A whole year since the world went away has come and gone. And yet, I am still here, feeling about 1000 years older but also still frozen in time on the eleventy-seven hundredth of March, 2020.
I started January strong in terms of healthy habits like daily stretching, activity, meditation, etc. I had some pretty nice successes in February, including completing a sprint duathlon all at once without a break, and even felt reasonably human-like after. Even with the craziness of work being at 11, I was finally on my way back to being a little bit more me.
Then, the Snowpocalypse happened, and really knocked me off my game. Soon after, we celebrated birthdays and a lot of “eff it” was bid to good habits. I overdid it one day with a long walk AND a short bike (OMG) and my back injury regressed. My lower back would often seize up and half the time even just existing was painful. Instead of doubling down on the good habits to fix things, I ate comfort food, drank whiskey, and ignored bodywork. Two weeks ago, I limped into my chiropractor, and the crack fixed a lot of the injustices. So I got back to it, right? NOPE! This begun the torture of no internet for 2 days, trying to work full days off just cell service. Remember dial up? Yeah, it was a lot like that. Totally infuriating. So, I made all the excuses yet again because that sent me into a MOOD.
Finally, I arrived at Sunday (just a few days ago) realizing it was time to get off my lazy arse. This week has been better. I’ve walked 30-45 mins every day, stretched 3 times, and have done a core workout twice. Next week, I want to start incorporating cycling (30 mins max) again and try out the Oiselle Dozen and make my strength goal to be able to complete it. After that, I’ll try running again if everything holds up (and maybe step on the scale again, the horror!). However, the most important thing is also the least sexy thing – the core work and stretching. This builds the foundation, the one that is crumbly and shifting currently, but it is the thing which needs to be solid so I can go do the stuff that makes my brain more happy and my body less lumpy.
Of all the things to pop up on my Facebook memories today, 3 years ago I won my age group at No Label Tri and qualified for Triathlon Age Group Nationals. At that point, I was a badass bag of muscles with a razor sharp brain ready to dig deep into the pain cave. Now, it all seems so haaaaaard. How can I be her when life right now – even without triathlon – feels overwhelming. I can barely motivate myself to do ANYTHING, let alone go out and dig deep and bare my soul on that kind of effort that makes you both question and really know yourself.
But yet, all I can do is resume even if it feels like a faded memory of someone else.
Sometimes, my brain remembers what I was a year ago and truly wants to do more than my body can handle right now and that frustrates me. Sometimes, my brain feels so far away from that and wants to do NOTHING and my sluggish body is totally happy to comply. My motivation is low because we’re still in this nebulous state. Sure, we’ll all (mostly) get vaccinated and can sort of be people again. Then what? When will I feel comfortable being in the slipstream of some other triathlete’s pee on the swim? When will I not feel skeeved out drinking out of a water cup some other human handed me? When will I feel okay giving sweaty hugs at the finish line, all covered in snot and spit and various other bodily fluids? Is that this summer? Is it 2021? Is it… ever?
But, again, all I can do is resume. I know my back issues are not because of some acute injury or overuse, but from the LACK of use. I know my brain, when it wants to do nothing, is playing tricks on me and I am a better me when I can run, bike, and swim. I can have the self control to deal with the frustration of being able to do just a little right now, because it’s better than nothing and it means I can do more when it matters. The only other option is to stand still, and that’s not me. Not now, not before, and not ever.