Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Balancing life and working out the details

so, the other day, I had the first conversation where training got in the way of "life."  I mean, there have been other times, but, this time was the first time I had a conversation where I realized that not everyone thinks that my way of prioritizing is "normal."

the conversation went something like this, at about 10 pm:

"well, I have a 2-hr bike ride for sometime tomorrow and swim practice in the morning.  And a dentist appointment.  and work.  Do you want to join me for the bike ride?"
"hmmm, sure, that sounds good.  What time?"
"Well, I was thinking after I get back from work."
"when are you working until?"
"ummmm.  you want to ride at 7:30, for 2 hours?  when are you doing to eat dinner?"
"well, after?"
"errrr... isn't eating just as important as training?"
"well, yes.  but, i will eat.  just after riding."
.... quizzical  stare.
"i mean, it's not a big deal.  i'll have a snack.  then i'll ride.  then eat something for a sort-of dinner.  yes, it's late, but whatever. big deal."
"ok.  i just think you are not prioritizing in really the best way."
 "well, when else am i supposed to do it?  before my early morning dentist appointment? should i wake up at 5 and do it then?"  (getting grumpy.  i just don't like waking up early):
"i'm not necessarily saying that..." 

20 minutes later:

ME:  "ok.  so, what i hear you saying is that you don't want me riding tomorrow night, so we can eat together. i'm going to wake up early.  and, i'll ride before the dentist appointment."
why don't you add the ride to the dentist as part of the 2hrs.  then it won't have to be so early?
"ok.  fine.  good idea.  i'm sorry i got grumpy.  but, just so you know, sometimes i prioritize differently.  this isn't going to be the last time that we have this conversation.  and... you are not the only partner of a triathlete who feels like this." 

i guess, the bottom line is:

i've been spoiled.

I guess one of the (good) things about being a forever-student (and living with non-personally connected roommates) is, pretty much, you have the excuse doing whatever you want, whenever you want.  I have gotten so accustomed to working out when I want to.  Doing the type of workout i want to.  eating what i want to.  pretty much, life is all about me.  I am the centre of my universe. 

But, real life isn't like that. and, it is NOT what i want my life to be like. and, honestly, despite the fact that it is one of the things i love about triathlon (i can schedule things around everything else going on in life), it is also one thing that I don't like about the sport.  It is just so dang self-satisfying.  Unlike team-sports where you think of other people all the time.  The training, the victories, the losses of one individual are the training, victories, and losses of many individuals.  it is the training, the victories and the losses of a team. triathlon is all about me.  it is about my victories and my failures and my training and the way i react to others beating me, or the way i react when i beat other people or
and... this is what you look like after a race in a final, in which the rudder breaks off the bottom of your boat.  big thanks to the log floating (submerged)  in the potomac.
 That is one of the biggest things that rowing taught me.  it taught me very BIG life lessons.  life takes compromise, and working in teams, or in a partnership, takes all people being able to have flexibility, and both people being able to remind the other that what they may be doing is silly.  It takes both people to hold each other accountable.  it takes listening.  

But, wow...  how easily that is forgotten.  We forget to listen, we are quick to speak, and we forget to be slow to anger.   we love having ourselves at the centre of our universe.  (OH WOW... this post is going somewhere way further than what i thought it would be!)

I have sworn that I will never let personal choices to interfere with relationships... like my food choices.  or training.  or going to races.  to me, people (and... loving them) are more important than anything i can do in sport.  and, I kinda wish that I remembered that more often.  And, of course, the people i love understand that I love triathlon.  That sometimes, i will schedule seeing them, around when I train.  and, they understand that.

but, really, when push comes to shove, i shouldn't skip dinner with the boy i like love to go on a bike ride.  why?  because my bike won't miss me.  and (as much as i like to think it does) my bike doesn't grow more in love with me the more time i spend with it.  but.  he does.


priorities.  sometimes they are really weird.  i mean.  sure.  i will still skip a late night at a party, to be able to train on a saturday or sunday morning.  I will still schedule a run with a destination to meet someone at a coffee shop.  i will not go hiking, to be able to race.  i will eat a salad when you have pizza.    i will go to the gym, instead of staring at my computer for that hour.  i will wake up at 5.  i will train at 9pm.

but, mostly, i will remember, it is the people who make all of this worth it.  a bike will always be able to be ridden.  There will always be another race.  but, this moment, with that person?  well, it might be fleeting.


Anonymous said...

great one :)


Donna S.

Alexa said...

great post Amelia! I am working really hard this time around (Ironman #3) to try to find a balance between friends/social life and Ironman training. because in the end, I love to train but I love my friends more!