Good Luck Exploring the Infinite Abyss

These are the adventures of my life

Monday, June 17, 2013

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

   Well it has been quite a while since I've had activity here on my blog. A lot has happened, some good, some not so good, but in the end every moment has been a gift.

  December 1st, I missed the last step going down stairs in my house and broke my foot. I was scheduled to take a trip to California the next day for an intensive swim block with Tower 26. Needless to say, I had to set this plan back for a long while.
   At first I was in a cast for 3 weeks to begin and believed I would be back working out by mid January. The day after Christmas I had a check up and my bone was not fusing but shifting apart. I went into surgery two days later. This was the not so good part. I accepted the outcome and just had to deal with it and take it day by day.  There were many many tears.

  About 7 weeks after the initial injury I hit a pretty low spot. Take away all physical activity from a professional athlete and put them in gloomy cold wet Ohio winter, and this is pretty much expected.   I had to get myself together. I was sad, miserable, and there were so many unanswered questions about the future. I worried everyday, all day.

   I decided to escape and visit some friends in Florida. First stop was Tampa where I got an attitude lift from a great friend who put some fun into having an injury. This beautiful bedazzled cast gave the situation a little light. I started to relax and realize that things could always be worst and to make the best of each day. My body was recovering and I needed to take care of it first and foremost.
  Then I traveled to West Palm where I took some much needed time alone. I began reading books on personal transformation and meditating. There was purpose behind all of this happening in my life. To be honest at the time of the accident my life was on fast forward. Unfortunately, it took a fall and broken bones to open my eyes to a different way of living my life. I did a lot of soul searching and found that I could not control a lot in my life but I can control my behavior. I didn't need to know the answers or what the future was going to bring. I needed to learn to stay present, patient, grateful for every moment and accept what is, especially accept myself.
   So I started doing things, getting active again. I began physical therapy 3.5 months after my fall. I knew it was going to be a long road back to peak fitness, but I was willing to take the journey. I also got involved in community activities as well. I was seeking a life with more balance and passion. We adopted a new dog, I joined a large city chorus, I was having fun.
 Eventually I was able to take that trip to California to join the Tower 26 swim training for a few weeks in April. I wasn't running yet, but I got to work on the things that needed work. It's hard for anyone to want to focus on their weakness and not our strengths. Our egos don't want us to. But I am thankful to have been given the time and resources to do so. I also picked my cycling back up, started gaining fitness, and made some lovely new friends in the process. It was great to be around other athletes to get me going again.

When I returned to Ohio we had finally sold our home after almost a year and a half. I was just getting back into a routine and now throw a hitch into that by having less than two weeks to get out. I knew I could manage it all plus my other commitments if I just stayed present. The chorus I joined was called Harmony Project. A community service based city choir that focused on bettering the Greater Columbus area. I chose to plant trees this year for Arbor Day. I love nature.

Then came moving day. It had been a long, exhausting, and hectic week. But we did it. As soon as we signed the papers, we left for a family wedding in Louisville, moving truck and all. We had the weekend to decompress a little, but as Sunday rolled around Rob began his 3 days trip across country to our new home in Whitefish, Montana.

I, on the other hand, still had commitments with the Harmony Project the following week back in Columbus. Our big performance we practiced all winter for. This group became such an important part of this jounrney for me because every moment was uplifting and inspiring. I found parts of me that were missing by joining and giving back. Although Rob was gone I still had my parents and a lovely crew of friends that came to support me and the Harmony Project. I appreciate them all for taking the time for a little Peace, Love, and Harmony.

   The following day Oliver and I left at 6 am for a 3 day trek across the northern United States. It was a long haul for me alone and him cramped in the back seat. But we actually had a smooth and flawless drive. We saw lots and lots of cattle. After Minneapolis, that's about it until you hit Glacier National Park....ranches.

   We've now been in Whitefish, Montana for a month. We are all settled in and adjusting wonderfully. Our place is perfect for us and even comes with a lake.  We have found great new terrain for my training and have met a lot of very active people in our community.

  Last week I jumped into my first race of the year, the Montana State 40K Time Trial. Although my running is a slow process, my cycling fitness has been coming along and I wanted to test myself and see where I was progressing. I placed 1st  in my division and 2nd place overall in the state, missing 1st place by only 40 seconds. I had a ton of fun, got the competitive drive going again, and proved a lot to myself about staying patient and present. It was a great feeling. The socks on the left were my big prize for the day! Its not much, but it wasn't about the prize it was about getting out there and going hard.
  I am now back in California for 10 days to get a strong block of swimming in again. The open water swims are going to be eye opening and really good for me at the same time.

  So this is me over the past 6 months. It has been hard, different, and transformational. I am in an amazing spot with my life right now, more confident and happy with me overall. I am not sure when my next triathlon race will be.  I want to be fit to race, not just race to finish. It will all come in time and I am patiently making progress everyday.

1 comment:

  1. Great update Erin, thanks for taking the time to write it. I am sorry to hear about your accident but celebrate with you the process you went through to have a very different perspective on life and competing. We never want these things to happen but I love when we can make them mean something..and hey now you are only two states away so if you ever find yourself in Southern Washington (Pacific NW area) let me know. I'd love to ride with you!