My Winter of Discomfort-By Sue Aquila
My tendency when I write my articles is to keep it positive and moving forward. This one is headed in a different direction.
I broke it. All of it. It started with the word tendency. As soon as I think of the word or move in that direction, I know I have a problem. Tendency now means question my assumptions. Often it translates into turning around and going in the other direction. As a result, my discomfort level right now is high and making most things unpleasant.
I have managed to disrupt all three sports. Disrupt? Too tame. Blow up is more like it.
Swimming: I have two swim coaches (this is worthy of a whole new blog). One is helping my freestyle swimming and the other is teaching me back, fly and breast. If you have ever taken swim lessons as an adult, you know the moment you start learning about swimming everything breaks down and requires much greater physical effort.
I have also started swimming Masters full time. My community has only one team and it has chosen not to have a coach. Please don’t get me started. Every workout is an all out hammer fest. Masters has really pushed me to blow out the roof to allow me to raise the ceiling.
Cycling: This has been my weakest of the three sports and the sport where I can most improve my ironman performance. To get better I have to get uncomfortable. Lots of high watts, high heart rates and screaming legs. All of it is focused time on my trainer and blasting in the weight room. Again, blowing out the roof to allow me to raise the ceiling.
Running: The sport I love and the sport I perform the best. Not anymore. In the process of blowing up my swimming and cycling, as expected, my running has fallen flat and in pieces. The legs are unhappy and want to make it abundantly clear that they may go on strike on any given run.
Despite the lack of flow, the discomfort, the frustration, the mental fatigue, the physical exhaustion, I am pleased. I know something I didn’t know five years ago when I started participating (back then I was truly participating) in triathlons: destroy your tendencies. Blow it all up. Especially in the winter when few are looking and even fewer are training. In the blast furnace of winter training, I am forging the weapons to unleash during race season.
What do I do now? Find comfort in my discomfort. Settle in and take a seat. The winter is long but I am installing a new ceiling. The scaffolding is set. Now the only place to go is up.