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. http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Les_Kaye_Roshi_-_Kannon_Do_Zen