Life, Triathlon

Camp Lessons and the Aha Moment

Since the first day of camp, I was waiting for that aha moment, my epiphany.  It was like Christmas eve.  You know something good is coming and you just can’t wait.  I was bursting with anticipation, watching the clock, just waiting for it to happen.  I had so hoped it would be at that first day at the lake and the rest of camp would play out like some movie montage.  The clouds would part and this ray of light would shine down on me as the triathlon angels sang.  The light would pick me up off the ground and fill me with an energy that could only be compared to what you see in the comic books.  I would be lowered slowly to ground and open my eyes, very dramatically like in the movies, and I would know right then and there that this sport was for me and fear would no longer consume my swims.  I would, in that moment, be full of confidence and move forward with purpose, sign up for my next race and crush it.

Sadly, that moment never came.  I assumed that if it didn’t, then I would walk away with the understanding that I tried everything I could and this sport just isn’t for me.  I mean, it’s really three sports anyway, all of which I struggled with at some point.  Maybe it just wasn’t in the cosmos and I would finally come away with knowing that deep in my heart of hearts, whatever that means.  That didn’t happen either.  So now what?

I took some time after that final day to think on it.  I went through a range of emotions and I began asking myself some questions.  Did I enjoy camp? Yes.  Would I do it again? Maybe.  Do I regret it? Heck no!  Ok, so it was definitely a good thing.  What did I enjoy about it?  My answer surprised me more than I expected… the people.  I met some really amazing, kind and encouraging people.  I know, me the non people person.   What else?  I learned a lot.  I learned that not all people suck.  I reaffirmed my knowledge that doing things out of my comfort zone and taking risks always pays off in some way or another.  I learned that my perception of my coach was accurate.  He sucks in the most awesome way.  He cares, and he’s a wizard.  He somehow knows when to give me a push, and knows when to let me off the hook because I need it.  I learned that my swim form is actually pretty good.  I learned that some of these people that I watched out there looking like professionals, started just as scared as I did.  I learned that I am way harder on myself than I need to be.  I learned that I can make it up crazy hills if I just chill out and put in the work.  I learned that I phone in my workouts a little too often.  I’m not being hard on myself, just a fact check and something I need to work on.  I learned that I can go downhill at just over 25mph and not die!  I learned to lock your car doors even if you think there is nothing of value inside. I learned that Jet Blue, who used to be good, now sucks. 

I never got that aha moment that I so desperately wanted.  The clouds didn’t part, no angels sang and I still have no idea if I really want to keep doing triathlon.  Sometimes we don’t get what we want, but what we get exactly what we need.  What I needed was the reminder that this is supposed to be fun, not something I criticize and beat myself up over.  I realized, thanks to a lot of impactful things said by my coach, that what I need to work on most is being kind to myself.  I need to stop the negative talk, be far less critical and put more energy into believing in myself and enjoying it.  No breakthrough swim, no epiphany, no magic pill I can purchase or is going to give me that.  It all comes down to putting in the work and knowing I am worth the effort.

Life, Triathlon

Murphy Making the Way Back Home

After the swim, camp was done and it was time to say our goodbyes.  After all the hugs a bunch of us decided we would get some breakfast before everyone parted ways.  Amy and I got back in my truck so that I could take her to her car when she asked “why do you have all these pennies in the seat?”  I told her I had no money in the truck and had no idea what she meant.  Then, her face dropped.  She went on to tell me that she left her wallet and phone in the door of the truck and they were both gone.  My heart sank.  I had no idea she had left anything in it or I would have made sure it was locked.  Every day I had been super diligent about making sure because my bike was in it, but today was the first day I didn’t bother to care because everything was with me and nothing was left in the truck.  We proceeded up to the front where we pay to let them know what happened. 

The woman at the office told us to go around a different direction because the police were already called for a theft and were there.  We went over and let the officer know what happened.  He told us that the lawn guys standing on the side there had been robbed as well.  I immediately assumed the thieves took their equipment when they weren’t by the truck but that was not the case.  We started talking to them and the crew lead explained that these young guys pulled up alongside them and told them to give them their wallets.  Thinking it was a joke, he said yeah right.  That’s when one of them proceeded to show him they had some kind of rifle and the other a hand gun.  The one told him to give him the wallet or he’d shoot him.  The crew lead gave them his wallet and told his guys to do the same.  One of his guys, a younger dude, said “I’m not giving you my wallet, I don’t think you will shoot anyone” and the thief proceeded to fire a shot into the air.  The crew lead grabbed his guy’s wallet and threw it to the thieves along with their cell phones which they requested.   They drove off laughing and the guys ran to the office to call the police.  We must have been in the water when this occurred because no one heard it.  The police also think it may have been a small pistol or maybe even an airsoft gun. 

We waited while the police fingerprinted the truck and filled out paperwork.  Eventually they told us that the suspects had been caught they thought they had recovered Amy’s credit cards and license at least, so we waited…. and waited.  After about two and a half hours the main officer pulled up and let us know they had indeed been caught.  Apparently, the idiots paid to get into the park so they are on surveillance.  They robbed a bunch of cars and on the way out decided to target the lawn guys assuming that in their trade they carry cash and would have been paid recently.  The ran from the park and there happened to be an officer in the area who chased them down.  They crashed into someone and bailed from the car on foot.  The cop pursued and other officers came in and caught the other two.  They found one of them trying to bury the evidence along with a substantial amount of pot and cocaine.  All in all it added up to 7 different felonies they planned to charge them with.  The had the thieves up at the front gate for the lawn guys to identify.  A few minutes later another officer came up and let us rummage through all the recovered items to get Amy’s phone, wallet and most of her credit cards.  Thankfully all the key items were there, not that she isn’t cancelling all of them anyway to be safe.  We grabbed a quick sandwich at Panera because we were both starving at that point.  It was 11:40 when I hauled butt to the hotel.  I had called and they gave me a late checkout of 1pm.  I took a shower and slammed everything in my suitcase that was left out.  Thank goodness I packed most of it the night before!  I was originally going to explore a bit before heading to the airport, but with my luck I didn’t want to chance it so I headed there immediately.  Better to wait an extra couple hours there than chance anything.  Better safe than sorry.  I got to the airport, got the bike bag checked in and through security.  I settled in around 1:30 for my 4:45 flight, which to my surprise said it was on time!   

You didn’t think it would be that smooth did you?  Here is a summary of texts that followed starting about 5 minutes after I sat down…. Delayed: your flight @4:45 will now depart @5:11… @5:33… @5:53… @5:41 (yeah earlier)… @6:30… @7:15… @7:45… @8:00… @8:30… @9:00… @9:20.  The funniest one was at a 6:30 they began boarding group A and then made everyone get off the plane.  They said it was too hot inside the cabin and the air conditioning wasn’t strong enough to cool it down.  Get this, they said we needed to wait for the sun to go down to cool the plane!  I almost laughed out loud.  We finally got on the plan around 9pm.  It was definitely not cool as far as temperatures go, but I was glad to finally be on board.  Then, we sat, and sat.  The captain finally came on to tell us that the runways were a little backed up.  We ended up taking off right at about 10pm.  I landed at 1am and felt so bad that my boys were having to be up so late.  Of course the luggage came out on a different carousel than they told us.  We were all sitting staring at what was coming out of 6 when our luggage was whirling behind us at 5.  I asked about the bike and was told to wait at the double doors.  Of course a few minutes later it actually came out of the carousel.  I used to love JetBlue.  Used to.  I was super happy to see my boys and finally be heading to the house.  By the time all was said and done, my head hit the pillow at 2am.  Not exactly as planned, but then again for me, it never is.