Race Postpartum: Soul Searching on the flight home

 

I’ll admit that I’m very sad for my race performance.  I was so excited to represent my country for
the first time.  I was on a big trip
about making my coach proud, Glen proud, My sister, my Dad, My Aunt, My
cousins, My family, my friends, my team mates, and on and on.  Realizing that I blew it because I couldn’t
just pull it together for a 800 meter swim makes me a bit tearful.  I know for next year I can really focus on
this area and do so much better.  For now
I’m feeling a bit low about all of it. I’m acting like I just went trhough the
worst break up of my life.  Swet pants
inpublic, eating everything in sight, unprovoked weeping (generally pretty
pathetic ).

 

I am spending a lot of airtime really trying to decipher my
panic.  A friend asked if I had ever had
a near drowning experience or anything like that.  Truthfully I don’t know of any, but I am not
certain that there isn’t one.  All fear
is irrational, but this one is a big one for me.  I’ve been in lots of harry situations, but my
real hyperventilate panic seems only to happen in the water.  Here I am tied to Cortney who teaches swim
clinics in the ocean… if your going to tie yourself to anyone Cortney is the
girl to tie yourself,= to .  I’m at the
biggest race of the year.  Something in
my head snaps and I lose it on the swim. I seriously am at a point where I’d go
to a sports psychic to help understand this one.   I’m
also strangely afraid of roller coasters (completely besides the point).

 

Cortney was a fabulous guide.  While in the water I kept trying to remind
myself of how much I do trust her, particularly on the swim.  I tried all my little songs, and counting exercises
, and nothing worked.  So here I am on
the plane developing action plan after action plan to try to figure out how I
get over what is proving to be my competitive hurtle.

 

I have been doing some soul searching on my future as  atriathlete.
After my introduction to the stress of international travel with the
bike and everything, in combination with hotel tourism, and a poorly executed
race I admit when I got on the flight I was questioning if any of this is worth
it.  I was questioning if I shouldn’t
just stick to running.  I was
contemplating the consequences of quitting triathlon.   I’m
heartbroken right now.  I wanted so badly
to make my country proud by being the fastest in my division if not for women
over all and I did not accomplish that goal.
I was questioning if I am so heartbroken because of ego?  If that’s the case than I’ve become someone I
never wanted to be. Truthfully I feel more and more that my heartbreak is that
for the first time as a person with a disability I feel I’ve found my
people.  My team is all par athletes who
are so good at what they do.  I stand alongside
my heroes.  I want to make them
proud.  I want to feel justified in being
among them.  It’s them that I’m afraid
I’ve let down.  All the groups of persons
with disabilities I’ve ever know digressed into bitch fests about how unjust
our lives are.  I can’t see.  I can’t drive.  I can’t read print.  I know how much I miss.  I don’t want to focus on that at a center
focal point of my life.  This is the
first group of persons with disabilities I’ve ever know that never enters into botchiest
of pitying ourselves,  I look around me
at all these people and say “I can’t keep up”.
As it should be.  I love it.  I hate the word empowered, so I’ll say
normalized instead.  Knowing them helps normalize
my ability to excel within a world that isn’t built for me.  I am always at a disadvantage and I bulldoze
through because I couldn’t stand it any other way.  My team has  that same sense  of Self preservation.

 

So for my sadness, and my disappointment please know I do
not intend on throwing up my hands.  I
intend on taking a step back.  Dissecting
my training, dissecting my psyche, and rebuilding both so that next year when
we all met again in New Zeeland I’ll be positioned to make my team mates
proud.   I hope to make them as proud of
me as I am proud to stand among them.

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One thought on “Race Postpartum: Soul Searching on the flight home

  1. Patricia, I’m so very proud of you! You are an amazing woman, athlete and loyal friend. Being in water can be a frightening thing for anyone. I can not even imagine what it must be like for a person who can not see. Total trust in your guiding partner would be huge.

    Hang in there, and know you deserve to be at this level in competition. Coming in 3rd overall is a total victory as far as i’m concerned. I’m incredibly proud of you! You’ve accomplished so much more than anyone in our family ever has! You are our rock star, and are the best in my book.

    I love you very much, and couldn’t be more proud of you than I am today.

    All my love,

    Ann

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