... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Planning a Comeback

It seems that the key to finding a wealth of creative inspiration is breaking the body.

Okay, so that may be a little dramatic, but I have noticed a huge upturn in artistic motivation since my injury just over a week ago. Suddenly I want to write, dance, play my violin, paint... unfortunately for me, I can't dance on one foot, my violin is missing a string, and I can't paint because I have no canvases and no way to get any while stuck in the house. That leaves writing, so here I am. This sudden artistic renaissance may have something to do with the fact that I'm used to running, swimming, biking, or some combination of the two every day and in the absence of activity my energy is being poured into other areas of interest. It may having nothing to do with it. I don't know. Whatever it is, I am thankful for it because otherwise I would be going crazy glued to the couch staring wistfully outside.

The truth is, this is frustrating. I had gotten myself into great shape, I was feeling confident after fulfilling a longstanding goal, I was the strongest I've ever been, and now I am languishing away unable to do any kind of aerobic exercise, watching my hard work evaporate into nothingness before my eyes. My stomach is already softer, my legs more jiggly... ugh. In the hopes of maintaining a positive attitude, here is what I have been thinking about:

Given the worst case scenario within the normal realm of possibility, I will have to be off of my feet for 8 weeks. It hurts to even think it, but that's right: two months. That would bring me to the end of June (Dear God, please no). If I could restart my triathlon training at the beginning of July, it would give me just over 4-1/2 months to get ready for the Lavaman Keauhou, the olympic-length triathlon I am already signed up for. This is about two weeks longer than I had to train for the sprint triathlon that I just completed.

Going from couch to Olympic-length is definitely scary, but when I think back on my previous training, I quickly realize that the first two months basically served as mental training to get me to a point where I could really move forward and improve. For this comeback, I am already there. In addition, I won't have the scare-factors of not knowing how to swim, not knowing how to ride a road bike, or thinking that my body is physically incapable of running longer than twenty minutes. In short, I know that my mental game is already there, as long as I don't let this injury get me discouraged.

So here is where I'm at: I am a fucking warrior. The last four months have taught me that physical discomfort is just a process, one that I can work through with confidence that my strength will get me through. Discomfort is simply a symptom of change, of improvement, and so even though right now it hurts and I feel frustrated, I know that I can power through just like I did in the 35 mile bike ride or the Moanalua trail run and that once I do, I will feel unstoppable. Plenty of people get injured, and plenty of people come out healthy on the other side. If they can do that, then I can come out the other side doing an olympic length triathlon in November.

It's on.

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