This blog is a repost to set the foundation for the next chapter of The Chronicles of MsFit.
I believe to know where we are going, we must first know where we have been. My fitness journey has taken me many places – each one brought me closer to being comfortable in my own skin. With my own program.
Cheers to the past. Cheers to the Future. Be in the present.
When I describe myself as a generalist there is not one, tiny, minuscule part of me that is even remotely close to kidding. I have been competent at most everything my entire life. Especially sports. Blame it on some deep seeded natural athleticism that must have come from my kick ass parents and grandparents. The downside? You ask as you contemplate whether or not my ego is puking all over this post… is that I am not REALLY GREAT at anything. I mean it. It is the same concept as “if you are friends with everybody, are you really friends with anybody?” Think about it.
Above average, averageness. That’s me. And in truth, I both love this and hate this about myself. Being a generalist is both limiting, and powerful. As is being a specialist.
I feel that I have temporarily had enough of the former with respect to my athletic pursuits. I have spent my entire athletic life proving the point that I could do anything… and I pretty much did. Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, Track, Golf (both left and right handed), Ball, Archery, Snowboarding, Skiing, Slalom Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Wrestling, Grappling, Climbing, Spelunking, Boxing… the list goes on.
This year something changed.
I met running and cycling again for the first time.
Running, for me, is something that has just always been there. I never discovered it. I never thought about it. I just did it and took it for granted my entire life. Cross training, frozen tag on the playground, you name it. And cycling? Once my sister taught me how to ride my sparkly blue banana seat bike there was no turning back. Well, except for the umpteen times I needed her help to get going again and again after falling off. But seriously, it too was just there. To the point where I never thought to consider cycling a sport until my late 20s. It was merely a fun way of getting from point A to B until my Norco was stolen 3 months into University.
Now? Running and cycling have stolen my competitive attention. Such simplistic forms of sport that leave me in awe.
At Xterra this summer, though my field was relatively shallow I took a bite of the one skinny little carrot I managed to grow after 5 months of training… and it was the best carrot I’ve ever tasted. Why? Because time and effort count.
So do running shorts… note to self.
This past weekend at another duathalon, I finished mid-pack and had my backside handed to me on a platter by multiple road cyclist who passed me as though I were standing still (or rolling backwards downhill). It was crushing. And in another race event, I felt so good riding my laps that I have decided to enter solo for 2016. And sign up for a marathon in January. And a half in February. And more endurance races late spring and into the summer. It is material that I’ve never ran farther than 15km in one shot. Ever.
For the first time in my life I can’t just show up and do well by being competent (okay, for the second time as I demonstrated in FIN 301). I need to train. Methodically. I must put time in to see any of the fruits and vegetables of my labour. And even then, the harvest can be poor. I LOVE THIS. This isn’t about the experience and proving that “I did it”. This is about owning it. Training. Having focus… and seeing where I can take myself. Seeing what I am capable of in the simplest forms of physical fitness and endurance.
There are no guarantees and quite frankly, I will always be a generalist and may still end up being average. But the difference? Is that this time I am going to bust my ass to earn that average. Every fucking letter. Athleticism gets me to the race. It may even get me through the race, but it doesn’t mean success. It just means I did it.
So here’s to kicking some ass. Just once.
Even if it’s just my own ass.