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What happened? 6 months of soul searching...

October 14, 2019

My last blog post was posted on 14th March. I was 2 training camps down, with 1 to go. I was enjoying the winter sunshine in Spain. I was in the best shape of my life, excited about the season ahead.

So what happened?

With one race outing all summer. The Helvellyn Triathlon; bonkers event, highly recommend it. If the thought of a run up, around and down Helvellyn with compass, map, mountain foil survival blanket in a backpack doesn't put you off. Don't worry, I only utilised the Jaffa cakes and Kendal mint cake from the contents of my backpack on the 'run' leg.

 

But what about the others?

I had race plans for: 

- IM 70.3 Marbella

- European Duathlon Championships

- IM 70.3 Staffordshire

- European 70.3 Championships, Romania

Then, I would seek adventures around Europe for the rest of the summer, racing in lycra where ever sounded exciting and preferably hilly.

I had been given the nod by GB Triathlon to race for the elite team in The European Duathlon and middle distance Triathlon Championships after last seasons 7th place at the Europeans in Ibiza.

This was it, the culmination of years and years of hard work. I was starting to realise my dreams.

And then

It all went up in a puff of smoke.

Before we get out the violin and tissues to serenade and wipe those tears. 

Let me assure you. I am now sat, on the sofa, 6 months down the line, knowing that although several sentences previous I wrote "I was starting to realise my dreams." I wasn't. Those were not my dreams. They were not my Dreams with a capital D. Maybe they had been dreams with a little d, at some point. But not Dreams with a big D. 

And what are Dreams with a capital D?

These are dreams, that come from my heart, my real truth. The honest, real truthful dreams. These are felt, not thought.

Yes, it has taken me 6 months to realise this. Yes, I have always been a slow learner. I was that person who took 4 years, to complete a 3 year degree, as I got side tracked in America for a year. I was that person, who "pop's home to see the parents" while living in London. London to Bristol, a simple 90 minutes on the train. It took me 2 days to cycle, because; I liked riding my bike and I could visit my friend Kat in Oxford on (off) route. You see, I have history. Of taking the slower, winding route.

That is another reason, this blog post (post #102) has been written 213 days after post #101. 

To realise, racing triathlon. Wasn't my dream career. Took me, 6 months of soul searching. But I got there. And man, it feels good.

So get the trumpets and bongo's out instead. This is a time for celebration.

Let's rewind.

The last blog post ended with 

 I hope to make 2019 a great season. 

It was all going so well.

 Life was good in Spain, Alice and myself mastered aerochat!

 

The third camp, never got written about. Because I was in a pit of misery and pain. I was actually in my pretty comfy bed, rather than a pit. But you get the gist.

A week after the third camp, where things had gone well. I was unable to move without pain in my right hip flexor. Had I torn my labrum? 

It didn't make sense. Sure I had felt a bit of tightness in my hip flexor, but nothing painful. Just tight. How could I go from running 2 hours one Sunday. Then a week later, being unable to run down my road (it only has 4 house on either side. not exactly a long road!). 

It will be fine, with some rest and physio I thought.

Reading the above sentence, makes me laugh now.

How wrong, I was.

Physically. My hip did heal (It wasn't torn, it needed some rest and some strengthening. A big thank you to Colin at Sudden Movements in Leeds) and I was back running in late May, early June. 

I will have a later season I thought. Race July-November. No problem.

I would get back into training for a week and then spend several days struggling to get out of bed, and once out, then slump onto the sofa. My mojo and motivation just wasn't there. What's wrong with me. I would wonder. Physically I was healed. That I realised, was just one part of the jigsaw that is "Happy Human".

I couldn't understand how I had gone from being super motivated all winter, training hard, getting up early with no issues and then, BAM, it was like a light switch had been flicked. For years I had set goals, trained, raced and inched closer to my 'dreams'. But now. It was different.

And that brings us back to the past 6 months of soul searching, that I referred to, earlier in this blog post.

I know, this post, is very winding, like a tangled piece of string, I keep referring back and forth. Keep that train of thought in a straight, neat line Suz.

I wish I could, but I am not a neat, straight line sort of thinker.

I have discovered this and many more nuggets of wisdom with the help of Collette. When I was into week 3 or 4 of lying on the sofa with pain in my hip and my happiness levels falling in line with my dwindling beer supply. I realised, I needed a helping hand. I was stuck, with a capital S. Yes, we are back to little letters and capitals again. This was definitely a capital S, Stuck moment.

I had known Collette for a few years. Initially walking into her yoga classes in Leeds with tight hamstrings and praying for handstand practice. Now we converse about; What is truth? Awakening the heart, living with purpose, meditation, pranayama and stillness to name just a few. You could say our conversations have slightly developed over the years. 

"Teach me how to handstand"

"Teach me how to be still"

"Teach me how to listen to my heart"

I know, I must be a pretty easy student to teach!

So it is with thanks to Collette and her patient mentoring over the last 6 months that I am sat on the sofa in a far happier, relaxed and healthier state of mind than I was in April.

 I finally found the right Buddha to put by the fire place.

 

And that my friends is how my summer evolved into a melee of spontaneous adventures rather than ticking off races on my race plan. I cycled from Leeds to Devon to stay in the wonderful Gaia House meditation centre, for a 2 week silent meditation retreat. I ran a workshop at Twickenham rugby stadium, as part of the Women in Sport conference. Sharing my experiences of meditation as an athlete. Letting 60 people to sit in silence while i sat crossed legged on the floor at the front. This almost gave me a heart attack from the fear and vulnerability. And lately I have returned from several weeks in North West Scotland. Where I island hopped around the Outer Hebdrides on my bike with my tent and then worked in a Skye backpackers hostel, in exchange for a bed and the afternoons to explore the Skye mountains. 

 

I wrote this blog post, to answer the questions "Are you back racing?" "Are you fit and healthy?"

and as a THANK YOU to everyone who has been in touch over the last 6 months, to ask if i am OK.

I know, it answers neither of those questions.

I told you I am not a straight line, sort of person.

Who knows, what tomorrow holds, or next week, or next month. For now, I am pausing, listening to my heart and following my truth. Truth with a capital T.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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