Well, this is embarrassing. I wrote my #MicroblogMondays post and two days later was being coached to the realization that maybe my body doesn’t need to be pushed right now.
Here’s what happened. I did a training ride up Mt. Evans from Echo Lake on Tuesday morning and made it 7.5 miles. Go me! Then I saw Dr. M that afternoon, went to my usual yoga class and felt really tight. I woke up Wednesday morning with my back tight from my neck to my hips. The whole thing was jacked up and I had to swim that morning. So, I dragged myself to swim and attempted to do something. My back hurt the whole time, I couldn’t really do anything and after a frustrating 400 m, I gave up.
When I saw SG later that afternoon, I was pretty fucking deep into frustration. He asked some questions, fairly typical small talk and I started snapping for no reason. It took the entire appointment for my back to release. During this appointment, an observation was presented to me that I know I’ve heard (and rejected) before. Maybe this isn’t what you need right now. Your body is holding onto old patterns, and since depression is associated with a rounded shoulder, hunched position, cycling may not be helping. You may need a break from the bike.
Pretty sure this type of conversation happened last season when I was training for a century ride. The difference now vs. then is I finally stopped resisting and have started listening. So, with reflection over the last several days, I’m coming to terms with how I’ve been approaching this season’s training.
I’m having major body-image issues and signing up for really hard events hasn’t been for the “challenge” necessarily, it’s been to beat my body into submission. I’m beating myself up because of my weight, not having fun and feeling stressed about my training schedule. I’m the only one of my group of cyclists friends to sign up for the Mt. Evans Climb and the woman who suggested I get into the triathlon is training for the Half-Ironman. We can’t train together because hers is so much more intense than mine. Then there’s the whole, kids/work/fuckwhenamIgoingtodothis problem. From here until mid-August, ALL of my training is solo. I’ve done solo training before (trained for my first century by myself with some rides w/ S), but I’m over that. I’d rather have people to help me with accountability and I could’ve done that by finding a tri-club, but I didn’t. I could’ve joined Team Evergreen and trained for the hill climb with them. I didn’t seek the support I needed.
It’s like I’m addicted to punishing myself. SG sees it, and it’s why he brought it up. I said I’ve surrendered, and much of that means taking what SG observes to heart, really listening to him instead of finding all the reasons why he’s wrong or flat out ignoring him.
I’m transferring my triathlon registration to someone who wants a spot, and I don’t know what I’m going to do about the hill climb. I can show up, ride part of it and call it good. Or, I can eat the registration fees, but at least I got a jersey?
From here, I guess I need to fundamentally change how I work out. I’ll take the break from the bike to heart (S’s reaction was to say, hey, we just got you a new bike! He doesn’t get it, he isn’t someone who struggles with depression and he actually finds joy in riding where I maybe reach “eh, that was good”) and try to find something else to do that is gentler and NOT competitive.
It’s difficult for me not to be competitive, it’s all I know. I was competitive as a dancer, I was competitive when I was a Jazzercise instructor (mostly beating myself up for not having classes as large as some of the other instructors), I was competitive when I was at the gym (that is set up to be competitive) and now I’m being competitive on the bike and signing up for events I don’t even want to do.
I told SG it’s my year to quit. I feel like a quitter, something that I pride myself on not being. So, then, this is also part of the issue. Coming to terms with the fact that this isn’t quitting, it’s realizing that I need something different, that my body is talking to me and has been for a long time. This time, I can’t go from one hard core routine to another like I have been. I need to find something else. I’ll start at Yoga and Pilates then go from there…