9/18/17

When life gives you a detour


On Saturday morning, before heading out for a 3.5 hour brick workout with Karel and Thomas, I came across a quote that spoke loudly to me. It read, "Good things fall apart so that better things can fall together." 

I think any athlete would agree that sports can be so exciting and fulfilling and also cruel and disappointing. But it's through the setbacks and failures that we develop a stronger and better appreciation for when things go well.

Although the sadness of not competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship hit me hard for a few days, my mind was ready to move on once the cuts and bruises on my face finally healed. Setbacks are normal and I believe that you can only gain experience, wisdom and gratitude by going through the hard times. Tough times make you stronger!

If you have recently experienced a setback in your athletic journey, I give you permission to be upset, frustrated and disappointed. Negative emotions are normal but make sure to not to blame others or yourself. Process what happened, reflect and learn from it and then, when you are ready, it's time to move on. Don't be afraid to talk to a professional (sport/clinical psychologist) if you find yourself depressed or angry (especially for an extended period of time) because of your recent setback. Talking through your thoughts and emotions can be very therapeutic.

To move on from my recent setback, I needed to return back to my normal work and training routine (after getting permission from my doctor to resume back normal training). Having my routine back, seeing familiar faces and being in my home environment really helped me move on from the missed race.

After much discussion with Karel, I knew that I couldn't end my season with a DNS at my big race of the season. To be honest, I have felt a little bit empty without closure to my 2017 race season. I feel like something was taken away from me and I had no say in the matter and now I want another chance to race. After all my doc appointments and labs came back normal and I got the OK to race again, Karel helped me organize my thoughts after I physically and mentally recovered from my blackout and I have finally selected another race for my schedule (which I will announce later this week, just to remove any extra pressure off myself as I am naturally competitive and love to race and share my race experiences with others).

Since my accident appeared to be blood pressure related, likely vasovagal syncope, I would like to describe my missed race as a detour in my athletic journey. Setbacks are bound to happen to us all and when you experience a setback, you have two options: See it as a road closed sign and give up on your journey OR take the detour route.

I am embracing my detour in life and moving on. Thanks to many positive messages, emails and texts, I will grow and learn from this recent experience and I look forward to new and exciting experiences and opportunities with my body.