Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Goal setting my way out of oblivion

One day, while unsuccessfully treading despair in the morass of a banal foot injury, I remembered I could swim. It felt good to return to those familiar fluid movements.

So I swam to a spot that gave me a modicum of stability.

Then I remembered I could ride. So I got on the bike and peddled, as if I were actually moving.

It is then that I rediscovered that, to get somewhere, I had to work hard to get nowhere.

I've spent a little too much time not moving, mourning my lost athleticism and blaming a recalcitrant body part -- my foot -- for an almost unforgivable slide into decrepitude.

Sure. My foot hurts. It makes its presence known at the most inopportune moments, such as first thing in the morning, last thing at night and many times in between. But I have grown tired of growing and being tired.

A friend, likewise burdened with self imposed inactivity, suggested we do a little race. Ironman St. George, Utah.

I jumped at the idea of trying something new. The Ironman distance is an old, familiar friend of mine. I know the St. George course, as I rode much of it last year. What is new is the idea of training indoors. Pulling myself out of this funk by moving as deliberately and as fast as I can, without really going anywhere. I'm working hard to get nowhere and everywhere.

The race is on May 5th. That means that all the bike riding will most likely be indoors, or at least the 3 to 7-hour junkets. There will be no open water swim practice. Last time I swam in a Saskatchewan lake before June, I altered my anatomy in a not-so-favourable way.

Then there is running. Over a month ago, I started running indoors, at the track and on the treadmill. Plodding, really, not running. The foot complained, but because it was well taped, that seemed to muffle it's annoying protestations. Following the runs it was less than unbearably painful, so that gave me some hope.

Strangely, at least up until now, it has been unseasonably warm in southern Saskatchewan. We've seen temperatures hovering just below and just above zero Celsius, instead of the expected -20 to -40. Because of that I took some careful forays outdoors with my feet and my old (still newish) stability New Balance shoes (instead of the Vibram Five Fingers shoes. They don't work on ice, or wet, it seems...)

I'm slow. The ice doesn't help. But I'm running. There were times when I thought that I would never run again.
New shirt, new 'do, new 'tude.
So I'm back to the sport and the Tri-angle journey. I'm back to strength training and better eating and swim/bike/run.

I only have a few months to get race-ready and I'm looking forward to that experience. More than that, I'm eager to reacquaint myself with the guy that I left behind in self piteous oblivion last June. 

Follow me here and I'll try not to get lost again.


  1. Inactivity and frustration has been a great motivator for many.
    Good to see you're back at it, can't wait to see the results when you come out of that basement!

  2. I am SO happy you are back! I love Saint George. Driven through it many times, stopped to purchase fishing licenses and/or eat lunch, but have never raced there. I wish I could be there in May to see your return. Good luck. And try to remember it's all about the experience (I think this is something you would tell me!). Again -- best of luck!!

  3. Thank you both for your dropping by and your comments. Your ongoing insight and energy help make this journey an adventure!


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