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The boring, the mundane, the fury

Driving home from the gym this morning after a mediocre swim, I felt angry. Actually, anger pervaded me regardless of what I thought, no matter how hard I tried to use positive thinking and self talk. As I write this, I still sense frustration building up within me. So I wonder about the status of my mentation. I wonder if I really am the nutcase I think others perceive me to be. Actually, the nutcase I think I am.

For the past two months, I have worked hard to accept the status of my body: weathered, injured, broken down, tired. I shake my head when I think about the decision I made to jump into the arena of elite triathlon because, quite frankly, I feel low. Super low. I hardly emulate the status of an elite. In fact, I feel I did a better job painting that picture as an amateur. I walked out of the gym this morning feeling thirty years older than my thirty year old self. My low back hurts, I cannot even sit on my ass without wincing, and my ego has taken a major hit. It seems no amount of strength or cross training can quite solve my own personal riddle. I hate to think what my body really wants involves more second-hand revolutions around the clock, more days within a month. A year goes by too fast, and I just do not want to invest that kind of time.

Then again, I have a lifetime. An investment in time is really an investment in me. Reality struck me in the form of a podcast interview conducted by Michael Gervais, a sports psychologist who has a podcast called Finding Mastery. In this particular episode, he interviewed Annabel Anderson, 5x SUP World Champion from New Zealand. They spoke about vulnerability, especially as it relates to her attempts at returning to normalcy after several freak accidents this past year have left her seeking ways to cope and continue her journey forward.

I realized my current predicament of uncertainty has made me full of the sense of vulnerability. Here, I have finally achieved the opportunity to race with the elite, and I can barely run for 25 minutes without my knee reminding me of my shortcomings. My F2C nutrition family has embraced my new racing status by offering me a place on their professional team. I feel incredibly fortunate, though under qualified, to share a position with some incredibly talented professionals from across the world.

Listening to Annabel speak to Michael, though, made me understand that much of my uncertainty perhaps revolves around the internal and external pressures I feel to perform and prove that I belong where I stand now.
Annabel said, "Winning is really fun, the first or second time. And then it becomes normal. And then it becomes expected. And how do you raise and elevate and deal with the internal pressure and the expectations of others? When winning becomes the one dependent, it's not exactly a great game to be playing. It has a finite end."

A finite end I refuse to meet now. In reality, these obstacles and tribulations will add the embellishments to my own personal journey in the sport I call my lifestyle. Yes, for the past few years, I expected to win each race I dove into and out of which I ran. While I am uncomfortable with the change in scenery of these past couple of months, this soon will feel normal. My goals entail embracing this discomfort, refusing to expect unrealistic ideas I have for myself. Instead, I choose to use this anxious energy to fuel my strongest desire for a better me.
"The highs are so momentary, and they can be so few and far between. That, unless you love the boring and the mundane on the daily, you better go find something else that you actually do like because this... is kind of really hard. So what is going to be fulfilling? When...great things do happen, it's really just an elevation, or the cherry on the top." 
-Annabel Anderson


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