I have never been fast in transition. In races, I inevitably get a helmet strap confused…and then there’s the sock / orthotic thing…and I definitely do not fly yet while mounting or dismounting. But this week I was induced to think about speed in the rest of my transitions.
I, in general, have a hard time getting to work on time. I’m not grossly late, by half an hour or even 15 minutes. But I am chronically two or three or five minutes late. Thursday I was eight minutes late, and finally that merited a mention by my managers. They are a good bunch. They said things as nicely as anyone possibly could. But the fact remains that we’re expected to be at work at 8am; same time each day; no guesswork. While my initial reaction was that it’s not THAT big a deal because I do a good job and put in extra hours…but the point is that they have consistent expectations for everyone. And really, if I can always get to work by 8:05, it really shouldn’t be rocket science to get there at 7:55.
So why is it so hard for me?
Because I hesitate. I know what needs to happen in the morning: up, brush teeth, check email, workout, shower, eat, drive to work. But in moving from one step to another, I balk. In trying to mentally prepare myself, I slow down. Some of that is good; it’s a pendulum swing from years spent barreling ahead without thinking…or ignoring the internal twinges that would tell me to adjust my course.
But to live this life, I have to move. I have to realize that I will NOT have everything figured out before taking the next step. The best I can do is clear space within me, be ready to take in what the day brings. And that REALLY is the best I can do; that’s not compromise. That’s recognizing that the past wasn’t perfect, and neither will be the future. But perfection isn’t a confluence of positive circumstance; perfection lies only in forgiveness, in accepting a fresh start.
So. After a truly tumultuous Thursday – which not only forced me to face my tendency to let fear drag me back but involved another batch of Real Estate hoo-ha – I started fresh yesterday. I wrote out a timetable for my morning, and I built in extra time. I got myself INTO the pool after only brief contemplation rather than a full-on ten minute session of stretching, considering, and preemptively shivering. I had the best swim I’ve had in a long time, beat most of my times for this particular workout.
And then I got to work on time.
There were fresh donuts from Donuts Delite, which are truly a step above pretty much any others I’ve had. And I had a really productive day.
I let myself lean forward, made my goals effectiveness and motion rather than impeccability.
And really…sometimes I ask myself why, in training and racing, we care so much about speed. Does it really matter if I run a 5K a few seconds or minutes faster? In the grand scheme of things, no. The world will still turn, and pretty much everyone but those of you who read my blog will have no idea. And really, I could maintain a good state of health if I just swam laps a few mornings a week, went for jogs, and rode my bike.
But without that goal, of more speed, or more distance, or better form, or finishing in better health, I stagnate. I stop leaning forward. I get lost in my head because there’s nothing asking me to move out.
This morning it’s sunny, about 45 degrees, and breezy. I’ve hauled out my layers and am going to try a bike ride, and then a run, and then some brunch. Leaning forward.