“So, are you training for something right now?”
I get this question a lot. Seems a given that you’d be training for something when free time is taken up by staring at a black line at the bottom of a pool or sweating in my garage on a Friday night. I mean, who just does that for fun?
Oh yeah. I do.
I promise I’m not totally nuts. I mean, I’m a little nuts, obviously. But not completely.
The truth is, I really enjoy training. I love the racing aspect of sport, I love the fact that I’ve met some of the greatest people through sport but training is part of the package and I legit enjoy sweating my ass off to bad 80s tunes in the garage. I’d rather talk about boys with my friends deep into the forest during a trail run than over coffee at Starbucks. Training is a perfect angst and energy outlet for this introverted extrovert.
Endurance sport tends to keep me focused, happy and energized. It makes me a better parent. It keeps my inner narcissist (don’t lie – you have one, too) in check. It keeps me honest.
If my mum were still around, I know she’s roll her eyes, keep watch from a distance and ask me when I’m going to pack it in and “grow up; take up a more recreational pastime (gardening? Reading?) And I have the answer for that:
When the fear of getting slower surpasses the fun of trying to go faster.
Does that even make sense?
Even though I’m in my forties, I know that I’m still capable of going faster.
Sidebar: my kids are so confused about my age. Is she 24? 44? Why does it keep changing? Let’s keep them guessing, ok?
I truly believe that every time I set foot on a start line, I’m going to go faster than the last time. And why shouldn’t I? Older doesn’t have to mean slower. I’m smarter (thank the good lord) than I was 15 years ago. I don’t eat like an asshole anymore (most days), and I use the tools and resources I have (like my smarty pants coach) to my advantage as much as possible. Not to mention, I thrive on the challenge of trying to beat myself.
So I keep at it, notching little success stories where I can. Thinking of races and challenges I can take on, plotting and scheming how to get there, and get there in one piece.
Let’s face it, Mum. I’ll probably keep doing this even when I start to slow down.
Eventually, I want my kids to get the call from the nursing home that “She’s at it again, racing her walker through the hallways and taunting Mr. Jones in room 204 again. Can you please talk to her?”
Off to the garage I go!