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My Woo Hoo Wall

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Friday, October 18, 2013

I was sitting in my office at home and reflecting on the last 3 years and it finally dawned on me that I really DO need a break from my routine. I was so focused on pounding out one event after another, so focused on the carrot of another accomplishment, that I never really realized just how HARD I was driving myself. Maybe this whole "downer" episode was simply my body's way of crying uncle.

The whole point of this lifestyle transformation is to lead yourself beside the still waters, not beat yourself into submission.

I took a look at my "woo hoo wall". My woo hoo wall is a special place in my man cave where I hang my trophies. It isn't a place where I brag about what I have done for very few people in my world have seen it. It is a place where I am reminded of the strength I had to do what I did and that, YES, it was ME that crossed the line. Although it is not scripture, I have often envisioned King David being discouraged about something and then, upon seeing the sword of Goliath hanging there, being reminded of what faith he had that day and how he was the victor.

Same here.

While they are not swords, these trophies all represent something huge...

Allow me to share... I'm just doing this to encourage myself so bear with me.


Medals


First Half Marathon


First Marathon


First Sprint Triathlon


First 70.3 (70.3 mile triathlon - 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)


First Long Course open water swim - 2.25 miles Teal lake swim (1hr:41 min)
-even got my picture taken with an Olympic Gold Medalist


Wall



What really gives me pause is that in the time it took to do all of this, the volume, distance, and intensity has been off the charts. I rapidly came up through the ranks, especially in triathlon. I taught myself how to swim and went from choking on pool water after a couple of laps to taking on a Sprint, a 70.3 and a long course open water swim where I would have finished well below what would have been the swim cut off for the Ironman. When it came to running, I went from huffing and puffing while counting mailboxes to finishing 26.2 miles
-also with some huffing and puffing ;)

I have pushed myself HARD and have done a total of 23 events in 3 years almost exactly and I realize now just what kind of a toll that such a rapid advance has taken on me. I've made some pretty broad jumps, especially for being an everyday athlete.

I believe that this is what has really given me a backbone and the stick-to-it-iveness but it is time to be realistic. If I were training someone, I would never push them as hard as I have pushed myself. I am not Superman.

I guess I said all of this to say this, I am not quitting running or triathlon. I have just finally come to a sense of maturity that says that I cannot out run my demons. I don't have to prove anything so slow down and build myself up both inside and out.

My dream has always been to do an Iron distance triathlon (140.6 miles). In order to work to that level, everything has to be in balance. It takes an elite level of self management, training, and fitness just to make it to get to the starting line much less to the place where they hang a medal around your neck.

It is a mountain I want to climb. While it now stands in the realm of someday, I often look through my minds eye what the view from the top must look like. To breathe the air that few experience, to take in the achievement, to know that I did it. To go from a total couch potato to elite athlete.

The reasons why are deep, visceral, and hard to explain to a casual reader. It's one of those things that come with both a burning yes and also a sense of quiet resolve that shows in the day to day grind.

Something like this is a calling. Even when I was down, my mind would drift and visualize what it has got to feel like to cross THAT finish line. to know that in every sense you are a champion. Feels more like an inevitable destiny, I was born to do this, but to do it, I have to be smart about it.

I'm rambling now... sorry... I'll stop. I went from blogging to dreaming out loud, or are both one and the same?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v WATERDIAMONDS
    Obviously, you are an athlete.

    But are you aware you're also a writer? And a very very good one.

