Life after a Half: Free falling, feeding my soul, and finding my give-a-damn.

Life after 70.3I feel oddly free.

Last week was the first time in all of 2014 I haven’t been told what to do by a coach. No ‘here’s what’s gotta be done to survive’ workout. No a**-busting ‘this sucks!’ intervals. No back-to-back, leg numbing ‘why am I doing this again?’ bricks on the schedule.

Truth be told, I was curious if my motivation would stick around post-70.3. But knowing me, I knew it would go one of two ways. Either 1) I’d sit on the couch and feast on vodka tonics + Cheetos… or 2) I’d somehow manage to keep my sh*t on the rails and my a** in the game.

Not surprisingly, I’ve fallen somewhere in-between.

For starters, I’ve taken more days off in the last few weeks than I have all year. When I do hit the gym, it’s for 60 minutes [max] and then it’s, “Sayonara + so long + I’ll be seeing ya.” I’ve started strength training again, (which feels strangely strengthening), and I’ve given up late night snacking (bloody hell) in hopes of shedding a few, “where did these come from?” pounds I packed on along the way.

Since finishing my first half-Ironman, things have been mostly status quo. But there is one thing I didn’t anticipate…

… I woke up early last week and felt empty.

Empty in like, ‘I can’t find my give-a-damn’ + ‘Don’t give-a-damn if I ever do’.

Note: For a type A, borderline anal, highly structured personality, running your life without a give a damn to tether you to sanity (or reality!) is a frightening place to be.

That’s why, after a tether-less week of bleh, I made the executive decision to road trip to my parent’s house. Here’s why:

1)      My Mom makes the meanest mac + cheese this side of Memphis.

2)      No one [there] gives a crap about what I’m doing. (Or better yet, what I’m NOT DOING.)

3)      I had a beef to settle with my Dad.

4)      I craved a neutral space to transition from ‘Holy f* my hair is on fire’ back to ‘This is my life as I know it’.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. When you spend the better part of a year chasing an all-consuming goal, everything that even threatens to get in your way gets shoved to the side. (Your marriage. Your to-do list. Your friends. Your clients. Your spirituality. Honestly… your connection with anything bigger than your damn self. ) Then, after 10-months of stacking sh*t on the proverbial shelf, you finally cross your life-changing finish line. Immediately following, (and without warning), you begin the free fall from your ‘you can’t buy this’ high. Once you’re back on the ground, you take a good look around and survey the damage. That’s when it hits you:  1) Sh*t, my life is a mess and 2) When do we go again? 

So, that’s what I spent most of last week doing… surveying the damage + finding healthy ways to feed my depleted, starving soul.

It started with a quick stop along I-80 to jam with one of my Sole Sisters. (Meet Brenda – this gal will kick you in the chicklets if you give her any sh*t about why you can’t do something.) We decided to start a new group for women who are allergic to excuses – you in?

brenda and brookI also came full circle by swimming, (as an adult!), at my hometown YMCA. The instructors responsible for teaching me to save my own ass at the ripe age of 5 would pass out if they knew I’d made the leap from tadpole to triathlete this year. (No one saw it coming.)

ymca(This is the type of picture that could be used as blackmail should I ever run for office.)

I also saw a few close friends + had dinner out too many times to count. (Listen, I’m proud of where I’m from. But for the love of all things holy this salad can’t possibly do anything for you.)

salad

Anyhoo… after my 4 Day Feed Thy Soul Tour, I got back in the car and made the 8 hour trek back to Denver.

nebraska landscape(This picture reminds me of this Tim McGraw song.)

 Here are my lessons:

  1. Wherever you go, there you are. You can run from almost anything in your life – the one thing you can’t run from is yourself.
  2. You can run on empty. You can run on fumes. You can run on fumes of fumes. But one day, when you least expect it, you will pay the piper.
  3. Always be asking, “Is this worth trading my life for?” Because when you agree to chase a colossal goal that’s exactly what you’re doing – trading your time, money, energy and life for a finish line.

For me… no matter how much this all costs, it’s still worth it.

ONWARD!

Brook

P.S. You know… for the last two years, all of my goals have focused solely on me. Next year, I think I’ll swing a little broader. So stand by, ‘cause my FEED THY SOLE world-tour just might roll through a town near you. 

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