Always trust your cape!

See you on the other side
September 17, 2018
I’m no sprinter, let’s hope I’m a stayer…
September 17, 2018
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I know, it’s been far too long since I wrote my blog!

I made a promise that I’d keep this up all through my training and I’ve barely kept to it, but a promise is a promise and I always stick to them!

So…we’re nearly there. Two weeks time and I’ll be facing into my Ironman event in Tallinn.  How do I feel? It’s hard to quantify but if you keep reading you’ll get the general idea.

Tomorrow I’m doing my last race before it, an olympic distance triathlon in Cobh. I decided to do this as I heard the swim was tough and as we all know I particularly suck at the swim part so the more practice I get the better!

My transition from Winter training into Spring went fairly smoothly, I had a slight issue with low blood pressure for a couple of weeks which really sucked but it was ‘the pill’ the doctor put me on to try and control the annoying hormone issue that was upsetting my training last year, as soon as I came off it things improved but I’m afraid that would have been the time when my annoyance at myself kicked in.

I always say that you should be very careful what you say to someone in anger, it might have been a throw away comment to you but it could easily set a seed for something horrible to grow inside of the person it was directed at. I had an incident where that seed was thrown at me and completely unbeknownst to the person that threw it, the tiny thing that was bothering them about me was a huge thing that I carry around with me and haunt myself with everyday.

Right from the start of all this the challenge was to get this used up old carcass to complete an Ironman. I’ve never thought I couldn’t do it, but I’ve always had the fear that my body, and everything I’ve done to it over the years, could prove a bit of a dilemma. Well it has.

It’s not the problems that have been arising in training, the aches, the pains, it’s that they are there in the first place.

I joke about myself a lot, it’s my usual way of dealing with things…I can’t stand up from my chair straightaway after coffee break ‘jeez I’m like an old lady today’…everyone laughs as I can’t jump up of the pool and get on to my feet when asked to by my coach ‘jeez I’m like an old lady today’…I can’t swing my leg over the bike without dropping it at an angle ‘jeez I’m an old lady today’. Truth is, I’m not finding it so funny, I’m mad and I’m mad at myself because I did all of this to myself.

I’ve covered this before but when you work in the racing industry you’re only excuse to not turn up and ride is if you are just about to die, or dead. I’m really hoping that this is changing but all my life riding out them were the rules. When you get a fall you don’t get to go home and recover from your injuries or the shock (if you’ve experienced shock you’ll know just how important it is that you let it pass and recover fully) of it all, you get back on. On almost a daily basis (unless you’re lucky enough to get the armchairs) your body will experience trauma from a bolt or a dart or a buck or a yank, that’s all without falling off. We are a chiropractor’s best customer, and most irritating I’d imagine as we never do as we are told!

I let me get to me! If someone is there asking you what’s wrong with you?, why don’t you do this?, why didn’t you do that?, telling your that you’d have been better doing this…they mean well but they don’t know that my head is exploding, I can’t get the words out because they are not going to get it…they are never going to get it. Who understands why someone is so angry at themselves if they weren’t there?

I started getting angry every time I trained because I shouldn’t be like this, I should be better. I should be able to do all the things people were telling me to do without me making up some lame excuse as to why I wasn’t doing them. I started picking holes in myself for everything that had gone before, all the mistakes I’d made and it started to eat away at me from the inside out.

Loyalty is something I’ve always held dear, I’m not sure where it comes from but I am…or at least I was. It’s nearly like a faith to me and I didn’t realize that until it was seriously tested last year, I threw it out the window when someone pushed me a little too far, I have no regrets!!

I was always very loyal to my bosses. But when you are out on what was meant to be a 7 hour cycle, that turned into 11 hours with loads of mechanicals and a spine that feels like it’s sending fire to every part of your body, you begin to wonder what it was all for. Everytime I turned into work when I could barely walk down the stairs that morning, everytime my friends begged me to take a day off and get better and I told them that they ‘didn’t understand, it doesn’t work that way’…the two months I spent getting a leg up on to every horse with the opposite leg (right, left is the norm and obviously more practical) because I had a break and three fractures in my back and the left side wasn’t stable enough to hold my weight (my boss kindly gave two days out of the 8 weeks recovery I needed for that), I mean what was it all for? Where are those people now, how was my loyalty repaid? Do they pay my physio and chiropractic expenses? Do they keep in touch to see how I’m doing ? I know one ‘gent’ in particular would be hard pushed to remember my last name! THAT is why I got mad. I could have said no, I should have said no, I should have respected myself and because I didn’t this is the body I ended up with, this is MY fault.

That was a day that the wheels nearly fell off, literally…I lost two spokes and had a lengthy cycle with a wobbly wheel to get it fixed…my poor body was in bits. Worse, my head. I went through so many memories that day, dragging myself back to all the times I was a complete idiot, my head had been dark for a few months up to that and the cycle just tipped the scales…it was ugly.

I finally fessed up to two people about what was in my head, one got it, the other one completely missed the picture altogether. I’m very grateful to the person that did, they let me say it out loud without telling me I’m wrong, or it’s just pre IM jitters, they got it and all my words and tears came out. We parked it up. I need to move on and I can’t hold myself back with self hatred. I’d forgotten all the pretty amazing things I’ve done with this body, the things it’s had to endure and come out the other side of, they were to be celebrated not regretted, hindsight can change nothing.

Most importantly I forgot about all the people that I know that did exactly what I did but they don’t have the chance to take on an Ironman event.

This was always about getting this body up that red carpet and over the line, I just got too busy getting mad at myself I forgot what this whole experience was about. What I could do, not what I could’ve done.

I’m blessed I’ve got some really cracking people to talk to and learn from about what I’m going to do and how to get there but you feel like you don’t want to let them down by admitting what’s grinding your gears.

I forgot what it is that gets me out of the darkness when I need it and that has always been music, I feel like I never have time to listen to music anymore. I stopped training with it as it’s not allowed in tri events.

When I’m anxious or eating my own head there is only one song that gives me back the balls I forget I have. You might have heard me sing it as I’m about to throw myself into the unknown. Guy Clarke’s, The Cape. It’s a song about a chap who all his life has thrown himself off the roof of a garage in the hopes of flying with a flour sack for a cape, he did not know he couldn’t fly so he did.

Sorry this hasn’t been my usual humorous post, just an honest one. Training continues and the count down to the big day is upon us, I just need to try and keep myself in one piece and always trust my cape.

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