In a couple of months- wow, wait! 5 weeks? 6 weeks?- I'll compete in an outdoor Sprint Triathlon. I did this same course last fall- and now I'm tackling it again full force, training way in advance. I will not be last in my age group! If I say that enough times it will be true.... right?
When I was sick back to back in March with a cold and then the flu, I lost a lot of my stamina. Crazy how just a few weeks can completely alter you physically! When I finally got back into my routine, I realized it wasn't a matter of just picking back up where I left off; it was starting over.
Maybe not completely; my legs still remembered how to run, my arms how to slice through water, my feet how to pedal. But my lung capacity changed. Weeks of a runny nose, constant cough and aches had taken it's toll. Running one mile become a major feat. Swimming 50 meters without sputtering to the surface, an accomplishment.
For me, a Type A, competitive, obsessive sort of gal, this was torture. I had worked so hard to reach a goal, and then just like that, I was back at square one.
I'm sure you all can draw the big parallel here: set-backs are a part of life. We're steadily climbing towards the top, towards a goal- in a relationship, at work, financially, spiritually. Then the rocks start to tumble downhill, sweeping you up with them. And you're back at base camp, starting over.
Last week, I went for a swim. I swam 500 meters straight through. I'm learning a new breathing technique, using my arms in different ways. My lungs are expanding again.
On Sunday, I went for a run. 2.5 miles, in the warm & muggy heat. I needed water a few times, but my legs are strong again.
I'm at a new place in my training. A different place than I was pre-cold/flu. Isn't that the point?
Set-backs are part of life. They allow us to change and grow. And if you have to start over at square one to become stronger and better than you were before- it's OK! Take a deep breath and wade in the shallow waters for a while. Soon enough, you'll be back in the deep end.
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