I had a plan. I was going to spend 2015 setting myself up to be able to register in September for Ironman Wisconsin 2016.
2015 was to be the year that I bought a bike, got other cycling equipment, started to figure out how to swim all bilateral like a real swimmer, deepen existing and develop new profitable business partnerships so I’d have a financial cushion… really set the infrastructure and build things up in a number of ways.
Then my Dad died in December of 2014 and things went pretty sideways. That sounds dramatic. Yet, that’s really what it boils down to. My Dad dying was/is an OK thing. He’s with his God and he’s spared of the limitations he had in his body. Yet, my body unraveled after he passed on. I became uncharacteristically unmotivated and just what I called “dimmed” in many ways. I didn’t know myself. The first half of 2015 was disconcerting and a struggle to understand what was happening and find myself.
I did. It was all another gracious gift from my Dad. I treated my body much better. I’ve started to more readily admit when stress is taking a toll. I’m more compassionate with myself (and I hope others).
Now… emerging from the summer, feeling more like myself… What was I going to do about this Ironman Registration Plan I had? 2015 surely didn’t look like I’d planned.
Was I supposed to NOT register and create a different path? I had scaled back and treated my body better. Was I supposed to continue that? OR… was it the perfect time to jump in and ramp up because I had given myself a true recovery time? I’m now more tuned in with my body than I’ve ever been. Maybe it’s the best time to 140.6.
OR… was I supposed to learn that I didn’t have to do the “Amy thing” of taking on a big long-term goal? Yet, maybe now I could do the big goal with a commitment to NOT forcing things and being more compassionate.
Would I be more inspired by the challenge? Or by the lack of challenge?
I vacillated back and forth in a wishy washy way for weeks! I did all my coach techniques: I looked for what aligned best with my values (ah, really either choice – yes or no – could fulfill my values). I talked to my running coach. I scheduled a session with a former life coach. I tried to listen to my head. I tried to listen to my heart. I REALLY did not know.
I realized I was slightly leaning towards Yes. Then I decided to spend 2 days pretending that I’d made the decision to NOT register and follow that up with 2 days of pretending that I was YES going to register.
After the 2 days pretending it was a NO, I was convinced that I wasn’t going to register. There were plenty of reasons not to! I could go back and do the Capital View dualthon again, beat my time from this year and not worry about that swimming thing. I could get a new half marathon PR. I could drink more (think of the margaritas!). I’d have more time for my own charity giving, to build the Loving the Pregnant You business. I could learn to swim slowly. My friend Christine talked about different events she might want to do in the coming year – I could join her! More time with my family. Terrific. This sounds great. The breakthrough would be to NOT register. I felt great about it.
Now I was to go into my 2 days of pretending I was going to register. This seemed like a wasted effort. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to flip my thinking and enthusiasm back to doing the Ironman. But I’m nothing if not a planner and the plan was to pretend – so I did. And…I got super jazzed about registering! I’d be in learning mode, I’d feel audacious, I get in great shape. It would be a wild ride, a terrific learning journey. 140.6 on the back window! (Yup, I’m one of those). I started thinking about how it wouldn’t be THAT bad until next summer. Just had to up my workouts a few hours a week over the winter, no big deal. I started mapping out what the weeks would look like. I started adding gear to imaginary Christmas lists… I felt like doing it.
I was a vacillating nut! Yet, I got it. I couldn’t go wrong. I could register or not register, it would be OK.
And THAT was something I’d never experienced before: That I could feel “light” about a decision that would have a lot of impact, depending on which way I went.
I told my husband after my 4 days of “pretending” that we might as well just flip a coin. So we did. Kevin called in the kids and he flipped the coin. He called it (I think he said Heads Yes and Tails No) and the coin said to register. We all smiled at each other and I said, “OK!” Then my son flipped a coin, called it and again it came up Yes. My daughter declared, “The coin said to do it Mom. You should do it.”
I went up to Madison thinking that I’d probably register. Unless something changed my mind before Monday morning…