Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When life... well happens


It's easy to give good advice - you know what's usually the right thing to do so when someone is at a crossroads in life. For instance, I would never tell someone to pass up eating at Mellow Mushroom (I mean, hello, have you had their Parmesan pretzels and their buffalo chicken pizza???).  Or to not eat a whole back of Cheetos in one sitting.  I mean really, I seem like I'm genuinely good at giving advice.  Now listening to my own advice... eh, that's tricky.

I told a dear friend this past summer (more than once), that it's okay, life happens and to just follow her heart and do what she loves.  She was struggling with some changes that were preventing her from training for what she had originally set out for later in the summer, just a hobby that makes up maybe 1% of her awesomeness.  Every time we talked, she would tell me how busy she was with work (which she was loving), how at the end of the day, she wanted to relax, unwind and be with the ones she loved, but that she was really struggling with what she thought she should be doing. Life was happening. She couldn't control that.  It was this never ending circle of feeling torn.  She needed to do what made her happy. 
 
Last November I signed up for yet another 140.6.  I got a coach. I'm part of Team Rev3 and had planned on doing 4 or 5 of their amazing races.  I had envisioned my season being filled with new Georgia races (full of hills and humidity).  I was excited to explore new roads, both by bike and foot.  In my mind, Tom and I were going to be smiling at all the "newness" that are city would bring to us in terms of triathlon.

And then life happened. If I would just listen to my heart for once, I would have known the right thing to do a long time ago.  But like I said, that's easier said than done.  I kept plugging forward, thinking that eventually it would all grown on me again.


This year has been less than easy on me.  I've written about starting over in a sense, being challenged with my new surroundings, about loss, about finding my path.  And I have finally hit a point where I need to listen to my own advice for once and do what I need to do (this time, not involving the advice on Mellow Mushroom (I eat there enough) and the Cheetos (they are always in my pantry)).

And while Tom and I are smiling probably more than ever, it's just not at the triathlon/training part.  I've cut nearly ever race out of my schedule this year - it just doesn't excite me.  I like swimming, and biking, and running here, but I just want to do what I want to do and not have something looming over me (ie a big race, expectations of pr's, disappointment of less than stellar events, etc.)  I love the new city, the opportunities, the friends I've made.  But life has thrown me some curveballs - some of which I've blogged about, some which I haven't, and I've been left to find my way through the madness, unsure of which path I should take.
 
Because so much has changed for me through August (it really WAS a sucky month), I've taken a step back.  For once, I AM listening to my own advice.  I need to follow my heart which really isn't in racing.  I need to regroup, settle down a little.  I need to do what I love and love what I do each and every day.  I need focus on what defines me, not what I think others see me as or assume I am.  I need to give life a chance to calm down, or maybe a chance for me to catch up to it.

Because, in the end, we're only given one life.  We need to make the most out of every day that we are given.  Why spend it doing something that isn't making us happy?
So that's where I am at.  Life is happening.  I'm doing what makes me happy.  I'm following my heart.

25 comments:

Shannon (IronTexasMommy) said...

Glad you're taking your advice! It's good! Follow your heart. Eat Cheetos. Be happy! I hope the start of September brings you the chance to take a deep breath of fresh air! :)

Heather-O said...

Mmmmmmmmm, buffalo chicken pizza!

Seriously, Matt and I just had this same conversation like 2 minutes ago! Where you stalking us?!?!? Although I have not gone through even 1% of what you have had to deal with this year, I totally sympathize with you about finding pleasure and happiness in what you are doing. Sometimes we get all wrapped up in what we think we should be doing and guilt ourselves into feeling bad about not doing it instead of taking a step back and realizing the only thing we really need to be doing is the stuff that makes us happy. Don't let something you think you should be doing define who you are. Go out and explore new things and find whatever it is that makes you happy...and if that thing no longer makes you happy a month down the road try something else! The possibilities are endless! No matter what you end up doing you will still be an amazing person because of you who are, not what you do! The one thing I know for sure is that people will remember you for who you are and how you treat them, not for what you do.

Karen said...

.... and you SHOULD do what makes you happy. Your life is yours to live it shouldn't be dictated by what you think others want you to do. Kick back and eat some cheetos (although please tell me you don't eat the fire kind - those are too much - give me a nice bag of plain cheetos any day!)

Anne-Marie said...

