Last Sunday I raced the Barrelman Half Iron Distance Triathlon at Niagara Falls. It was my first Half Ironman distance race and also the last race for my 2018 season. The conditions were challenging as it was a VERY hot and humid day. While I was hoping for a better finishing time, I was pleased and proud to just being able to complete the course and feeling strong.
By all accounts, 2018 was a fulfilling season. This was my second season working with my coach, and I have gotten to the place where I know if I do my work and get myself to the start line, I can trust her to get me to the finish line. I was very pleased with my performances in all my races this season, and having completed my first Half Ironman, I am officially at the halfway point in my two year journey of competing in my first Ironman next August.
Long distance triathlon training is a lot like putting together a 1,000 pieces jigsaw puzzle. There are so many pieces involved: swim workouts, training rides, run workouts, strength training sessions, proper nutrition, resting when you are supposed to rest, pushing when you are supposed to push, and at just the right intensity, and so on. Every workout, every session, every piece has to fall into place in order for one to be successful. Often I find myself working hard in a training session, and not sure how it all fits into the big picture. It is during those moments that I have to learn to trust in the process that is put before me, and believing that there is a place and a reason for each piece of the puzzle.
I find that living towards mental wellness is a similar journey. It is not about the goal of “overcoming depression” or “getting off medication” or “being healed from mental illness”. Rather, it is about learning to trust: Trusting the process, trusting the journey, believing that each piece has its place: getting proper rest, being passionate about what you do, having a sense of purpose, embracing community, living authentically, etc. I am looking forward to seeing what the next lesson is along this journey, just as I continue to put the pieces in place towards the goal of being an ironman next year 🙂