Have you ever been broken up with and gotten the line “it’s not you, it’s me”?
Usually I think that line is totally ridiculous, but in this case it really honestly is true. It’s not you guys, it’s me, and I’m really sorry for the total laggard effort I’ve been putting in here on Going The Distance.
It’s been such a crazy month, some of the highest of highs, and the absolute lowest of lows. My brother’s cancer treatment has not been going well, and his prognosis has been deteriorating by the day. We are now looking at entering a clinical trial, which brings some new and refreshing hope to us, but also an incredible amount of risk and fear. Over the past month, there have been some days, some moments where I’ll just sit for minutes and stare into space and wonder how we are ever going to get out of this mess. If we are ever going to get out of this mess at all.
I’ve found some peace more recently by recalling some advice that was given to me by a perfect stranger when I was on a four hour flight from Toronto to Edmonton to visit Matt about 2 and a half years ago. I’m an incredibly anxious flier (read: complete lunatic on board an airplane), and had dissolved in gulping sobs when we hit a particularly bad patch of turbulence. I was absolutely convinced that it was the end, and we were going to die.
I was holding onto the man’s arm next to me (even though I had never met the guy in my life – I have no shame, I told you) and gulping to him “Are we going to die? Are we going to die?” over and over again. The man, who was dressed in a very nice suit I might add, turned to me and said, “Maybe. But there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.” His answer shocked me so much that I actually stopped my wailing to process what he said. Nobody had EVER responded to me like that before (and if you can gather, it wasn’t the first time that I had ever asked the question of a perfect stranger).
He repeated his answer again. “We might die, I guess. But unless you know how to fly an Air Canada jet, or have some power over wind patterns, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it so you may as well relax.”
I’ve realized in the past week or so, that my friend from that flight was right, and he’s right again in this situation. There’s not a damn thing I can do about anything that’s going on right now. It might end in total catastrophe, it really might. But there’s not a thing I can do to change that. So I may as well relax. The thought has brought me a little bit of peace, for what it’s worth.
Training-wise, it’s been an interesting month that’s for sure! There have been so many great moments that I wish that I had been in the mind-frame to share with you and laugh with you about.
Like the bird that landed on my head while we were waiting at the start line of the Wolfe Island 10K race. Or when Neil toppled right over on his bike in the parking lot before starting off to do a 90km bike on the Muskoka course.
I’ll summarize the past month by saying that it’s been a month of incredible learning, and incredible growth. I did two long swims in the lake with my full sleeved wet-suit and felt fantastic (although admittedly a little more tired than I was hoping to!). Matt, Neil and I did the Wolfe Island 10K run (Matt won the race!). I’ve been going to spin classes, and even went out and did a training ride outside with Matt before heading out to Muskoka last weekend Neil and Jess. I struggled a hell of a lot on the Muskoka course, but managed to get a 73km bike in on the Saturday and a 10km run in on the Sunday. Am I where I need to be less than 2 months out from the Half IronMan? Probably not, but I’ll take it.
We’ve got the Toronto Triathlon coming up this Sunday. It’s an Olympic distance race, and will be the longest swim that I’ve done to date. I’m a bit nervous because the field should be really intense for this race. I’m expecting to see lots of “V” bodied type athletes, and am anticipating being the fattest person there easily by about 25 pounds, but I’ve decided that doesn’t matter.
Even if I’m the very last straggler coming in all by myself, I’m still going to hold my head up high because god damnit, it’s hard to swim and then bike and THEN run. Let alone to do it all fast.
I’ll leave you with some pictures from the past month. It really has been a great month, and despite the rocky road that lies ahead, I’m still looking forward to the rest of the summer as well. August promises to be fast and furious and I can’t wait to share the road with you!