Good for you for taking your own advice! I completely agree - you should do the things that make you happy, whether it's just enjoying being active without a race schedule or doing things with friends or trying something completely new. Life is too short to spend time doing things that you aren't passionate about.

Matthew Smith said...

Wise words for anybody! I think this might be one of your best blog posts, and it's definitely one that I agree with so much. Do what you WANT to do and don't feel guilty for not doing something else. Enjoy life to its fullest and with no regrets! September is hear, finally, and I hope this month just rocks and blesses you more than ever.

Kristin Deaton said...

I so wish I could take my own advice at times. Makes me feel week and delusional. You should totally do what you want. Life is way too short and screw what's right do what works!!! Very proud of you for taking that leap of faith and going for what works right now. Yes life is messy and nasty and shit happens but you pick yourself up clean yourself off and move forward. Now in a couple of weeks if I need that pep talk I'm calling you :-).

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Good for you! Sometimes a step back is just what you need to do. Hugs friend!

misszippy said...

Smart move, Colleen! This is why I stepped back from tris and into running several years back. I loved the idea of the races, but my heart wasn't into all those miles on the bike/swim. So I followed my heart and I'm happier for it.

My thinking is that you'll probably find your way back to it eventually. But if not, that's ok too. The wise thing was to acknowledge it and act on it.

Jessica Grant said...

Good for you. As someone often afflicted with "should be doing" as well, I know how hard that is. Cheers to what will come by living life as it happens!

MissFancyPants said...

Great post and good for you, I have been feeling very similar lately so this really hit home for me :)

Steve said...

Good For you Colleen.

Best Wishes as always :)

Alisa said...

I agree following your heart is important! Not always easy to do but necessary.

I'm looking forward to finally meeting you next month. I'm sure our driving all over Georgia and SC will give us lots of time to TALK :).

Kim said...

Love this post, but more importantly, love you!

Jamie Bull said...

I feel exactly the same way. My life over the past 3 months has really changed my perspective on what makes me happy. Stepping away for just a little while too.

Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb said...

I had to make sure you were the one that actually wrote this and not me....I'm going through these EXACT same moments and emotions. I feel like I'm at so many crossroads that I'm not exactly sure where to go, but just following my heart. Props to you for recognizing it and following your heart too. Hugs!

Kelly Covert said...

Love this. I have always felt that life comes in cycles and we will be most happy and healthy if we respect those. Keep it up, lady!!

Kristen said...

I wish there was a "LOVE THIS" button for this post.

It is so hard to listen to ourselves. Believe me, I am the queen of not knowing the word "no". But through it all, I think you are doing what is best for you and Tom, and that makes me the proudest big sister in the whole world.

x o x o

Carolina John said...

You know what I think you would love to do? Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. Just planting that seed.

actually I really like your approach. Do what works best for you now, and it will lead to the future that you want. xx <3

Rebecca said...

Love this post. Glad to hear you and Tom are enjoying life and enjoying Georgia. Lately with exercise I feel like enjoying a bike ride or swim without having to be "training" for something is my favorite kind of work out!

Aunt Nan said...

I'm glad you've realized that swimming, biking and running are something that you like to do and want to do, not something that you have to do! Enjoy them all, at your own pace and whenever you want. Love you, Sweetie. Mom xoxo

MR DETERMINED said...

It's so easy to forget to listen to your hear as you grow up but I think it's so important in life. I've been learning to again this year and I can't tell you what a difference it's made. Just focus on doing things that bring you joy, and happiness will soon follow.

Beth said...

Good for you for having the courage to let go of the idea of what you "should" do. You are so right, there is no point in racing if it doesn't make you happy. It will be there for you if you eve want to come back and if you don't then it was a great part of your life. Hoping September is better =)

kazir haat said...

happy friends!
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Charity said...

I'm right at this same spot and struggling with these same issues. For me, I find myself focusing on all the great things others are doing, knowing I've either been there or should WANT to be there. But, in the here and now, I just don't. Just know that you've done amazing things and, at some points in your life, it's healthy and completely normal to find happiness in things other than athletic achievements!

Melissa C said...

I'm so glad that you are being able to enjoy life! That is really what it is all about, right? I have sort of been in a place lately where I wasn't due to disappointments, and thankfully, the thing I sought to "make it better" actually worked. Not really sure what I would have done had it not, but that is where I am thankful for my church, and the prayers I said and answers I received that what I was seeking was in fact the answer.

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