Sunday, January 28, 2007

Community of Ones

It's Sunday night. More than that, it is Sunday night after the first full week back to volume triathlon training. Whiskey and chocolates for everyone. Tonight it is McCallan 15 year single malt.
If you look here at the training log, you'll see that I managed about 14.5 hours of training including 4 sessions at the pool for 6900 meters of swimming, my weakest discipline. The best news is not the volume, which would be nothing special to athletes who are stronger and faster than I am. The best news is that (at least for now) my injured neck feels as close to normal has it has felt since mid-October.
What a joy to be tired--tired and healthy from playing hard, not the exhaustion of two months ago when I could only sleep three and a half hours between doses of vicodin.
Of course, the first week back with volume training was not easy. It was hard. Sometimes a good hard, and sometimes a "why am I doing this" kind of hard.
I had one of those moments Saturday morning--the first brick workout of the season. The monotonous trainer ride gave way to 30 minutes of running on wobbly legs in the rain. Chilled to the bone and staring that 1000 yard stare into the steel grey downpour through which I was running, I started wondering what brings me out in the rain when everyone else in the neighborhood was still asleep. What brings me out here alone?
Wait a minute. I'm not alone.
Right as I was slogging through the rain, I knew that all over this country there are other people who shunned the habits of their neighbors. They were out early, in the wet, in the cold, in the snow, in the ice, on the trainers, at the pool . . . ironman finishers, ironman wannabees, newbie sprinters, and masters oly champs, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, kids . . .
We all train when it is hard. We all look in the mirror and refuse to be limited by the way things are. We see what might be. We all are unique among our communities, but we are never, never alone.
I am one, and not even a special one. But I am part of a thrilling community of ones. If our neighbors think of us as a Confederacy of Dunces, I'd rather be the least of the dunces than be thought a genius amongs my "normal" neighbors.
Whiskey and chocolates aren't nearly as sweet for the neighborhood of "normal" folks.

12 comments:

21st Century Mom said...

You so deserve the whiskey and chocolate because some of us aren't really stepping up all that well - yet. Thanks for the reminder, the rationale and the inspiration.

TriJack said...

I'm proud to be one of your dunces! Great post...

TxSkatemom said...

"but we are never, never alone."

I'll definitely remember this the next time I'm out at 5:00 am and all the houses in the neighborhood are still dark. Great post.

Taconite Boy said...

I also am enjoying the hours of training fun with you! By the way. I am for sure bringing my bottle of 19 year Maclellan for Wildflower. Saturday nights sunset, good cigars, Tacboy and Greyhound...sounds good.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

yaaay neck!

and yeah, it does sometimes feel hard right now. what's up with that?!

Shelley said...

AMEN!!

Iron Pol said...

Congratulations on the training. Not on the 6900 yards swimming. Not on the insane amount of time on the bike.

Congratulations on somehow squeezing 14 hours out of your schedule to train. That's monstrous discipline. I'm still working on finding the 10 hours I should be able to eek out.

It will pay huge dividends in September.

IM Able said...

A community of ones. I really like that idea. I'm always hoping that the innumerable kids on our block will catch sight of me heading out (or back) from my runs. I don't mind if I'm that crazy lady with not kids in the blue shuttered house...I just want them to see that it's something to do that's fun, even in the rain.

So, I promise that tomorrow when I head out for my AM speed/drill session at the pool, I'll be thinking of all ya'll...the community of ones.

Brent Buckner said...

"Whiskey and chocolates aren't nearly as sweet for the neighborhood of 'normal' folks."

Not sure if that's true. Can only say that whiskey and chocolates are sweeter for me against a background of training than otherwise.

Hope healing proceeds.

Laurie said...

You definitely deserve whiskey and chocolates.

I like the concept of a community of ones. I will definitely think about that next time I want to quit early. Thanks for the inspiration.

JohnnyTri said...

Dang thats great scotch! as for the Chocolates, any time!!

Hey is that Houston Swim Club in your pool swimming picture, "sucking in seattle"?

Triteacher said...

You said it!