    Thank you for posting such an amazing blog.
    986 days ago
  • v DIANNEMT
    You DO deserve a "break" but, if you are like me, you need something to strive for. So set some goals and keep working--even if you cut it back just a bit!!
    986 days ago
  • v JSEATTLE
    Keep on dreaming and keep on going on. Your Wall is just beautiful!! Keep on adding to it!
    986 days ago
  • v IAMAGEMLOVER
    I love it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v JUSGETTENBY42
    emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v JACKIE542
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    986 days ago
  • v LCRUMLEY81
    Very nice
    986 days ago
  • v SUSIEMT
    Good for you! I just wish you hadn't used the phrase "fluffy" athlete. instead please use this--"everyday athlete".
    986 days ago
  • v JOANNHUNT
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v NONNAOF2
    How great that you have a place to visually see all that you have accomplished!! You are not done as of yet in opening another door to new adventures, that I am almost sure of! Way to go!! :-)
    986 days ago
  • v HAPPYMENOW58
    Awesome self realization! Great blog! Wayyyyy to gooooo! Glad you are feeling better and seeing clearly! Proud of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v KLMEIRING
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    986 days ago
  • v NEPTUNE1939
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    986 days ago
  • v WORKNPROGRESS49
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    986 days ago
  • v GARDENCHRIS
    good for you.... the point is to ENJOY the journey..... not beat yourself into submission....take some time to stop and look around you at the wonder of it all. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v GOOSIEMOON
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v JANEMARIE77
    they are the same smart is the way to go if you want something bad enough we find a way if not we find or make an excuse! be smart don't make your excuse find the way best of luck
    986 days ago
  • v MIMIDOT
    Awesome! You've accomplished a lot. You have every reason to be proud.
    Congratulations! Job well done!
    986 days ago
  • v JOYCRN
    I joined the triathlon team here on SP recently and "met" HILLSLUG98239. She has a goal to do an Olympic triathlon for her 50 th birthday in Sept 2015. I have a similar goal of completing one for my 60 th which will be in 2016. There is a lot to do between now and then. Taking a few swim lessons, losing a few pounds, seeing a PT about a recurring "itis", lots of shorter events. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v MONTREAL12
    Congratulations on you amazing accomplishments; reflection is good; action essential.
    986 days ago
  • v IDICEM
    Love your woo hoo wall! Such a great idea to keep a visual reminder of your accomplishments. Your journey is quite impressive. You've reached so many goals already; I have no doubt you will complete your Iron distance triathlon. But it's also great that you've paused for a moment to reevaluate the pace of your journey. Thanks so much for sharing -- you inspire me!
    emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v TRYINGHARD54
    love the wall. what accomplishments !!!
    986 days ago
  • v BESSHAILE
    Both are the same

    and both are good

    and it's good you see how far you've come to remind yourself that you can still get there. If part of the reason you have come so far is because you are running from devils poking you - maybe it's time to turn around and face them in the eye. That too is good. But if your desire and longing and vision is to make it all the way to the top, once you've stared your devils down, just get back on course.

    Remember, though - it's a LIFE. Not a lifestyle.

    hugs and hugs and hugs to you because you are one of the champions in my journey. Woo Woo
    986 days ago
  • v BLUENOSE63
    Robert

    Tons of people have the "I Love Me Room" and your hall is no different! Good for you for displaying your triumphant struggle and success!
    986 days ago
  • v SANDYCRANE
    Great woo-hoo wall. You are a true champion.

    emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v CHERYLHURT
    Wow, have you come a long way!
    986 days ago
  • v SHYLONESTAR
    Personally, I think you are AWESOME. Love your wall...such accomplishments! Take a break...continue your dreams. I'm proud of you and don't even know you!
    986 days ago
  • v MARUKI52
    Can't have put it better than Sierragold. Down time is not slacking it is just recharging the batteries and living a whole balanced life. Keep your goals, of course, but remember to have down time too.
    986 days ago
  • v EVER-HOPEFUL
    looks like you need a bigger wall robert emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v JIBBIE49
    Great tp see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. You are an inspiration to one and one half million readers today, according to Spark Guy. emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v STRIVERONE
    The thing that impressed me most was that you taught yourself to swim. I'd like to do a triathlon, but I don't swim. I think I just accepted that the tri was out of the picture. You've got me rethinking it.
    986 days ago
  • v SIERRAGOLD
    You're so right. Balance is the key. You are very mature, and insightful to see this. A lot of people use activities to escape and distract from reality, from problems, or from their own thoughts in their head. Sounds like you've got a good balance and when you get a little 'wobbly' (like we all do from time to time) you recognize it and make the necessary corrections, and adjustments. There was a reason you didn't feel like yourself recently, and you figured it out.

    I really loved seeing all those pics and reading about all your accomplishments. It's truly amazing. This sounds like something you were born to do, like you said. But if at some point you change your mind, and get into something else, then that's okay too. You never know where this will lead you. Just do whatever it is that you love and you'll do great. You've proven that countless times already.

