Thursday, May 22, 2008

Taking back my inner athlete

It has been close to two years since I laced up my kicks and pinned on a race number. In 2006 I did several running races and two triathlons, culminating in the Danskin triathlon that was my "big" goal race for the year. As I've probably said before, two weeks later I got pregnant and although I did keep active during most of my pregnancy, my new found athleticism went quickly out the window.

That was harder on me than I would have anticipated. I lost quite a bit of weight in late 2005/early 2006 and for what seems now like such a brief moment, I was thin. I look back at pictures of myself that summer and I looked pretty darn good. It's been a very long time since I could say that about myself. But more than how I looked or what the scale said, I felt strong. I had accomplished a pretty hefty goal and I can honestly say in many ways it was life changing. I took things to a new level and realized that there were new things out there I could accomplish that only a few short years ago I never would have dreamed possible. Maybe for other people, but certainly not me.

But there I was, crossing the finish line of a triathlon, sweaty, a little naseaus, and gloriously triumphant. Having to feel so much of that muscle tone, that lung capacity, that power, melt away as my belly grew bigger was frustrating. Not that I wasn't grateful for the baby growing inside me; far from it. But losing what I had worked so hard for was a mental challenge that I'm still struggling with to this day.

Saturday I am taking a big step in taking back my athlete self. I wish I could say that a year after my son's birth I was back to my prepregnancy weight and ready to rock the socks off this race, but I'm not exactly there. However, I am going to go out there and do my best, finish with a smile and feel good about having come full circle. I don't want to be one of those moms who "lets herself go"; who doesn't take the time to do things for herself and take care of her body. This is my way of doing that and I'm pretty excited that despite a year of sleep deprivation, nursing and all the things that come from caring for a baby and a toddler, I'm in shape enough that I'll be crossing that finish line, still on my feet.

The fact that D has been sick all week and I haven't worked out at all since Sunday is a minor setback, but I'll make it through ok. After all, when I did my very first triathlon in April of 2006 I didn't train specifically for it at all; I signed up a couple of days before and just went for it. That's more or less what I'm doing this time.

And then I'll be doing it again at the end of June... and again in August... and possibly again in September. Because, you know, if you're going to do one triathlon, you might as well do four, right?

Yeah, I'm a little nutty.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I'm incredibly proud of you. Yes, you're nutty - but not for doing this. I think it's great you're doing this for yourself and have set goals for additional races. Having those goals to look forward to is only going to make you better, stronger, faster.

Good luck!!!