For those new readers, and for those that have been reading but somehow missed it, I have been out of work since January. While this has allowed me a lot of freedom to train, it has done a lot of damage mentally and psychologically, and my stress, especially at night when the brain starts thinking, is through the roof to the point where my sleep suffers. I worry about bills, and how to keep paying them (and, in fact, if I even should). I worry about my house and will I end up losing it unless something comes up soon. It makes you re-think the logic of obtaining the education I have, since it seems to work more against me than for me at the moment (if I hear the term "over qualified" one more time I may go postal. I question the loyalty of those I worked for, with, and managed, especially those that know the story at Moffitt and how I was targeted and removed by some very questionable sources. Not ONE of the staff I had under me there have emailed or texted or called to see how I was doing. In contrast I have several emails and calls from staff I had at Healthy Start, where I have not worked for almost four years now, asking me how I was and if they could help. It's a stark contrast, and speaks volumes about the character of the people at both organizations.
Anyway, at times it is hard to maintain focus when the stress and self doubt creep in. That's when having support at home and from friends comes most handy. I don't have much of the former, but my training partners and team mates keep me on track, make me work out when all I want to do is eat. I forced myself last night to go swim when I did not feel like it at all, and it was a good decision since I ended up having a great workout, and felt 100% better afterwards. It's the best thing I have found through the triathlon experience; everyone has been supportive. Even people I have never met but follow this blog are supportive. The people at The Ironman Store with their advice offered willingly (even when they saw us training in the pool at LA Fitness). When I was embarrassed about falling ill before St. Anthony's not one person looked down at me. As Hunter from Ironman said "Hell, John, even Wellington had to drop from Kona because she got sick".
So, the sad, down face is changed to a happy smiling one, most of the time. My nights are still hard, I still don't sleep, and I have to be pushed to run, bike, or swim at times, but I know that if I go I will feel better afterwards. The picture below shows that feeling. It's me crossing the finish line at Fort DeSoto. I was the LAST finisher, number 949 of 1106. The swim panicked me, the bike was hard, and the run was killing me .... but I finished, and the smile shows how it felt.
So THANK YOU to everyone who has been there for me during the last year.