I’ve been writing weekly recaps of being a professional triathlete. You can read all the weeks.
Sunday, after Oceanside, we drove the 9 hours home from San Diego, got back around 11 p.m., and I sort of fell out of the car. Turns out, full-on post-race mess mode doesn’t get prettier during a drive across California. I felt nauseous and dizzy. I stood up out of the car and my legs buckled. Everything hurt. We dropped all our crap in the middle of the floor and I tipped over into bed. Then I woke up Monday around 9:30 a.m. to an email from my boss at the radio station asking if I could fill-in last minute for someone who was sick. Uhhh, OK? If I can do it remotely and you give me 30 minutes to, like, shower.
I was a mess. I’m not even sure what happened that day. Other than I was living the dream.
Actually, I’m not sure what’s happened most days the last two weeks.
Eventually, I picked up the wetsuit and race clothes smelling up our whole house, bought food from the grocery store, started to remember days and people’s names and stuff. That happened just in time for me to look at my training schedule this past Monday and realize it wasn’t going to last long. I even texted Alyssa that it looked like my training was about to step up a notch. She told me, “Good luck.”
A lot of people all the time ask me some variation of the question: How do you balance it all?
And I laugh and laugh and laugh and then I fall asleep while answering them.
Of course, that depends on my mood. Sometimes, I just sigh heavily and go “What even is ‘all’ anyway.”
During this whole mess right after Oceanside, something clicked one day. Something that hasn’t been there in a couple months, since the Marathon We Don’t Talk About, since maybe before that. I was swimming slowly last Wednesday and suddenly realized I was ready to go again. OK, let’s do this. Not actually right this second, but, you know, theoretically, soon. OK, I’m not terrible. OK, I need to get faster, so let’s do this. Throw it at me. Maybe I’m not the best. But also maybe I am. And we’re only going to find out if we find out.
So things got real this week. It knocked me on my ass. And all I had the time or energy for was hitting deadlines and hitting workouts. How do you balance it all? Carefully, so that when you need to move the dirty dishes to reach the sink, you don’t accidentally knock over the whole stack.
I’ve become a person, apparently, who thinks things like “Oh, thank God, an easy day, just a 5,000y medium-hard swim and a TRX session.” That was Friday. I used my extra time that day, then, to pick up the piles of clothes and books, which had been set on the floor on Monday, because we moved a bookshelf but then lost the energy to put things on the bookshelf. And that’s how it stayed the whole week.
Wednesday night, we saw Hamilton. It was my one non-work/workout thing this week. It was 100% totally worth the fact that we haven’t had time to buy a working dishwasher. It’s definitely better just to keep running the dishwasher twice every time. That’s how you live the dream. Plus, I needed something new to sing in my head while I ran laps in the windy rain around the track today.
I’m just like my country, I’m young, scrappy, and hungry. And I am not throwing away my shot.