I haven't blogged in 11 days. I think that's the longest I've ever gone. Believe me friends, I've wanted to. I've thought up lots of fun subjects, and had many "Ooh I should blog about that" experiences in the last 11 days. However, it seems that between training, recovering from training, and being a mom/wife there has been no time left over. With what little there is, I have chosen not to get on the computer, but instead do other things (like clean my bike chain). I owe many of you email responses, text responses, or twitter replies. I try to occasionally get on twitter and check on all of you, but for the most part I have really had to keep my nose to the grindstone these last 11 days, with yet another 7 in front of me.
Tyler asked me this weekend: When does the training cross the line from "fun" to "job"? It was a really hard question to answer and I'm pretty sure I did a pathetic job. Tyler has a way of asking questions that I don't have very good responses for...at the time. I was in the saddle for almost 7 hours yesterday and my mind wandered a few times back to this question. So I guess I'll elaborate with a little better answer than I gave him.
I really love this training. I really really really do. I wish I had more natural talent and that I was good enough to be a professional at this stuff. I do. I wish I could call triathlon my "job", but as you all know, it's my "hobby", and I am an "age grouper". I SO MUCH look forward to the hard days, the days where I don't quite know what Chuckie is going to throw at me. I like getting done and being tired and hungry, and feeling raw and complete at the same time. I like that I have to eat clean, and I have to wear compression tights to bed, and that I need to swim at the pool just before it closes on most nights to get in my "flop". I thrive on the singular focus and the dedication that I have put into training for Kona. Again, reiterating what Ray says, I can't always tell you why I do it, but I can tell you that I am committed when I do.
AND...it's hard work. There is the black and white thing going on where it's hard, but it's rewarding. So when someone asks "When is it like a job" I struggle. It's like a job that I really love, and it's nowhere near a job that I don't like. It really depends on what you consider a "job" or what the word means. If it means you make money at it...well then my training is quite the opposite of a job! If "job" means 8 hours a day of staring at a computer screen under fluorescent lights...it's never even close to a job, like not even the same continent. If "job" means your willing to doing something challenging 40+hours a week because you love it that much, then this training is very much like a "job".
Is it fun? Yes, it is, very much so. Again, it's open to interpretation, but "fun" can mean so many things. Being fit and fast is fun. Lauging with Chuckie about the squirel that tried to play suicide with him this weekend is fun. Laughing so hard coming home from a ride that we almost fell off our bikes is fun. It's not going to be as funny to you, but we all made a left hand turn somewhat dangerously close in front of a truck right after being told "We can beat the truck" (by someone who shall remain nameless, but who's name rhymes with Ducky). When we were talking about it later I said "Famous last words" and wha-lah, three very calorically deficient, yet satisfied triahletes were laughing so hard we were crying. It's the little things that are fun, and it's the big things that are rewarding.
But for some, "fun" means blanket beach party with a cooler full of Mike's Hard Lemonade. And don't you worry, I'll probably attempt that sort of fun on October 10th, but until then I'm going to have to make do with what I've got within the framework that I have committed to. Plus, beach parties don't really keep you fit, and fun things are a lot more FUN when you are fit.
So, in a nutshell, sometimes life morphs, but it doesn't mean it isn't fun. Sometimes it just doesn't look like what it used to. I have no desire to do anything in life that isn't fun, but sometimes you have to search harder for the fun aspect. Maybe all out 5 minute efforts on the bike isn't what most would consider "fun", but when I am in the moment and Eminem is blaring in my ears and I am going deeper and deeper into the push, and everything around me matters very little, just a bike, a girl, a coach, a stopwatch, and my inability to give up even an inch, that, my friends, to me, is fun.
A Job? Fun? It's really all a matter of perspective and attitude.