Wow. Last week I did it. On more than one front. I took the plunge.
I like to keep my options open. Sometimes I hate making choices (making commitments) as I feel like I have closed down some options. If you look at my academic, professional, and personal life, you can see the signs. When I was at university, I didn’t feel comfortable focusing on one major – so I chose two. When I decided to go to graduate school, I had already accepted entry into a specialised programme – but then I jumped ship, opting instead for a programme that would give me broad ranging skills. Professionally, I have always chosen a path that involves more general commercial acumen rather than sticking with a traditional defined path.
Call it a lack of attention span. Call it wide ranging interests. And feel free to say that I am a commitment phobe. You are probably right on all fronts.
To make a commitment and to make hard choices, sometimes it takes me a good long while. I test things out, to see if I like them. When I have an idea that I might like something, or want to do something, I let everyone know that I plan to do it. But I may not have taken the mental leap into commitment. It is more like flirting with choices, and then a period of time that is more like serial monogamy before settling into commitment with a single choice.
It has kind of been that way for me with triathlon. In 2007 I signed up for the triathlon to see if I could do it, and because my friend Bond and my husband were doing it. Flirtation began. I had fun, but after August I did not keep up with my training. In 2008, I started training late in the day, did the sprint distance triathlon again, and told my physio that for the 2009 season I had made my choice, that I would up my distance goal and commit to triathlon. But I don’t think I had mentally moved away from flirtation. When life presented me with stress and difficulty, training went by the wayside, and clearly triathlon had not become a priority for me. I was still in the perpetual summer romance category (like the guys I dated whenever I came home at summer, but once school started in the fall the romance was put on hold until the same time, next year).
But something was different this season. I trained harder, felt better for my efforts and was highly motivated by those around me (in real life and on Twitter). I did the London triathlon, and when I got home, rather than sighing and saying “Phew, thank god that’s over!” I found myself scrutinising my race in great detail, thinking about what to improve. Before I knew it I had signed up for another sprint this season (The RUSH triathlon in Rexburg Idaho on 15 August). And I set an appointment with a coach, to find the structure and guidance to really make the commitment to triathlon.
I met with Terry Collins last Wednesday, just a few days after the London triathlon. I received my first training schedule for the next year on Friday. I packed my tri kit for holiday on Saturday, including my pedals, wetsuit, cleats, helmet, and all the usual race stuff (minus the bike).
I did it. I know in my heart of hearts that I have made the commitment to TRI. I have another race on the near-term horizon, and my training schedule in nestled snugly in a plastic sleeve to be pool-safe while on holidays.
It’s a leap of faith – and of hope. And hopefully this is the start of true love, not just a summertime romance that cannot sustain itself through the winter and the tough times.
With faith, hope and in the search of love, I have finally taken the plunge… To TRI.