Own that $hit!

Perspective is everything, right?

Who you hang around – in person or virtually – determines where your “normal” is, right? If you hang around people who drink a lot, that’s normal. If you hang around people who exercise a lot, that’s normal. If you hang around people who are creative, that’s normal. If the people in your life are kinda’ jerky, that’s your normal. If you hang around people who are Ironman triathletes, that’s normal. On & on & on & on…  The idea of normal becomes very relative to where you are in your life journey. It’s also easy to forget that not everyone shares the same normal as you, or will see you as you see yourself.

Normal

Today I went to my ear doctor and figured since I was there, I should ask about ear plugs that are better than what you get at the drug store. So I mentioned that I swim 2-3x a week and do triathlons. This had not come up in previous visits. She asked me how long of a swim I was doing (since I mentioned I had one coming up & wanted to get my ear problem fixed before then). I told her the swim was just under a mile, but that I had done the Half IM swim back earlier this summer as well.

Silence & shock. More silence. The sound of silence.

Silence-header

Finally she said, “…WOW! those are real triathons!”

It’s easy to forget that most people DON’T swim regularly, don’t train for swims, or do triathlons at all. We’re a strange bunch. But it was a good reminder that even on days I don’t feel like a badass, it really is pretty cool that I can swim a mile. I wanted to jump off the table & say “Yessssss, I get it, I might not look like I can do that but I can!!” It was one of those moments where her medical degree and my triathlon experience felt equal. Sometimes there’s a big disparity between a doc & a patient…like they are so much better than you. I could almost feel the equality gel between us, nearly tangible. It almost made her more willing to help me with the ear plugs now that she knew I wasn’t just piddlin’ around in the water. I was a “real” athlete so she should give me some legit options with my ears. It didn’t make me mad or offend me, but I did notice the dynamic between us shift a bit. Very interesting. I’m guessing that as a female ENT, with a very pretty presence (hair, makeup, heels, thin, kinda’ sparkly) she has felt that exact shift once or twice herself.

I def left there feeling awesome about myself. Own that badass $shit about yourself! Anything that makes you feel powerful, strong, resilient, and a badass….own that $shit every single day!

earplugs pink

So I left with a cheap pair to try out before doing custom plugs that are almost $200. I’ll see how it works! Hopefully that will help with my ear issues. In the meantime, I’m gonna’ own it! =) Hope you do too!

training day 1

Very tired after a long training day. Doubtful & hopeful, all at the same time. 9/4/17

 

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The gift of time off and unicorns

Unicorns and time off

 

This summer I’ve had some unexpected time off. Most of my time has been focused on finding my next career path, also known as finding a “unicorn” – one with growth, good co-workers, a great balance of autonomy and collaboration, a work-life balance, benefits, a place that has a collective growth mindset, a great supervisor, supportive colleagues, people who find solutions rather than problems, solid pay, flexible schedule when needed, paid time off….ya know, a UNICORN! I’m convinced this exists somewhere and I am determined to find it.

However, it’s literally impossible to spend 12 hours a day looking for and applying for jobs. Not only is it impossible to do that, it would be completely crazy and obsessive to even try. In thinking about what my word is for 2017 – INTENTIONAL – makes me want to use this time in a way that’s productive and intentional. What IS possible during this time is to use the other hours in the day to do things that are ways to use my brain and feed my natural curiosity doing things such as…..

  • worked out a lot – extra swims, rides, runs, gym dates…no surprise there
  • took the initiative to clean up a stretch of the greenway that I’m always on
  • started a book on nature & brain science discussing the research on why it’s good to be outside, from a neurological perspecitve
  • taught my kids how to swim – woohoo =)
  • rode single track with my husband a few times, good date for us
  • cleaned the fridge – I’m not a cleaner, so that’s a big deal
  • changed battery in the remote. I mean, that’s a big deal. You should change yours.
  • wrote numerous draft & new blog posts
  • spent time with my very old dog, Tina, who won’t be with us much longer
  • reconnected with several friends I haven’t seen in a while
  • tried new recipes
  • did several art projects with the kids including painting rocks to hide on the trails
  • took a few beach/lake trips to connect with nature


I’m excited about the next chapter. I’m glad I’ve had triathlon goals during this summer to keep in front of me as a good distraction. I’ve known people who were in between jobs to fall apart and drift into a deep sadness for years that they can’t climb out of. I’m glad I’m able to treat this time off as a break to recharge & refocus on what’s important. I feel like the unicorn is at my fingertips…

unicorn from pinterest

taken from pinterest/G images

Strengths Finder – do you know yours?

strengths finder

Have you heard of “strengths finder”…?? It’s one of those personality assessments that ask you lots of questions like – on a scale from 1 to 5, rate your most/least likely agreement with the statement. I took it last year and here is what I got:

LEARNER 

MAXIMIZER

CONNECTEDNESS

RELATOR

DEVELOPER 

Have you taken that test or something similar? I think I’ve taken so many over the years that they all blend together. On many of those tests, like the Meyers-Brigg, I seem to be on the fence with my traits – a good example is the introvert/extrovert. I really straddle that fence…seem to be really comfortable in either situation, for a period of time, then I need to go to the other side of the fence. In the Enneagram I don’t seem to dominate in any of the categories, 1-9. I think I’m #10….which doesn’t really exist in their paradigm, so I created my own category: I’m a 10 on the Enneagram scale. There are others too, but that’s just a small sample of where I fit & where I don’t.

How does this relate to triathlon? 

 

Learner: There’s a HUGE learning curve in triathlon! Always something new to learn, a new goal to achieve, a new swim technique to try, a new pair of shoes or orthodics, a new swim cap, you name it. Always something new, no exaggeration.

Maximizer: (not sure this is accurate, but it’s how I use the word here) Being strategic in your form, improving skills, or being more flexible will maximize your results in any leg of the triathlon. We athletes are always looking for ways to maximize your time, energy, and increase your capacity for endurance.

Connectedness: Even though this is mostly a solo sport, there are so many connections that have come from this sport that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve made friends specifically due to this sport, found other women in this area through a familiar kit (clothing at the tri) that caught my eye and knew we were in the same tribe! I’ve found similar people through the TriMafia at Velocity Sportswear. It’s nice to find those connections and similar mindsets through this sport.

Relator: To me this means being able to intentionally build a community around a common energy. I’ve pulled a lot of people into this sport! Helping people see the greatness in overcoming obstacles and doing things that are hard is very important. Being able to relate to those feelings and encouraging others to move forward despite the discomfort is a great skill to nurture.

Developer: When triathlon becomes your thing, you are always looking to build on what you have. Developing skills, developing technique, improving form, and similar things. It’s a little like creating a really fun meal. Each part needs to compliment the other, and they all work together for a great taste.

I also think these things are just part of how I’m wired. For a long time I assumed that most people naturally have a growth mindset…….. apparently that’s not true! I can’t imagine going through life & thinking that things should always be the same. How boring would that be!?