    And 'dreaming out loud' makes for a very interesting blog! emoticon

    Barbara


    986 days ago
  • v NILLAPEPSI
    emoticon emoticon wall. Look at all you've accomplished. Dude, you're a rock star in my book. emoticon emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v MOBYCARP
    Sometimes you need to rest between major efforts. You seem to be in that place right now, and it's a good time to look at the Woo Hoo Wall and appreciate the effort that you're resting from.

    The fact that you're resting right now does not mean that you won't do the iron tri; it just means that the project of preparing for it has not yet started. You will get there, when the time is right for you.

    Meanwhile, enjoy a well earned period of rest . . . even though what looks like "rest" to you now might have looked like strenuous effort to the you of a few years ago.
    986 days ago
  • v ONEKIDSMOM
    I KNOW you will get there. I have learned even with myself to "never say never"... but also have had the reality checks that I'm 60 years old and it takes me longer to "train up". I like to take on just ONE step up at a time... but always there is that unstated dream at the end ... after this one, comes that one.

    You are so right that you can't outrun the demons. We have to face them, too. But sometimes running is part of the strategy. Feel good... that's a GREAT collection of "I did it" mementoes.

    You remain one of the most AWESOME folks I know... because you may have your "downer" times... but you don't give up. Proud of you, Robert! emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v FORMYDARLINGS
    AN interesting blog. You seem to realize the scope of your achievements but also realize the punishing routine you have set for yourself. I think you have the right idea going here and maybe it is time to train like a pro would, with a trainer. You can certainly achieve your dream, just be really smart about it.

    Gini
    986 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    This is great: build yourself up, do it right so that you are well prepared, and then you can realize your dream. You're right. It's the only way to succeed. It's going to take patience, but it will be worth the time.
    986 days ago
  • v WILDFLOWERMA
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    986 days ago
  • v CLPURNELL
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    987 days ago
  • v LIVEDAILY
    LOVE your Woo Hoo wall!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    It's a wondrous goal to have, but I know you will work towards it-and at the same time, continue to become the healthier and fit you!
    987 days ago
  • v PRESBESS
    Funny... "I went from blogging to dreaming out loud". :)

    Nonetheless, you have indeed been a fitness superman. You've accomplished a whole bunch. I'm very impressed that you taught yourself how to swim. Way to go! I'm not sure what your plan is going forward, just know that you are were and still are worth the fight.

    Robert, you rock!
    emoticon
    987 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/18/2013 3:27:17 PM
  • v BLUENOSE63
    Now that's the Robert I know! Glad to see the spirit is on the mend.
    987 days ago
  • v QUAIL75
    Awesome! You are such an inspiration and I know you will do the Ironman when you are ready! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    987 days ago
  • v IMSMILEY88
    I love your room! We will be moving soon & I think I'll have to find a place to put my 'reminders' out on display. At least on display for ME! I've been planning on a scrapbook for my bibs, but haven't done it yet.

    We are in a marathon, not a sprint, right? So, keep taking the time to do things right.... one step at a time!
    987 days ago
  • v GARDENQE2
    What a wonderful collection of "WOO HOOS"
    You are heading into a new and better chapter of your life
    Just for fun, go back and read your own blog from September 20, 2009!
    987 days ago
  • v WILLIAMV3
    Wonderful! You are an inspiration. I love your woo hoo wall. You've come a long way baby! emoticon emoticon
    987 days ago
  • v _JODI404
    I think refocusing your efforts is a great plan for meeting your future goals.

    I'm so glad to hear you are feeling more positive and ready to move forward again!

    emoticon
    987 days ago
  • v OBIESMOM2
    emoticon
    love the wall. Thanks for sharing the pictures.
    yes, you do need to step back and re-calibrate. Get that balance in your life.
    Obviously you WILL conquer any goal you set!
    987 days ago
  • v LINDAKAY228
    I love your wall! Although I've not done the distances you have done, I I have my bibs and other things hanging in my bedroom on the wall to remind me of things I've accomplished that I never thought I could. Sometimes you do have to slow down and take it easier and build up more to the goals you want to accomplish. You have done an amazing job and I know you will reach even greater heights!
    987 days ago
  • v LEWILL1982
    Holy cow, I get it! Give yourself a break, catch your breath, take the steps to be your best, healthiest self. That Ironman will come. You've accomplished so much and can do so much more, but don't wear your body (or your mind) down, we're only given one! You can do it!
    987 days ago
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