I’ve been in a season of transition… out of routine, finding new normals, lots of change. This doesn’t come easily to a scheduled girl like myself, but it takes change to be challenged.
I was blessed with being able to buy a home for my daughter and I, so for the past 6 weeks, I’ve been packing, moving, getting the new home ready, while working full-time and parenting. I’d been dreaming about how each room would come together, the memories we’d make there, making this house a home. I was constantly working on a home project but not getting any workouts in at all. Stress was high and my usual outlet was pushed out of the schedule. There just wasn’t enough hours in the day. I ended up a few pounds heavier, out of shape, and feeling off.
Anyone who’s moved knows how trying it is. Even though it was a goal I had been working toward for years, I felt overwhelmed and then guilty for feeling that way about something I’d been blessed to have. That familiar emotional spin cycle we get into…
I’m able to empathize with my patients and friends in times of transition. It’s the most common time to lose track of nutrition, exercise, and sleep. I’ll share that with them… remind them to give themselves some grace, and to get back on it as their stress calms down… but I’m less understanding with myself. Practicing what I preach is something I take pride in, but in transitions, it’s a struggle for me. I don’t typically allow myself much mercy and feel frustrated by letting myself get so far off track.
So, I started looking for a race to train for… that always helps me to get my workout routine back up. I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon, but the swimming terrified me! I’m new to cycling too, but it doesn’t scare me like the swimming does. (Well, the downhills do) 🙂 I tend to get high anxiety around water… something about it causes me to get riled up but I try to keep calm, especially in front of my daughter. A few years back, I was nervous about snorkeling wanted to experience it. As soon as I got in, my mask filled with water and I had a full blown panic attack. I think it was not being able to breathe that got it going. Immediately, I started shaking and crying and had to get out… it took me ages to settle down. Logically, I know the mask just needed to be adjusted but I couldn’t think clearly in that moment. My nerves took over and I was done. It’s been something I’ve wanted to overcome for a while…
Since then, I’ve been even more leery of the water, which ruled out triathlons. However, I’d heard about a triathlon from a few of my patients over the years… A women’s-only tri at a resort and the swim is through the resort’s lazy river. NO OPEN WATER! THREE & 1/2 FEET DEEP! I CAN STAND IF I PANIC! Now, that I could handle! I was excited and told my daughter about it, who said she wanted to do it with me. We looked up the details and discovered the race is for ages 9 & up, so she was good to go! She’s seen my training schedules on the fridge for a bunch of races over the years, so she knew we needed a plan. We found a program for beginner triathletes, discussed what we’d have to do to get ready, made the committment, and have started training. I’m proud to say that I can now swim a few laps without panicking and swallowing the pool!
It’s incredible to see her push beyond her limits. There’s something so empowering about crossing a finish line… In knowing the time and effort put into that committment were worth it at the end. This is what I hope becomes etched on my daughter’s heart… that her worth and value don’t come from anyone else but God and herself… that when everything in her says to quit, she’s capable of more… that she’s stronger than she ever knew. As life comes at her, as it will, I hope this gives her something to come back to – the knowledge that she can endure.
I wonder how different my life’s choices would have been if I had known I was capable of more. I listened to so many people’s negativity and insults and allowed that to drive my self worth into non-existence. It’s been a huge transition in my life to discover that what those people said wasn’t truth, not my truth. To find that I am worthy of love and respect and not to settle. It’s been a process to gain this knowledge, and it still doesn’t come naturally, but it does surface. It’s taken a lot of introspection, prayer, and wise friends further along in the journey to help me move forward. I can feel that it’s a new path and not the circular one I was eternally to be stuck on.
Progress… rewiring my ways of thinking that have run my whole life. It shows up in my training and certainly in dating. Dating was a rare thing for me. Typically, I met someone I was interested in and was desperate for their time and attention. Clearly what every guy wants is a clingy girl with no self-esteem. Yeah, it didn’t go so well for me. Now, I go on lots of first dates… mostly that are one and done… because I am finally able to see who is clearly not a match and move on.
My prayers about dating have changed too… Now, they sound like, “God, please bring a relationship of substance. A partner. A man who is capable of loving and accepting me in all my flaws. Please give me discernment when it comes to love.” I used to be focused on feeling lonely and even a bit jealous of the couples who had love. Now, I focus on self-growth and creating the life I want to live. I’ve learned that you train people for how you want to be treated. If I treat myself poorly, anyone around me knows to do the same. Instead, now I do my best to practice patience as I transition from my old ways of thinking to the new and improved. To give myself grace as I learn to love myself. To be a worthy example for my daughter. To see myself as God sees me. To journey through life’s transitions.