5/9/08 Breathe, find your bearings, move on
It's happened to all of us: you seem to be going along well, you're pushing but in control,
it all feels right, and then you suddenly realize that something's off. Then, that
queazy feeling sets in as you realize that you're not only off, you're way off.
I'm not talking about orienteering, I'm talking about life. Anybody who's bothered to
read my training log or check here and find nothing knows that I've obviously had my
mind on other things lately. When it was just extra hours at work, I didn't think much of
it. I was still getting in some training, still spending some time with my family, still
making some progress on Carol's Song.
What I wasn't doing much of was sleeping (something I'm usually pretty careful about).
Then the wheels came off. Remarkably, I was still physically healthy (albeit a bit heavier
than I'd like), but mentally, I went to pieces. The result was nothing dramatic like a drug
overdose or nervous breakdown. Rather, it was just that slow, sickening realization that
not only was my current direction wrong, but I was much further off course than I wanted
I decided the only way to get things back under control was to radically simplify my life
for a while. Work and family weren't optional, so I jettisoned just about everything else.
Two months later, I think I've got myself reset. I'm still working overtime, but not nearly
as much as I was. I've taken a vacation to see my parents and go camping with YaYa
(giving Kate a break of a few days from caretaking).
My sister, Anne, certainly noticed the change. After a truly dreadful run at Middle
Distance Nationals, she was shocked (and relieved) to hear me say, "It's just a race, let's
go hiking." Indeed, the day at Letchworth was a very
happy one only because I let it be.
I'm not going to immediately start pushing towards national-level competition again. In
fact, it may well be that my days on the Blue course are done for good. However, I think
I've got myself back to where a reasonable training schedule can be added to my life
without throwing everything back into turmoil.
This blog is a little harder to justify. It's time consuming and without the ongoing
experience at the elite level, I feel something of a fraud. The crucible of
competition is the difference between a grounded position and a "thought
experiment." Either might be wrong, but at least in the former case, you've made some attempt to
validate your position. I could, of course, remove the
tuition and just make it a sort of diary, but I don't know how long I'd stay interested in
that. Besides, I already put a fair bit of personal information in my log on Attackpoint, so
it would be a bit redundant to bring that focus to Carol's Team.
Therefore, I'm going to refocus this blog on the development of Carol's Song. I realize
that this probably alienates the bulk of my readers, but getting regular posts on the
development out in the public domain might help keep me moving on that front.
Completing the program is a promise I made both to Carol and to those who have
supported this site, and not one I care to break. For those who like to read what I have to
say about training and racing, I should be getting back to regular posts on Attackpoint.
My sincere thanks to all those who have supported me, both in competition and in
raising ALS awareness.