Sunday, 30 May 2010

The more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in battle

Quote by unknown. I am not sure how true it is, but I am trying to live by it at the moment. The training has been good. It has taught me a lot this week. Biggest week so far and hoping to have an even bigger next week, before we head off to Astros for a half Iron distance race. It's the first ever event of its kind in Greece and if it is anything like all the other races these guys organise it will be awesome!

Since coming back to tri and especially as my return and recovery was a long time coming, yet sudden, I have found a new respect for my body and a new pleasure in training, and of course racing. I get giddy with excitement, thinking about lining up on the start line and even now, 3 months away from my main event, I get butterflies in my tummy every time I think about it!

I have been looking at sport quotes and, gosh there are a lot out there! I read somewhere that sport is human life in microcosm. Sure. Sport can teach us a lot about life. But, with all due respect, there are some major differences. The biggest one, the biggest antithesis I have felt between sport and life, is that in life you can very rarely be ready!

In sport we have the luxury of preparation. We have a fairly good idea of what to expect, and even with the unexpected we can have a plan of how to react. Life is not like that. I have learned that the hard way - but I have also heard it from people around me - I know it's true! There are certain things in life you can never be totally prepared for.

When my dad was told his cancer had metastasised and we were told there was no cure, I reacted like an athlete. I started preparing. On a daily basis I thought about it, I cried myself to sleep over it, I slept and I woke with the thought that I was losing my father. I was devastated. I was preparing for the loss, thinking that the more crying I did, the more I lived with it, the more prepared I would be when the day came.

Other people around me reacted differently, but I have been an athlete most of my life and that was the way I was dealing with it. And so the time came. I lost my dad and I was hit hard - harder than I expected, harder than I could ever have imagined. My preparation was nothing, for I was not even sure what I was preparing for - the loss, the pain... it was all so new and so... unexpected, despite the fact that I had known for the best part of a year.

But it's not just death. I hear that the same goes for children, you think you are prepared and when the bundle of joy arrives it totally knocks you off your feet!

Life can kick our asses in many ways. The key in life is not in preparation or anticipation, but in response. And back to sport, where both preparation and response have a rightful place. This week I feel I put the time, the miles and the quantity in. I swam well, rode hard, ran long and boy did I sweat! So... this week I sweated in practice, but will I bleed less in battle?
I know race day will be hard, but I also know I need to be prepared. Maybe it is not so much that we hurt less, maybe it's just that we get used to hurting...

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