Sunday, December 2, 2012
Robin Williams is brilliant! (Good Will Hunting, August Rush, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, Patch Adams...brilliant...)
I saw Awakenings back in the early '90's. It is one of those that sink to the core of your soul and certain experiences in life bring you back to those feelings. I haven't been blogging like I had hoped but felt I needed to reflect at my midway point. I realized I'm almost six months into my Ironman training (and six months to go!) and couldn't help but find many parallels:
1) There are many debilitating life events which cause irreversible physical and mental challenges and we cannot CONTROL nor stop life from happening. The childhood vision of my adult life did not include a dysfunctional and abusive home and the environmental and genetic causes of depression, anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, scoliosis, infertility, divorce and no feelings of worth. I always considered myself a very healthy child and these conditions were not CONTROLLABLE.
2) No HOPE of a cure, fix or future. Unfortunately, these conditions have existed among my family pedigree for generations. So many continually blame their actions on anything and everything but themselves. I also blamed... myself, as a result of something I did. In both cases, these conditions provide the "elephant in the room" affect. Everyone knows the dysfunction exists and still refuse to acknowledge, confront or console. I believe there are appropriate times and places but simply ignoring a sliver doesn't mean it won't get infected. "You'd think at a certain point all these atypical somethings would amount to a typical something" -Awakenings
3) I'm an intelligent person but I realized I also just LIVEd my life as others told me to. Do YOUR duties you have been assigned, disregard your OWN needs, and be obedient. I was married for 10 years before I became a mother and that was my only desire and plan. 10 years: could have completed school, could be in much better shape, could have lived a different LIFE. In retrospect, the experiences AND blessings that came about cannot be replaced and I would be ungrateful to wish them differently. However, I recently came to the realization that so much of how I lived was a result of others THOUGHTS and expectations. I don't consider myself an expert in fitness but I do know what works for me. Extremes in workouts, diets, expensive sports gear, races, advice and negative thinking does not work -period! And I will not look back in June or even 10 years later and regret that I am doing things the way I know works for me. "Frank, how do you feel?" "Well, my parents are dead. My wife is in an institution. My son has disappeared out west somewhere. I feel old and I feel swindled, that's how I feel." -Awakened patient
4) If you push against the current, you will experience opposition. Despite trying to live out everyone's expectations but my own, NOTHING I have experienced so far IS a result of convention; my children, my job or my journey toward athleticism. There will always be those who put down, disapprove and scoff at what may seem IMPOSSIBLE. My second triathlon in St. George - and first official non hometown race - caused me to rethink continuing this crazy quest. I watched hardcore, muscular, and fit pro athletes check in the day before the race and felt I had no business being there. I'm vividly aware that I'm still overweight and slower than the majority but raceday - I did it and felt good doing it! I can't count how many times I've been told, "you're crazy... I don't run...I don't swim...I would never do that..." etc... Exactly what are they telling me, really? "What must it be like to be them? What are they thinking?" - "They're not. The virus didn't spare the higher faculties" - "We know that for a fact?" -"Yes" - "Because?" - "Because the alternative would be unthinkable". -Awakenings convo between old Dr. and new Dr.
5) Surround yourself with PASSION. Dr. Sayer in Awakenings had a fire that others before him let die. I began my training with a group of 10 women and my Dr. In three months time, the group has theoretically disbanded. I can't speak for everyone in the group collectively; but from my observations, the key element many of them was missing was passion. There were many other obstacles that they did or did not have control over but I believe if you have a will, you will find a way. I needed to find alternative training options and was fortunate to find a trainer and a group who doesn't have to be convinced every day to workout, coaxed into pushing a bit harder or begged into a race. And I have found mentors who believe in me and my abilities. I made huge efforts to encourage the group I was formerly training with only to find there was little reciprocation. As with anyone else, I have had moments of weakness and I'm grateful to those who have given me the boost to keep pushing forward.
6) You can accomplish anything with enough DEDICATION, commitment and overcoming obstacles. You simply can't do anything with passion alone. It also requires work and allowing yourself to make mistakes and/or coming up a bit short. But you keep working, you course correct, set realistic expectations and goals and give yourself enough credit for what you have accomplished. I have also found that my competitive streak ends at myself. I realized when I no longer try and keep up/stay behind with everyone else and focus on what I am doing, I am better. In the beginning, I believe it is helpful to have other "reasons" (family members, friends, coaches, etc) to get you moving but ultimately the dedication needs to lie deep within yourself. I have been fortunate to have those with better skills help me through races and push me harder and can't say enough what that has done for me!
7) You need to find what MOVEs you! In Awakenings, there are two patients, one who began to move with classical music and the other with rock. Personally, I highly dislike aerobics or any class in which the instructor yells at me either because the music is too loud or they just like to yell. Or they don't stay focused on what I came to do whether it be nutrition, the class, training, or a massage. I came for a purpose and it is not to hear about what a certain celebrity is up to, the latest Twilight movie or even how terrible their day went. I have a huge desire to connect with people but under the fitness focus, I am more motivated by those who are prepared and on task. Be it going to several different classes, instructors, trainers, therapists; eventually I have found those that keep me motivated. Also, most of the races do not allow earphones or music. So I have been training in silence. Turns out, I can push myself harder in training thus increasing my skills with the right tunes. I call them my angry tunes: Green Day, Linkin Park, etc. If it's screaming, can't hear the lyrics, or no beat, they are off the list.
8) PATIENCE is imperative! So you work your tail off, feel super strong and yet still find yourself not as far along as you hoped? Seems a bit counter productive to give up. If anything, you've worked your tail off and you are super strong. I seriously doubt feeling anything but grateful and happy with your accomplishments would be insulting to your efforts. Practice makes permanent...do we all really have to be perfect?
What does this beginner triathlete/future Ironman need?: Controlling The Controllable, Never Losing Hope, Living Your Own Life And Thoughts, Nothing Is Impossible, Passion, Dedication, Moving Forward, and Patience.
Hello. My name is Amy. It has been explained to me that I've been away for quite some time. I'm back....
Well, it's still a work in progress...
The human spirit is more powerful than any drug, and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we have forgotten - the simplest things.