A few days ago my sweet friend Cathy asked me when I planned on blogging about why I am not doing any triathlons this summer. I’ve been stalling and stalling on writing a blog post because I kept thinking mayyyyyyyyybe I still would be able to race this season but it appears that I am officially out (insert sad music). It has made me quite irritable and frankly if I can just be honest….. I’ve been pretty pissy about it. I was hoping I would get out of my funk in time to write about it and I finally have. All is well with my soul.
This would have been my 5th triathlon season and my 10th tri. It’s been a huge self-estemm builder for me…. doing something HARD and pushing myself to conquer my fears. I have written several blog posts about how I did not know how to swim until I took lessons at age 39 and how The Today Show even picked up the story of me and my girls training for my 40th birthday triathlon to myself! You can read about the Today Show here. You can read tons of triathlon articles if you just type it in the search bar on the sidebar of this blog.
It’s been an incredible relationship builder with other disciplined, driven chicks. I’ve never been with a group of women so encouraging and so supportive as my triathlon girls. We worked out together. We raced together. We puked together. We are brave together. Most of us aren’t serious athletes, we were just serious about overcoming fears and encouraging one another. We are moms who decided to put “triathlon training” on the calendar for 2 months of the year. We are busy women who for one reason or another really needed to see what we were made of. We are women craving relationship and calorie burning and TIME FOR OURSELVES. Can I get an amen?
But, several months ago I injured my right shoulder during a workout. I just kept thinking that it would start to feel better, but instead it got worse. When I finally went to the doctor, they did x-rays and they thought that I had bicep tendonitis which could be fixed with physical therapy. So off I went to physical therapy.
After almost a month of physical therapy on my shoulder, we finally decided that I probably needed to have an MRI because it just wasn’t getting better. I was unable to swim, I couldn’t run, I couldn’t sleep the way I normally slept at night. I was having a hard time hanging up laundry, putting on a bra, looking over my shoulder when I put my vehicle in reverse…those sorts of things. Painting hurt. Hugging my husband hurt. Anything that required bringing my arm above my shoulder level was just painful. And that made me very crabby. There were many irrational bouts of tears because I just felt so frustrated that my body was not cooperating with my drive. And apparently 3,186 pounds of chocolate won’t fix a hurt shoulder. And trust me, I tried.
The MRI showed that I have a torn labrum also referred to as a “slap tear” and that I also have bursitis in my shoulder. So swimming is out for a while and running irritates it. Ug. My orthopedic surgeon has done a cortisone shot in my shoulder instead of surgery and for that I am so so grateful. I had the shot a month ago and I just kept thinking maybe I would still be able to pull it together and feel good enough to compete in my triathlons this summer but I’m just not going to push it. It’s so discouraging for someone who has been so healthy to feel like I’ve had two summers of ailments in a row ( last year my IT band was hurt). And it’s taken me a few months to get my head around this. I think I went into almost a little mini state of the blues a few months ago because I just didn’t feel good. I have a whole new respect for those of you who live with physical pain on a daily basis. I had no idea how it would affect my mental state and my overall attitude about life in general like it did. Clearly, this girl needs endorphins and apparently, I don’t cope well with pain.
So I’ve just had on my pissy pants for the last several months. It’s not like I have a huge injury or life-threatening illness or something that’s going to prevent me from ever competing again. It’s just a momentary, short-lived setback and I’ve pretty much been sucking my thumb in a corner over it. I’ve watched several of my girlfriends start back up the triathlon training this spring and I was irritated. I’ve seen all the postings in the private triathlon group that I set up years ago for triathletes in the Kansas City area and I feel a little discouraged and jealous and irritated about it.
And then I got asked to be a volunteer at the triathlon this year since I couldn’t compete. First I thought no, I just don’t even want to be there if I can’t be in it. But then God began to work on my heart like only He can do and I felt completely convicted about the crappy attitude that I had. When I really stopped to examine in, it appeared I was only willing to be an encourager…… if I could be in it. And I was convicted that if my heart really is FOR women, then I need to be an encourager whether my stinkin’ shoulder is hurt or not. I need to be there in SOME capacity, even iffffffffff it’s not the way I want it to be.
And so I’ve given myself a pep talk over the last week; my own personal spanking if you will. And I’ve wrapped my head around the fact that for this season I am out. For this season I’m going to have to be an athletic supporter. For this season I’m going to have to be reeeeeeeeeally happy for everyone else who does it. For this season I’m going to have to work on getting my shoulder healthy. For this season I’m going to have to listen to my body. For this season, I didn’t get to spend many, many evenings in a dirty, nasty lake with my girls having the time of our life. Hopefully things will be different for next year, but for this year I am out. It’s disappointing, but it’s certainly not the end of the world. PERSPECTIVE is everything.
So for you ladies who are competing this weekend at the WIN for KC triathlon, I hope you go out and just kick butt on that course on Saturday. I hope you dig deep, deep, deep within yourself and push yourself to a level that you’re uncomfortable with….. not so that you win or get a PR, but so that you will know in your heart what you are capable of. I hope that you finish SO proud of yourself because half of the battle is just showing up!!! I hope you know what a great example you’re setting to those around you and to your children and to your family. I hope you do not take your health for granted. And I hope that I’ll be with you again next year.
I think you rock. And I’ll be there to tell you about so.
Go kick some butt!