Still Restless… and still a WIP

We're fighting for the gods of war
But what the hell we're fighting for
You're fighting with the gods of war
But I ain't going to fight no more

Def Leppard - Gods of war

There are times when you feel like saying to hell with everything and start over... if only it was so easy.

I need some kind of break soon or I'll most definitely go crazy!

"If we knew each other's secrets, what comforts we should find."

John Churton Collins

More on this later

Westward bound
John Blaise

More than your neighbors.
Unleash yourself upon the world.
Go now.
Giggle, no, laugh.
No... Stay out past dark,
And bark at the moon like the wild dog you are.
Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal.
This is it... your life.
Face your fears and live your dreams.
Take it in.
Yes, every time you get...
come close.
And, by all means, whatever you do...
Get it on film.

Images (the good, the ugly and the ones I’d rather forget)

There are moments when you realize that things happen for a reason. I still don't fully understand the reason why I had to break the leg and drop out of the Georgia Ironteam but it happened and (still) being bitter about it doesn't help anyone, least of all me.

I've analyzed elsewhere why I was so upset with this whole clusterfuck. It boils down to having an unmet challenge. I signed up with the Ironteam after a lot of soul searching regarding the limits I was pushing against. When I decided that I was moving forward with training it became the only balancing factor in a chaotic situation (which eventually ended with them firing me and me moving back to California).

Besides, the leg is starting to feel like its old self again. For the first time since I broke it I was able to swim without pain. You may say that's not that big a deal to begin with and normally I would agree with you but this is the first time where pain is not a factor on my swimming and that counts for a lot when at least the first 30 minutes to an hour of a race are spent swimming 🙂

It also makes the Ironteam a slightly less crazy idea.

It is also validation of the new treatment I started this week. Man, the folks at Team Clinic are unreal. Ever since day 1 I have been able to see and feel a difference. Now 3 hours seems like a real possibility as long as I get my ass in gear and start training as hard as I feel I should.

I've also started to realize that the big TNT family is a celebration.

It is a celebration of those who are no longer with us like Jim Delaney.

It is a celebration of those who continue to fight cancer like Carol Presley and Don Flemming.

It is a celebration of the wins we get against cancer. Paul Gordiejew, husband of a college friend, had his PET scans a year after treatment and according to Amy "This man does not have Lymphoma". Eric and Francisca who are both in remission and who, I hope, stay there until they pass on from natural causes. Karen Landon who is still cancer free (and who I hope will stay that way for years and decades to come)

I'm also starting to accept the fact that I'm getting old. I got around to scanning pictures from an old, old, old birthday (either 30 or 32 years ago!)

Now I can tell my friends' kids that yes, there was Mampato when their parents and I were their age.

But it's not just that. It is starting to really live the phrase live your life without regrets and accepting that whatever happens don't let it rule your life. For me it's harder than it sounds

Ever since I moved to the US I've had a very conflicted relationship with Father's day almost as conflicted as I had with my dad before he passed away.

Fears and Moving Forward

Being afraid is not fun. Deep down something always makes you doubt that what you're doing is right and that the course you've plotted is the correct one. I keep trying to push myself to do shit and to stay positive but it's so fucking hard it's getting hard to just get out of bed and do day to day shit.

I'm committed to Pacific Grove for this year (2012). If I was able to do Augusta and Big Kahuna in the pain I was for those two races... there's no way I'm not going to do a 10k run as part of an Olympic triathlon... even if I have to crawl for 6.2 miles. I'm doing it in memory of Jim Delaney who is no longer with us and of Carol Presley, Paul and Amy Gordijiew, Don Flemming and others.... There is so much still to do and they are such an awesome group of people to be around.

And that's they key... right now I'm scared to death and I like that as much as I like to be naked in public... maybe even less. I'm not used to my body being the limiting factor on what I can and can not do. I didn't come to endurance sports being a monster swimmer or runner... I was an OK swimmer in Junior High (almost 30 years ago) but came to sports by accident. I still remember when a friend (Melissa Wang) asked if anyone wanted to do a triathlon and I, innocently, said yes... 3 years and 5 triathlons ago.

This is the first time when I actually break something on my body... I've had sprains, dislocations up the wazoo but never an actual break that I can remember (and I do remember most of my emergency room visits) and I'm not as young as I once was to just bounce from this and be back to full speed activity before I have time to realize how bad I was hurt. I am very aware that the leg has not healed properly and that it'll be a while before I can go back to the training volume that I was doing when I broke it. Yeah, people tell me that I'm not old but I'm dangerously close to 40 and farther away than I'd like from 20 or even 30.

It has also been a week or realizations.

The first realization today (060420120) is how scared I am about not healing properly and how much sports have affected my life and how much richer my life has become because of them. I wouldn't have the friends I have met, I wouldn't have a passion to get back in shape... or even healthy enough to evaluate my options (more on this later).

"There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. But omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves- or lose the ventures before us." -- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

This article about stopping to place impossible demands upon yourself was the second realization. Not being able to do the things that you take for granted (or at least not do them comfortably and without pain) makes it easier to get bitter and even more scared of not being able to do them right (or at all)

The third realization came today (06082012) when I was talking with my new doctor about pricing for the new treatment for my leg. It's impotence. It's not being able to take care of myself because I can't afford it. It was the realization that, while money in and of itself doesn't make you happy, it provides for some of the means to achieve happiness.

Either one of these realizations by itself is enough to make you pause and think about where you are and where you want to be and, most important, how are you going to get there. The old question (for me) "What are yo willing to give up in order to achieve what you want comes back to the forefront.

Now what?

OK, I've accepted that I'm afraid, I'm angry and I'm upset that I can afford to take care of myself. Now what? Because you're not going to stay where you are, RIGHT?!

Part of me just wants to say fuck it and let things fall as they may. The leg hasn't healed properly then let it fuck up and don't worry about it. Let the pain remind you of all the things you can't do and be miserable while not doing anything to help yourself.

But then I go on long bike rides and am reminded why I love endurance sports and triathlons in particular. I started this to see where the limits were and I would most certainly hate to have my leg be the limiting factor. I know I want to do an Ironman (all 140.6 miles of it)

Here in America, we do go out in the world. And yet the biggest question I hear from people is, How do I take this practice into my everyday life? I hear lots of stories and anecdotes which go like this: Everything's fine while I'm sitting on the mat. I'm at peace. I'm aware. I hear the birds. I hear the sounds. Then I go out on the freeway and I lose it. It's a big question: How do I hold on to this?

Q. What do you tell them?

A. The first step is to notice that you're distracted. The second step is to come back. Come back to an awareness of what's happening in the present moment, not to something that's happened in the past, not to something that may happen in the future, or to an invented present reality that you're fantasizing about. Come right back and experience the cold. There's a saying in Buddhism:When you're cold, be cold Buddha. Be fully awake in the moment. It's the only reality you have, so appreciate it.