Click Click Boom

I haven’t seemed to find my focus these last few months… in fact, probably since Viva Bike Vegas. My head hasn’t been in the game for a while. Distracted with emotion, stress and chaos has veered my energies elsewhere. Unfortunately, it veered off into a place where I had no control. I know better than to worry about things that are not within my control… but I did. And it played it’s dirty little games with me.

Serenity Prayer

About a month ago, I went “back to basics”. I’m re-learning how to run. I’m riding and running garminless. I’ve put the fun back into my workouts. Maybe this kind of attitude doesn’t work for everyone but it allowed me to take a step back and evaluate my performance, get to know – really get to know and appreciate – the fellow athletes who have kindly taken me under their wings. This is my off season and I felt I should take the time to thank those who supported me, emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually and I loved every minute of it and every one of them. I smile when I run. I sing when I ride. I still freak out a bit when I swim. Eh… what’d you expect?

But the entire time I was feeling really good about myself, there were a couple of people who just couldn’t get what I was doing. The words “lazy” and “selfish” echoed with no end on a daily basis over these last few months. Sadly, I am still human. When someone is told they are something routinely (whether positive or negative) every day, they tend to believe that they are (positive or negative) eventually. So, I began to believe it. I am still struggling with that.

Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.

I’ve said many times over and over again to my close friends, confidants, team mates, coaches, and in this blog that being mentally strong is critical to participating in these endurance events. I have learned that my body can now do ANYTHING I prepare it to do. However, my head can quickly – without notice – put an end to all that hard work and physical capabilities with one simple little whisper.

YOU CAN’T

So when my doubting attitude starts to befriend those who call me lazy, selfish, childish, immature, not dedicated enough, not athletic enough, a spotlight hogger, etc… the dark side rises. It seems to be a never ending battle of wits but with a double edged sword.

The challenge is an enigma. I do well, I get criticized by some and praised by others. I do poorly, I get criticized by some and encouraged by others.  So, when I do an event and figure out that it doesn’t really matter if I do well or bad, I just do it to keep some sanity in my life, I still get criticized by some and then, surprisingly…  silence from the others.

I will likely step down after this season as my son will be leaving for college and my focus will be directed elsewhere once again. I made a promise. I will not stop. However, I am going to take it easy for a little bit now and stay right where I am… And where am I exactly you ask? I’m at the first line of Sissy’s Tree picture… just where she wanted me. I understand so much better now than I did a year ago, two years ago. I have found happiness and healing. I have done all that the tree picture said to do. I savored each instruction and lived it well. I strayed from it for a short while but now I’m back.

Life in not a race but indeed a journey

Tomorrow I’m running the McAllen Marathon for fun at an easy pace with some really good supportive friends that I’ve made along the way.  Originally, I was hoping to avenge myself after last years marathon disaster but after stepping back and thinking about things with a clearer head and peaceful heart, I’m gonna do the half with a fun playlist and smile the whole way through. So take that!!

I’ll close with an excerpt from my Momma’s diary in hopes that I not only fulfill her dreams of doing everything possible to help those touched with cancer but also what she hoped for her family – my family.

Statistically, I will be dead within 2 or 3 years. I have asked the Lord and His mother, the Virgin Mary, to give me a  couple of years more so I can see Michael graduate from high school. That would make me so happy. …. I ask the Lord to give me patience and I still continue to pray for his intercession. I hope and pray that I have the strength to get through this.” — Mimi Cardenas

 

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