Letters to msyelfFebruary 24, 2013
“Who takes care of you? You take care of everyone else?” I get this question a few times a week… related to sport (triathlon). The answer is easy…. I take care of myself.
This journey of self coaching is an interesting one, I am growing a lot. I have been on the edge of hooking back up with my coach many times….. but I committed to this endeavor and I committed to myself. One of the last things Jesse said to me before we parted was “I would like to see you take some Mary time.” Mary time is hard for me. But I took his words very seriously and this season not only did I give myself permission to chase Iron again, I committed to leading myself through it.
I know…. a real world decision and a real world issue (choke). My sport has always been important to me and a giant slice of my life. I am an athlete in my core and it is who I will always be. I often have said that I would give up many things before I gave up my coach. At the same time coaching is not cheap. It’s a privilege and a choice, and money can always be better spent and better saved.
On Tuesday I found myself just wanting a coach to reach out to. I have many people to lean on. A call, text or email away. Nothing was wrong , I just wanted that guidance. While many friends have offered to help me in any way I need….. it’s a big task to place on them when they are not intricately involved in, or don’t quite understand the dynamics of my life.
Everyone thinks I have this crazy hectic unorganized life, and it’s easy for me to see why people think that way. At the same time that… it’s not how my life is at all…. I do absolutely nothing to convince anyone otherwise. I am actually not that busy, I have a ton of downtime. I am home more often than you can imagine. Because of that misconception of my life the advice usually comes in the form of “You need to rest.” I smile, I nod… of course. That’s always the answer. It’s an easy answer to give someone, but what do I expect when I fail to explain?
So on Tuesday I did what I am used to doing when I have a coach…. I sent an email. To myself. Dear Coach…. it read. I set the timing so that it would arrive an hour after I sent it. I sent it as an athlete asking her coach for a little guidance with some small things.
An hour later it arrived, and I read it from the perspective of the coach. A forced split personality if you will. I thought about it not in terms of me, but as if I was giving the guidance from someone else. I replied in that same fashion. I changed the settings in my workout log to email me the workout when it was submitted, just like it happens for the athletes I coach. At the end of each night I look at my workouts from the perspective of the coach and I even… reply (is this getting weird?). Good work, watch the watts on that last BST, don’t let them fall off. Try looking at the clock in the pool there Eggers, you’ve spent enough time off of it! And then I reviewed them…. as the athlete.
It’s been working very well. It’s hard to put yourself in an objective perspective, for some I would even call it impossible. I am getting it down to a science.
I always say that the longest distance you will ever have to travel is the distance from ear to ear. When you are making a comeback more people will criticize you than believe in you. You are only as fast at your last race. Sport is fleeting. You are only as strong as your weakest link. If people don’t know what you’ve been through (Because you have chosen not to tell) then they are even more critical.
My biggest attribute… thank you mom and dad…. is that I just don’t care. I have never listened to critics…. why would I begin now? It’s sport…. it’s a huge piece of my life but it’s not the only piece. I have it all in perspective and it works. The work is getting done and I have been relying on too many people instead of on myself.
There are things you can carry solo. Sport is absolutely one of them. If it becomes a burden or something I can’t carry…. then I have taken it way too far.
So who takes care of me? In life my husband and my son and the people in my circle. In sport…. I take care of myself. It’s what I have always done. It’s what I do for my athletes. It will make this Ironman so much more rewarding in more ways than just covering 140.6 miles.