April has been a mixed bag in the quest to become an athlete again, but things are looking up. I had… what I’ll call an “aha” moment but really it’s a “uh doiiii” moment.

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I’ve been trapped in this vicious cycle – every time I get motivated and get some momentum going, *something* happens and then I throw a pity party and eat and drink crap and eff off workouts and then all of a sudden I’m back to square one.

I had spent two glorious weeks without much back pain. The first week I think I was like, “fool me twenty times…” and didn’t do a whole lot, waiting for my back to go out again, but I got my ass in gear after a week passed. All was well… until I spent five and a half hours on a folding chair at a socially distanced family Easter yard party. My back started seizing up and I could barely walk again. I went the the chiropractor the next day hopeful, but the adjustment didn’t quite do the trick this time.

I was UTTERLY pissed. Why the hell was this happening to me? I know how to start from scratch, I know how to train, I actually have been YEARNING for the ability to just go out for a pain-free run, or go ride my bike in the sunshine. My brain wants to do this for so many reasons. I need more activity so I can lose some weight without eating only rabbit food. I need my active mediation time so I can think and dream and create. As I keep saying, I need my identity back.

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A week ago, I went out for a waddle to check out the spring flowers even though my back was cranky, and for some reason it clicked – my posture has been absolute poopoo kaka lately. When I’m wearing normal clothes and around normal humans, I’m vain enough to want to stand up straight, suck in my gut, and look like I’m not smuggling bags of cookies under my shirt. When all you wear is pajamas that are four sizes too big, there’s absolutely no reason to engage your core.

So I engaged my core whilst walking that day. And my abs were sore by the end, which is pretty pathetic, but my back felt… okay. For the rest of the week, I did the same, while walking, while bending over to do things, and yet again, it felt absolutely pathetic that I had to retrain my body to do something so simple but… it’s helped. Five walks, five stretches, and three bikes, and today I rode outside (!) for 45 minutes (!) and then even took a walk later and so far, so good. I have muscle soreness but I don’t feel injured.

So, I shall to attempt to continue to suck it up, buttercup (my abs) and continue to ride this wave of momentum. Sometimes, it actually is so simple, at least I hope.

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Because it’s go time. 9 days ago, I got my J&J shot. While it was an unpleasant weekend involving major brain fog, aches, chills, fever, sweats, and exhaustion, at least it was one and done (well, until we need boosters, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it). Now, I’ve got 19 days until I can carefully people again.

I’m looking forward to it, but I also not the person I was a year ago. I’d love to say that I’m super excited for group rides again, but uh… yeah… I don’t think I can keep up with anyone and if 10 miles is a long ride for me right now, I’m pretty sure that’s everyone’s warmup. It used to be mine. My kits are all too small and tbh, the idea of wearing a pair of jeans gives me anxiety. So, yeah, it’s time to suck it up, buttercup, in more ways than one.

One thing I *CAN* control is what I shove in my cakehole. So, I’m concentrating on that. I’m tracking calories again and even though it’s sorta maddening some days to try to eat 1200 calories + activity (when my activity most days is around 200 calories max because I’m starting so slow), it’s the only way I’m going to make my t-shirts stop shrinking.

I’m signed up for IM Texas 2022 in April. I’m about to pull the trigger on Kerrville Half Ironman in September this year. I need this long term motivation not to quit. It all seems so far away, so I’m not even trying to conceptualize what it will take to get there, but I know I need to start. I long for the days where I can pop out the door for an hour run at lunch or actually go out on a group ride with other cycling humans. So, that is where I start. Simply. And from there I shall build.