PappaStrong

A Different Kind of Triathlon

 

I signed up for a triathlon recently. It was late at night. I had been texting with a friend and she was joining me in the fierce determination I had been feeling to fight for something, get gritty, move my body, and—oh yeah—get the eff out of the house and my bubble. And so I googled “soonest and nearest triathlons” and found one coming up and then signed up. I even found an app to help track how to train for it and signed up for that. 

 

Let’s rewind the tape here. Hahahaha. I’m currently averaging maybe at most 5 hours of sleep a night. I most often forget to eat three meals a day and end up eating who knows what on the run. I have exactly 30 minutes of alone time each week. And, yeah, the last time I rode a bike was when I was still drinking and I borrowed a friend’s wheels in order to get home safely. Not exactly competitive biking if you know what I mean. AND OH YEAH, I need to learn how to swim laps.

 

So. 

 

Listen, I get it. I was an incredibly athletic kid. I did all the sports, all the things. Movement and pushing my body were things that most certainly served as my life raft in the wild rivers of Growing Up. And I feel so far away from that part of me. The part of me that was a professional dancer, who defined herself as an elite athlete. And this is probably why I signed up for that triathlon. I want that part of me back.

 

I want it back. 

 

Whew. There’s a deep mothering breath in the aftermath of that statement that quivers at first and then ushers in relief. One that is attached to wisdom that rubs my back and wraps a blanket around me. One that says, this makes sense. These feelings belong. It’s going to be ok. It’s also a part of the wise self that knows that before a triathlon, before reclaiming this type of movement and life force, I need to build myself back up. 

 

That is a hard pill to swallow, isn’t it? I want to just pummel my way into health and vitality. I was to rip the bandaid off and wake up early each day and make lunches without panic and feel solid, substantial, calm, strong, ready, powerful. I want to cross a finish line that has nothing to do with dinner and bedtimes and homework and soothing the big feelings of growing humans. I want that verve back. My body’s edges and boundaries. My body’s agility and ability. My body’s autonomy. My body’s safety. My body’s lovely, soft collapse after a long day of conscious and wanted productivity. 

 

I want it back.

 

And this is ok. This does make sense. We are all pulling out of such a long ordeal and now facing new strife, all of which has tapped our individual and collective reserves more than we could have ever expected. This is why we have all moved from languishing to paralysis. We just don’t know how to begin again now. We wonder if we want to. We wonder what will happen in a couple of months if we do. We wonder if we will be hurt again by hope. We wonder if there’s room left for us to take up space and take back space. We wonder if our kids are ok. We wonder we wonder we wonder. 

 

This month, while I watch the daily emails of my triathlon training come and go and I ignore another notification about making sure I recover after my imaginary swim practice, I’m going to redirect these feelings to really knowing myself. Where I am right now. What I need right now. What my tendencies are in these moments of paralysis and wanting. What I can do to begin to build myself up rather than conquer myself and my reality.

 

This is what I know about me right now. I need to build myself up. I need to move away from my tendency to want to disappear when stuff has been hard and heavy for too long. The wild part of this is that the actions of building myself up by going to bed earlier, finding quiet time without distraction, eating three meals a day, and making time to connect with my friends in person … these actions will all take the sort of heroic effort that I associated with the triathlon. It’s not as sexy or endorphin releasing, but it is the truth. It is going to take dedicated retraining and dedicated action.

 

So. Yeah. This is where I am. This is me, knowing myself right now.

 

I invite you to do the same with us this next month in our March Challenge: Know Yourself. We will be investigating together what our realities and our tendencies are and how those can help us move forward and begin again on our terms. You will be encouraged to do a workout a day, maybe 5 minutes or 15 minutes. Heck, we even just released a 10-day Hackathon dedicated to recovering from the pandemic. So, you could start there with 5 minutes a day. The point here is, whether you are not yet a member or a current member, you can start with us as you are right now.

 

Join us Monday, March 7th. This means you need to register as soon as possible! You can do that as a current member by logging in to your account and then clicking Challenges in the teal navigation menu. OR, if you are not yet a member, voila, perfect time to get started. Simply sign up for your 14-day free trial and follow those instructions above. 

 

I will see you there. Or here. Right here, with all of my reality and all of yours. 

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