and I flip flop between training and spending time with family and friends, usually one suffering for the other.  I’ve played this game for over a decade now and am comfortable with it as long as I can justify sacrificing one for the other in the short term.

Recently I’ve been in new territory and up until now afraid to discuss it to many, either out of shame or fear that making it public would somehow make it more real.  A few weeks back I strained my calf in a track workout.  I have often said, perhaps bragged, that I have never been hurt, however looking back this is the third time in three years, coached and un-coached I have had a calf issue, alternating between left and right legs.  I immediately saw a PT, someone who I had been visiting for my Ironman A race back issues since Mt Tremblant, who suggested it wasn’t that bad and proscribed an action plan which I followed to no avail as of yet, seemingly re-injuring it each time I run outside after rest.

The calf thing would be enough of a concern to me, honestly I am freaking out about it because I missed my first race at Surf City (the only race I’ve ever backed out of!!) and not being able to run jeopardizes all the races I laid out in the first half of 2015.  I feel like a failure and am embarrassed because I only recently decided to leave coaching and have no one to answer to for this but myself.  The larger problem is that it is an unstable time for my industry, living expenses have gone up, I received no tax return this year, a work bonus is not going to happen, the breaks on my car went this week and I have yet been able to buy plane tickets to the races I have signed up for that I’m not even sure I will be able to compete in.  Meanwhile everyone I see tells me my body is broken, out of alignment and in need of work (massage, chiro, PT, etc), all of which is uncovered by my insurance provider.  And I’m not mentioning this for sympathy of my financial woes but to express that not only do I not have the outlet of a coach, which I have always had, to look to for guidance but the inability to support one as needed.

A small note on training.  I originally considered writing about my plan, but as I started to it only seemed to become less significant.  I never intended to do or proceeded with workouts outside the realm of what I had already been doing, rather slight tweaks to the program I had been following over the last couple years (same layout and ingredients) with only less quantity and an emphasis on conditioning the weak areas of my body that were failing in races, as assisted with by a physical therapist.  I thought I could do what so many of my friends had done with success last year.  I kept the pace reasonable (nothing under 6 min miles) and consulted with the same friends on workouts before I got started.  I don’t know if my choices contributed to my calf issues or if they are tied to anything else but I feel responsible.

On a positive note my recent misfortunes have shed light on some things.  First off, I truly appreciate my job.  It is uncommon to have a profession where you get to utilize talents in a fun and innovative manner creating a positive influence on the world so directly and to such a large degree.  I’m thankful for how accommodating it has been to my lifestyle and the support I get from colleagues.  I value more clearly the ability to train, be it commended by Gerry for a good swim workout, winning a climb or getting murdered in a friendly group ride through the mountains, or crushing a track workout under the lights at Santa Monica High School with David Levine’s group.

All I want is the ability to keep following my passion, to live within my means in beautiful SoCal, to have a home close enough to the beach to run to that I am comfortable in, to be able to train healthy with friends and cut lose from time to time, to travel East to be with family on the holidays and to be able to race in the same manner that I have for years.  I’d love to be coached again once I have the means to support it.

I don’t think that this is too much to ask for or that it’ll be to long before I achieve my goal.  I’m not very certain of what the immediate future will bring but am thankful to be able to continue swimming and riding to my full ability.  I welcome and am appreciative to any insight that may be offered.

  2 comments for “Rough Patch

  1. Ed
    March 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    The balance you speak of in important and I think you have a good perspective on it. I am retired and appear to have my finances in good order so far but we have given up new BMW’s for now. Our family is good although we lost our son on Feb 9 (34), 2015, Barb’s Mom on Dec 25 (86), 2014 and then her brother on Jan 28, 2015 (64) – three generations in less than a year. I have decided to not do any triathlons this year because I felt a little worn out from them. And the weather back East (below zero and February the coldest month ever in Buffalo) have their challenges for running.
    BUT I feel lucky to be alive and have what we have. There are always changes in life. How we adjust and set new goals is what matters. Stay happy, David. You are a terrific person and athlete!

    • March 9, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Hey Ed, first off I truly value your insight and have appreciated our talks in the past greatly (pretending like we were discussing work each time Tony would pop by). Triathlon (or athletics in any form) are great but very small in comparison to family and close relationships. I am very sorry to hear about your misfortunes recently. I know you’re wise about making the right choices when it comes to your body and best use of your time, as evident by what you’ve accomplished and how long you’ve been running. I look to you as a role model and hope that you have some enjoyable and warm runs ahead in the near future!

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