This week has been bittersweet. I did the Orange County Triathlon this weekend. I had a good race. I finished really strong. I had an awesome run. I finished 4th in my age group out of 35. I was kind of bummed at first because I was one place from getting on the podium. But the next day I was more appreciative of how well I did and I was a little bit prouder of my results. I am new to triathlon and as it turns out I qualified for Nationals in August. I found out Tuesday night and confirmed it Wednesday morning.
Yipee!!! But here is where the problem lies. If I want to go it is going to cost a fair amount of money. And I (and others) feel it is only for my benefit. It is selfish… or is it? Who benefits from me going or doing any of this? I know I benefit because I feel good about my accomplishments. I have fun. I meet and interact with interesting people. But what do the others in my life get out of it?
They do get a happier more balanced mother/wife. And hopefully I am serving as some type of role model to my children. But I am absent a lot on the weekend mornings while I train. I do my best to workout at times that don’t effect the rest of the family but at this level it is unavoidable. It will only get worse once I start to train for a full Ironman. And there is the sheer monetary component of all this. It is expensive. And I want to compete as much as possible. Racing/competing keeps me focused.
So I wonder how selfish I am being and how selfish I can be before I cross the line… I REALLY want to go to Nationals. I will do everything I can to make it happen. I just hope that isn’t too selfish.
Quite often I find that people don’t understand why I train the way I do. They don’t understand the appeal of getting up at 4:30 AM to run, or spending 4 hours of a Saturday running and biking. But for me this is my drug of choice. Triathlon training is my way of self medicating. It is my happy pill.
Life can be hard. Work and family can wear on everybody at some point. And what makes me feel better, and more even, is to have a very consistent training regimen. I do 6-7 days a week. And if I can’t get it all in, it can make me moody and irritable. I’m glad that it is exercise that keeps me happy because the side effects of it can be great!
This post was inspired by reading a post from The Una Runner. I really connected with what he wrote.
One of the things I struggle with in my training is figuring out how much time I can devote to it. If I had it my way this would be my full time job (if you want to hire me just let me know). But it can’t be. There is a mortgage to pay. There are children to love. There is husband to be with. There are things that I cannot neglect. As a result, there are days when I feel like my training is a very selfish thing to do. The other things in my life need my attention but all I want to do is run or bike. This is something I am greatly conflicted about. How much time can I take for ME? Yes, the training makes me a happier/healthier person so it does benefit my family; but it is still a little selfish in a way. I do all I can to train at times that don’t affect my family. I get up during the week very early so I can be home by 6:00 AM. But there is no way to avoid long workout hours on the weekend if you have dreams of doing a full Ironman.
Not only is it a drain on time (something I have very little), but it is a drain financially as well. Those of you that do triathlons know that it is a very expensive hobby. And when you train a lot you want to do as many events as you can. This all costs money. So I often feel very selfish for using our money for something that is mostly for my benefit. My husband doesn’t do half the stuff I do when it comes to this. Not because he can’t, but because he is letting me do it. And for this I feel selfish.
I also feel selfish because for the first time in my life I am doing well in something I never thought I could do! And I want it all to myself! I don’t want to share. (I know that sounds terrible) Not only that, but this is the ONE part of my life I am in control of. If it is taken away from me I would be devastated.
I don’t know what the answer is or what the proper compromise will be. I guess we will just figure it out as we go along. I just hope my selfishness doesn’t hurt those I love.