In May 2012 I finished last in my first sprint distance triathlon and I felt like a million bucks. I’m the very serious, nose ring wearing human in the middle, bracketed by my sister and my life partner.
The year before I had done a give-it-a-tri and felt that it wasn’t challenging me enough so I trained hard and was very happy to complete the longer race. I had met my goals 2 years in a row! Wahoo!
I took a week off to recover that turned into a 3 month slump. I just couldn’t get back on the horse. What had seemed so acheivable now felt impossible. I just couldn’t seem to tweak my schedule to get to the Y. I thought changing the focus of my workouts to lifting heavy things would provide me the new challenge I needed. I had a few trips to the gym in August, maybe 6 times in September then a couple trips in October and I haven’t been back.
It’s been a year and my mental health is shored up by walking (and tracking it) to and from work, walking the dogs and yoga. Note the lack of cardio and strength training there. It’s strange to have had such great momentum and to have just as spectacularly stalled. It’s embarrassing. In the past my friends would check in on my workouts, encourage me, flatter me and I felt pretty awesome but now I have, as the oatmeal calls it, sucumbed to “the blerch”. His post about running long distances is pretty amazing and hilarious but what is more poignant is his reveal of how it feels to battle with that nagging self-doubt.
I got a new to me bike and I think fall riding may be just the thing to get me back on the horse, saddle sores and all. So look for a fat and nearly forty feminist riding near you!
Natalie is a 39 year old feminist who likes swimming best, then cycling and has to run (as it’s at the end of the triathlon). She grapples with Major Depressive Disorder using her rapier wit and amazing support from friends while looking to overthrow the patriarchy.
3 thoughts on “Getting back on the horse, of course! (Guest post)”
Great for you Nat! Horses are hard to get on, but worth the work.
Exciting! I’m planning on a sprint distance in the spring, Olympic in the late summer or fall 2014, and the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon (it’s a smidge more in distance than Give-It-a-Tri and loads of fun). Let’s plan together for at least a couple of these. It’s so much more fun to have company on race day.
Thanks for sharing– we all know exactly how this feels. I can say from personal experience that biking is a great gateway into more vigorous activity. Good luck with it, and keep us posted.
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