My volume has been pretty light this week recovering from Nationals and was pretty light last week tapering, so needless to say, I feel….like a whale. 🙂 I feel rested too but I am definitely looking forward a normal, intense week of training next week. Right Stacey? 😉
Speaking of Stacey, I have thought of her an awful lot for the last 10 days or so. After dealing with injury on and off for many years, Stacey raced her last triathlon as a professional at Steelehead 70.3 in Michigan two weeks ago. Post race (and a lot of pain later) her MRI results showed that she has ruptured her posterial tibial tendon, her plantar fascia is compromised, and that her Achilles is full of scar tissue. My amazing coach, and pretty much the best triathlete in North and South Carolina, will undergo reconstructive foot surgery tomorrow in Chapel Hill tomorrow…and it has struck a cord deep inside me.
Not only have I spent hours thinking about what she’s going through physically, I have spent more time putting myself in her shoes. Several times during Nationals, I thought about her telling me “fast leg turn over” while running and “you are a good swimmer” in the water, but I have also spent a lot of time thinking “what if I was forced to stop?” At this point, I truly cannot fathom. My heart hurts for what she is going through.
In the matter of about 3 years, triathlon has taken my life by storm…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Between my own training, coaching, teaching spin class, and bike racing, pretty much all my free time is consumed with this sport, in one way or another. My love for coaching is a very close 2nd to my love for my training. At this point in my racing career though, if push came to shove, I would have to give up my coaching first. I love to race too much and I love to train just as much! I look forward to probably 9.9 workouts out of 10 – and that is not an exaggeration. Yes, they are hard… but they are also fun. I realize it’s a different kind of fun that not everyone understands, but it’s fun for me and that’s what counts.
But what if that got swept out from under me??
Throughout this week, I have concluded that it will almost definitely take something similar to Stacey’s injury to make me quit. Perhaps one day I will have children and I will be ready or “forced” to slow down a little and I’m prepared for that, but at this point, I don’t think I’ll ever stop completely…unless I was forced. One of the coolest things about Stacey is that she is a mom of two and has been kicking ass in the triathlon circuit – both as a local athlete and a professional – for a long time. Lots of women race post children, but not all bounce back to get their pro card post children. How cool is that?!
So as Stacey prepares for not only a painful surgery tomorrow morning and a long recovery ahead, I can’t help but feel so very sad for her, but also thankful for being healthy and injury free myself. Nationals kicked off my 8-week long race schedule and I am beyond grateful to be in a place in my life that I am able to do what I love as often as I chose. I am hopeful one day my life will be much different and I’m prepared to shift my my priorities accordingly, but for now, I am going to enjoy every single minute of what I am capable of. Seeing someone stripped of something they love (that you also share a love for) has opened my eyes immensely. I will bask just a little more in my “successes” knowing that they could be taken away from me as quickly as they came into my life. I will be more thankful for my health and appreciative of recovery and rest. Most of all, I will continue to have fun….because you never know when the music might stop.
I am thinking about you Stacey and wish you an uneventful surgery and a super speedy recovery small fry! XO