“One grateful thought is a ray of sunshine. A hundred such thoughts paint a sunrise. A thousand will rival the glaring sky at noonday, for gratitude is light against the darkness.” ~Richelle E. Goodrich
This week I went to my orthopedist to discuss my ongoing and continued pain and stiffness that was making running and frankly even walking for distance almost impossible. Her suggestion? Stop walking and switch to using an elliptical to foster continuous movement without impact. I told her I needed a different plan and she suggested a chemical solution. If you know me at all, you know I hate taking drugs and will try anything else. But the idea that I was so arthritic that I could no longer walk 3 miles put me in a place I was unwilling to live. So I took the drugs. AND I got back on the elliptical. Five days in it is like a miracle. I am still a little stiff, but the pain is largely gone. Instead doing minimal workouts, I had two 90 minute workouts that got my heartbeat up to 180 and left my legs blown. I am surprised. I am reminded of how things used to be. And I am grateful that at a time when I was beginning to think that my career as an athlete might be over that there is still some hope and perhaps a little time.
Which takes me to our upcoming race now just 4 weeks away. I have been thinking by the numbers as is my nature, and I figure you have about 8 swims, 8 rides, and 8 runs left if you train each event twice a week. With that in mind, perhaps this race is close enough now to get you to put your head down and get serious about training. You still have time to improve your overall conditioning, make yourself stronger and more ready for this challenge. There is still time to make good choices about food intake, sleep, and hydration. There is still time to ask questions and mentally prepare. There is still time to be ready to lift your head and see what you are working toward with excitement and pride.I have been given a window of opportunity to try to salvage something from this season. It is a gift of a month to remind me why I do this. I am unbelievably excited to know that this year I can go out there with a plan to have fun. This will not be my fastest race. It will also not be the agony of a year ago. Instead I am content to take whatever is given to me on race day, because I know this road is not a dead end. I started this season with surgery and hope. As always, hope is not a plan, and this has not been the journey I hoped for. But it has been an adventure and for the first time in a long time I am raising my head to look to the horizon. I am ready to face the day, whatever it brings. And I am grateful that I will be sharing it with so many of you.
"At sunrise everything is luminous but not clear" ~Norman Maclean