Why I tri

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why do I do triathlons?
Before my debut into the world of being a mom and before I was married, I was an intensely independent person. I’ve always been an unlikely mix of “type A” and “artsy”. I wouldn't call myself an artist, but I do have a creative side that insists on having an outlet to keep my chi flowing. I am constantly exploring new things and that feeds my brain and my soul. My finding a love for triathlons is something that I would define as a part of my evolution of thriving.

After having my first child in 2006, I returned to my full-time corporate job and the ready-set-go routine of our two-income family. We put our son in the best daycare that we could find and commuted to the jobs that were our necessary reality at the time. Work and our crazy schedule left me mentally exhausted.

Our second child was born in 2008 and, after being home with him for several months, I returned to work part-time. After a month of attempting to exist in our old routine, I had reached my limit. My husband and I agreed that the best thing for our family was for me to exit the corporate world, at least for a while. I, a successful, independent corporate person, became a stay-at-home-mom.

My story is definitely not unique, however, many stories like mine end with “happily ever after”. But what happens next? How do us independent corporate types adjust to never being alone? How do we maintain our connection to who we are and feed our minds, bodies, and souls with extremely limited free time? For me, it is through movement.

Finding my "new normal"
When I first started living the full-time mom life, I was so scattered. I was late everywhere that I went. I got lost in a town that I’d lived in for five years. I stressed out over everything and couldn’t seem to summons my inner logical person. It is amazing how entrenched we can get in our routines. Drastically changing mine really shook loose all of my tools for punctuality and, frankly, clear-thinking.

Within a week of leaving my job, I noticed an ad on a car window for a local bootcamp for women. I immediately looked up the website on my iPhone and, when I saw that the coach also offered triathlon training, I knew that I’d be giving her a call. I had wanted to complete a triathlon for a while and I desperately needed to begin establishing my "new normal" to satisfy my control-freaky "type A" side. I remember thinking, "this is the beginning of something for me." Isn't it funny how, when you take off the blinders that are created by existing in a routine that has become numbingly automatic, you find exactly what you need?

Signing up for bootcamp and triathlon training did, indeed, turn out to be a beginning for me. As I was adjusting to life away from my cubicle, I was meeting new local moms and losing baby weight while working on completing my triathlon goal. I was surprised to find that, even though I originally wanted to do a triathlon because I craved the sense of accomplishment from completing something difficult, I loved the training and the races. I actually had fun swimming in murky lakes and running in 100+ degree heat! More than that, though, I was learning to construct my life and routine in a way that I'd never thought was possible for me. I had always known that being successful at my goals meant that I had to work hard. What I have learned through this experience is that the hard work can also be fulfilling along the way if I am working hard on something that is congruent with my values and goals and passions. I also feel like I have found "my people" with the amazing group of women that I have met. Not only have I adjusted to my new life but I have also learned so much about being part of a team- a triathlon training team or a family who's members work together to support each other in their pursuits. This, along with treasured time with my boys, is my new normal. In every facet of my life, I am so blessed.

What about you?
Have you thought about adding movement to your life or shaking up your current fitness routine with a completely new goal? What if, instead of just losing weight and fitting in to smaller clothes, your goals for exercise were to feel good and have fun? What activities would you choose to meet those new goals?

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