Shift Happens!

When I look back at prior blog posts, I see a transition (get it?, see what I did there?, triathlon joke!…. sorry, moving along).  I see a shift in my mindset that I wasn’t sure I could ever have.  I had a boss that used to always say “you can’t change people’s mindset.”  That was generally right before he would ask me to fire the person because they did something he didn’t like.  I must admit, I felt the same way to a certain extent.  I no longer believe that.

I went into this triathlon journey for so many reasons, but looking back I think one of them was that I was lost.  I needed something to fill a gap.  I no longer had to dedicate my waking hours to work.  I left that toxic space because I knew that if I didn’t, I would jeopardize the very people I was trying to take care of by remaining there.  Once I did, I had no way of keeping my over analytical mind and fidgety body busy.  I knew that if I could work on my physical health, my head and heart could heal too but my mindset was still a bit broken.  I had, and still do have, a hard time putting myself first.

I have come to realize that putting myself first, sometimes, makes everyone a lot happier.  I really wanted to go to the pool Saturday but felt kind of bad taking time away on the weekend.  Then, I realized that I was just making an excuses and playing the martyr.   I asked Darin if he was cool with me going, which of course he was.  D2 came a long a played his iPad while I swam my laps.  It was perfect.  No one sacrificed anything, and I felt great.

Looking inward has made me all the better outward too.  I am not sure who this will surprise, if anyone, but I have always been know to say what’s on my mind.  Combine that with a bit of a temper and it can result in some conflict.  That’s not something that most people I know only professionally would see because I do keep it in check at work.  Outside of the office, however, is a different story.  I used to almost regularly get into some kind of verbal altercation with a stranger.  The random person who cuts you off in line, or while driving.  The snotty receptionist at a doctor’s office.  You name them and I have probably had words with them.

Last weekend, when the lady at the hotel told me they were no longer dog friendly, the ‘old me’ would have probably laid into her.  I would have told her how ridiculous it was that while making the reservation I clicked a place that indicated I had a dog and no one said anything.  I would have went off about how their system could have pulled a simple query to let people who had dogs who were driving several hundred miles to their hotel, know that they changed their policy before making the drive.  I would have probably went off immediately and probably would have spent the rest of the evening desperately looking for a place to stay that night!  That wasn’t the case this time.  I was upset, yes, but at the same time I was calm and collected.  I was vulnerable, and I let myself be.  I asked her to help me and she did.  It sounds so simple, but I was really proud of myself.

Mike Reilly is the person known as the “voice of Ironman.”  He’s at nearly every event, and is the person that will announce your name as you cross the finish line and say “you are an Ironman.”  That’s something I want to hear one day, but in the meantime he said something else that really stuck with me.  His mantra is “you are the cause of your own experience.”  I heard that and immediately loved it.  It’s very true.  I can go in to, or react to a given situation in many ways.  How I choose to react is completely up to me.  No one else is the cause of how I choose to experience a moment in time.  The great thing about it is that we encounter chances to choose hundreds, or maybe even thousands of times a day.  If we screw one up, there is always another opportunity around the corner.

Mindset can be shifted.  It has taken me a while, but I am starting to be ok with putting myself first sometimes.  I am starting to appreciate the calm moments more.  Many things are still challenges for me.  My fears and anxieties are still there, but they weigh far less than they used to.  I’ve learned to embrace them as part of who I am right now, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.  We are all works in progress.  We only have so many days in this amazing life.  We should enjoy them, we should embrace what we love, let go of what we don’t, and choose the experience we want to have.  So, get out there and make shift happen!


Excalibur 10 Miler!

While strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government, it does make for a fun themed run! (For those that are not nerds, check out Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

Darin and I drove up to Melbourne Saturday to get our packets and check in for the Excalibur 10 mile run.  This is our second year doing this race.  We participated in the inaugural one last year and signed on for the “Game of Stones” series.  There’s four years, each of which has a stone.  Last year was emerald, this year is sapphire, next year is ruby, and the final is diamond.   If you do all of them (which we plan to) you get a crown and chalice too!  (Yeah, I know, we are geeks.)

Last year we had a hard time with this run in a few ways.  First and foremost it was hard to even sign up.  We knew D2 wouldn’t be ready for 10 miles, nor did he want to go, and we really don’t take off and leave him behind for things like this.  We hadn’t done a race of that length yet at the time.  I had only been running a few months and on top of that I had shin splints.    Not to mention we had Hera with us because the hotel was pet friendly.  She was absolutely terrified of the elevator and shook like a leaf when we gently nudged her in each time.  We had her on our mind during the run too.  We hoped she wasn’t crying the entire time.  Several of the miles took place on a dirt road which was totally unexpected and uncomfortable.  It certainly wasn’t a horrible run, it just wasn’t that great either.

This year I knew things would be better.  Back to that first point, D2 has had several sleep overs during the last year and has also proved himself a sensible kid and has a good head on his shoulders so we weren’t as concerned with leaving him.  Hera is on meds, so I was hopeful she’d have a better time too.  I was in good health and in good spirits.  We didn’t have any kind of goal for time, we just wanted to enjoy running together.

The drive up was smooth and Hera did great.  We picked up our packets and headed to the hotel.  I went to check in while Darin walked Hera a bit.  I reminded the woman at the counter that I noted the file when I made the reservations that we had the dog with us so I needed a pet friendly room.  She looked at me and said “I’m so sorry, but we’re not a pet friendly hotel anymore.”  My heart sank.  I advised her that I had made the reservation almost a year ago and no one said anything when the file has the note about Hera, I asked her what I was supposed to do.  She took a moment, clicked around on the computer, and said “Well, since she’s a service dog there’s nothing else we need to do.  You’re all checked in.  Sorry for the mini heart attack.”  I thanked her in all sincerity, and went to get Darin and my newly deemed service dog.

Unfortunately, meds or not, Hera is still terrified of the elevator, but other than that she did well.  When it came time to sleep, she paced a bit, looked over and jumped into the bed. At home we don’t allow her on the furniture, especially the bed, but she was nervous and we both agreed it was ok….just for the one night.  It was worth it because we all got more sleep than we expected.

The next morning we grabbed some coffee at Dunkin and hung out with her a bit before the race.  It was really cool outside, so I knew the conditions would be perfect.  We had whipped up some “armor” to wear, which we ditched at mile 4 because it got too hot, but was totally worth the effort.  I purposely made it pretty much disposable because I’ve learned what I can and can’t endure.  We had a blast just running together, talking about upcoming races and plans for the future.  We aren’t big “date night” people, but who needs that when you have these types of days in your life anyway?!  I’m so grateful for  our relationship.  We held a great pace the entire race and cut 20 minutes off last year’s time which was an added bonus.  We crossed the finish line feeling amazing and with smiles on our faces.  Can’t wait until next month when we do the Start Wars half marathon!

Armored Up!