Veterans or Beginners Alike: Starting Over is Not Easy
I find myself writing this post, because I have been doing alot of pondering of this subject lately and reached out to many veteran triathletes, who are also in my circle of friends or training partners.
For me, this came up after having broken my foot for a second time in my life. The first was when my middle son was 5 months old...which was truly more challenging than this past April. What's interesting, is that regardless of how many times we, as athletes take a break from one of the three disciplines, or perhaps even all of them, it is thought-provoking that we all come back, thinking we are athletes and we can get back in the saddle without much pain.
As I wasn't able to run, but was still able to cycle for the most part, and swim even more, I was dreading that return to running. I realized that my downfall was that I would start it up and never really push past that initial few "Oh my goodness, I think I'm going to die. How did I ever run so well before? How will I ever do this again?" Having faced that a few times, it's so easy to simply not force yourself to stick with it and persevere, but rather to just swim that day for your workout, or jump on your bike. Of course, we all have a discipline that is our weakest and we all realize that we tend to shy away from that one. But starting over is very humbling.
None of us are new to this. I paused running with my second and third pregnancies in my third trimester and it was difficult to return. Yet, we all seem to remember just how hard it was the last time. In speaking to another veteran triathlete friend of mine, she told me she was facing the same thing with cycling. This is where we can really use our community support, blogs, group workouts (which can be intimidating coming back from injury) or even facebook groups.
What's important to learn here is that it is actually a wonderful concept to embrace being a beginner again. Why? Well, personal growth for one. But also of equal importance, we can all be a bit more empathetic when we see others training and they're struggling. Rather than judging, let's remember, we've all been there. I know returning after being pregnant I had a new admiration for people who were working on becoming fit, who were out pushing so hard. Let's support each other, as athletes, and as humans. And let's get it down and push through. #nevergiveup