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“Somewhere behind the competitor you’ve become, the practices, the people who pushed you, the races you have competed in, the long time dedication, and the friendships you have made along the way, there’s a little boy who fell in love with the race; do it for him….”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Remembering Where You Came From

My clients and friends, the Weaver and Jongerius families, were kind enough to let me stay over at Clearwater Beach with them while we awaited coming to Tri Camp in Sarasota Florida with Heather and Todd Gollnick. When I'm with this group I'm always reminded of where I came from. They are from my home town, Sheldon , IA, and hearing news from home and names of old friends in the conversations gives me a bit of peace. Remembering where and I came from and what has made me who I am - and that the person I am is OK is just plain nice.

Lately I've felt a bit in a funk. No goofing around, no dancing, just not being me. It's strange but as I flew in yesterday Katie made the observation that I was about 40% of myself. Today after some good sleep we went for a ride with Mike (Kate's Dad) around the neighborhood. It was AWESOME to get outside and just roll. I haven't enjoyed my bike as much lately and it was just fun again. We also walked down to the beach in full wetsuit and goggles all the way through the neighborhood and it was just fun to be funny and get the looks from all the local folks. We went for a short swim and joked (kinda) about swimming with sharks and laughed at our fear while out there. Coming back in we caught a couple nice waves - body surfing !! We laughed and just plain had FUN- weird that triathlon would be FUN - what's that? All of this was wonderful and just reminded me how we all need to do things with JOY and getting such a gift from God , the ability to do triathlons, is special and should be filled with laughter, fun and JOY!

This all sunk in when we were back in the house and Bonnie (Kate's mom) and I were talking about some old school friends like Tim Blankers which reminded me of other great friends and a whole group of guys and gals that loved me for exactly what I was and always reminded me to do the same. We also talked about an old family friend of ours who had recently passed but it also brought back memories of simpler times, less stress and pure joy! Northwest Iowa is a special place and I feel I need to bring myself back there (in my heart and head) more often to find a place of peace and enjoyment of old memories and memories yet to come.

Ok OK OK we also had an absolutely wonderful time so far at camp and I see the fun the groups having, the wonderful hosts we have in the Gollnicks and all the great potential for joy in our small group. Riding and running in shorts, doing run drills in GRASS , and enjoying sprinkles just to cool off - who can't enjoy that in MARCH?

I can't wait to go home and share some good energy with my family and see and feel the JOY with them as well.

Katie asked me if I was up to 110% yet and I have to say - YES!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roller Coaster

Wow! Being a former theatre geek and baby boy of my family I can be a bit dramatic at times. However it won't stop me from going on about the roller coaster of the past week or so.

It started last Friday with a trip to the dermatologist to recheck a really nasty "rash" I've had since the new year began. It's a series of nasty red spots I've gotten nearly everywhere on my body. At first it was a bit of a nuisance but lately it's really had me down and feeling something was really wrong. After lots of going round and round, light therapy, creams, antibiotic prescriptions and more it had basically gotten worse. The doctor informed me that I had PLEVA. It was acute for now but could be a chronic case of lymphocytes acting funny and if it continued to be chronic (remember I have the acute case) could lead to problems with the skin and seems to be more prevalent in people with lymphoma. NOT READY TO HEAR THAT! I spent a lot of the morning crying- no real danger just a reminder that sometimes I'm not the healthiest of folks.
After working though the slight depression I began the next week with a HUGE bike wattage test- best numbers I've ever put out. VERY exciting. The next day I ROCKED the water at my first group swim in awhile- I was pulling away from some really good athletes - it was very exciting. Later that day I went to get my bike refit at Gear West. We got it pretty much nailed down but things just felt a little off with my new bike- it's like new shoes - they may fit really well but you still need to get used to them. Thursday of that week my red spots were bright and shiny for a day of 4 workouts with one being a new strength session I promised to go to. It was really great but EXCRUCIATING - in my heart I knew it would effect me for days but I hoped for the best. Micki and I had a fun date that night and everything seemed great.
The next day I had a nice day off- felt ummmmm ok but the girls stayed home with me and I had to try to get some work done (my fault for leaving it). The whole day tore at my heart trying to do everything and just running on empty. Micki was gone until almost 10 at night and I was just drained. Micki had class again on Sat. so I got up at 5:00 and went to the studio alone to swim. Once again the whole day I tried to get some things done but was torn by needed girls and really wanting to give them ALL of my heart and attention the while waiting for Micki to get home so I could train another 3 hours. She got home around 5:00 and I began but just had NOTHING! My goal this year is to be a bit smarter about bad days so I pushed off my biggest training day of the year so far for Sunday.
I really wanted the family to be at church and couldn't get up early enough to get anything in so I thought I'd get my work in between church and Grandma's birthday party. Got to try and ride outside but was so uncomfortable and weak on my bike I gave up on the workout. With a push from my wife I did go out for a little test run to see if it was as bad as thought. The run went quite well- I felt a bit better. Later that night I got back on my bike to try and finish. Just didn't have it and there was no way I was going back outside to run with freezing rain.
Today I woke up with that all too familiar pit in my stomach. It seems since I've stopped teaching I just feel a bit lost- the schedule is just so variable and it leaves me a bit unproductive.
I did spend some good time reading my yearlong bible and praying. I downloaded the sermon that turned my year around last Jan. and listened to it while I rode. WOW - the legs were back and I felt confident again! The Lord does test us but I once again feel that sense of purpose for this season.
God's peace to you.