Fall has officially arrived here in Colorado which means less daylight, colder weather, and beautiful scenery. It is also a completely different training atmosphere for me. I am not used to wearing so many layers of clothing! It’s not that I have never lived somewhere cold (I grew up near Lake Tahoe, lived in Colorado before, and spent 2 years in Boston) but up until I started training for triathlons, I spent all of my time training indoors on the volleyball court. No matter what time of year it was, you wore spandex and a t-shirt. It didn’t matter when the days started to get shorter, the gym lights were always on. I am now realizing how nice it was in the summer to wake up early before work and go for a run or to fit in a bike ride after work. Getting in workouts has been a little tricky but really, it just calls for some creativity.
When we first moved here back in June and I started working full-time, it was very stressful for me to fit my workouts in. I actually started to resent it. It is hard when it feels like every waking moment of your time is either at work or working out and no matter what, you are always exhausted. I have taken the time to reflect on my training this past season, pray about it, and work on understanding how something I love so much caused me so much stress. I think it is amazing because God has given all of us these amazing human bodies that are so complex and resilient and unique. Everyone of us has some unique talent and we use our bodies as the vehicle to perform that talent through. I mean think about it. For some of us it is the gift of speaking, for others it is artistic gifts through their hands, others it is their mind. I have taken a step back from being so serious about “getting the workout in” and approaching my training time as a way to express the talent that God has given me. I take my watch off a lot more and go on runs purely to see the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and to rejoice in how thankful I am to have 2 working legs, a healthy heart, and body capable of training. I also run a lot more with Tucker…this dog runs 10 miles like nothing happened!
I feel rejuvenated and now my creative juices are starting to flow. First, I examined all of the things that make working out feel more like a chore and less like enjoyment. I hate waking up early to swim. It is such a production for me and everything about it is stressful. I have to make my breakfast and lunch the night before, get all of my workout stuff together, pick out my clothes for work, and get a bag of makeup and toiletries together. After the alarm goes off at 4:45am I am jumping into a pool of cold water by 5:15am (which I hate…every time) and then I get ready for work at the gym and don’t eat breakfast until I arrive at the office, which by this time I am starving. I have now started swimming after work and I love it. It is a refreshing way to end the day. And afterwards, I can just throw on sweats and a sweatshirt and head home. Peter works Tuesday through Saturday so we have turned Monday nights into swim dates where he meets me after work at the pool and we swim together. I love this time we spend together.
I still do all of my runs at lunch which I thoroughly enjoy. And now that it is cold outside, I do not sweat as much so showering after my run is not as big of a production. It is a great break for me to get away and loosen my legs after sitting at my desk all morning. Biking during the week has turned into trainer rides for now because there is not enough daylight after work to fit them in. But, Peter and I have set up our trainers in the garage and we have fun riding dates. This past Friday night we rocked the Kelly Clarkson Pandora radio station (it was my turn to pick!) and had an awesome date on our trainers while Tucker curled up in a ball on his bed…our garage is freezing. We have also done a few early morning trainer rides and for some reason, these do not bother me at all. The alarm still goes of at 4:45am, but I can throw on a sweatshirt and soft-pedal on my bike until I warm up. I wake up gradually on the trainer instead of experiencing the shock of cold pool water. And afterwards, I get ready for work at home which is much easier. I still ride outdoors on the weekends though, which has been the best way to get outside and see the fall colors with Peter.
It feels great to be back where I started, loving my training and feeling inspired to keep going. Sometimes we can get so immersed into what we are doing that we forget why we started doing it at all. We just need to take a step back, re-evaluate, and remember that we are all so uniquely talented. I firmly believe that God places passions in our hearts that align with the talents he gave us. The best part is humbly displaying these talents so that others are inspired to search for theirs and let them blossom.