Grieving. Someone told me that running would be the hardest. You are in your own thoughts. Too much time to think.
Then someone told me yoga is tough. Yet it is the most healing. Because you have to think. You have time to think.
The other day my goggles filled up with tears. Swimming isn’t so easy either. Staring at the bottom of the pool for 90 minutes without an extreme amount of focus (I seem to be lacking that lately) allows the mind to go places. Places it shouldn’t.
Then you hear birthdays are the hardest. Fortunately (or rather unfortunately), my birthday was 2 days before the service. I was on an airplane traveling to my father’s service. Hmmm… gonna say that one wasn’t the best of days either. But – I had a birthday without my father. First time.
A moment of “firsts”.
First holidays. Tough. I can’t even imagine Christmas without my father. The name “Mr. Klaas (Claus)” just suited him. Let’s just leave it at that.
I could go on and on with firsts I am scared of… yet of course not too scared to embrace them. Sloppy chocolate lava cake, anchovies, family birthdays, convertible car rides, family vacations, kids sporting events, kids graduation, kids wedding, etc. etc. OK – anything kids. Anything family. And… racing.
The best advice was simply to breathe. Deep breaths. And it got me to thinking about how we can complicate too many things. So I started breathing more, worrying less. Breathing slow steady breaths is what got me through those long hospital days. Concentrating on the breath helps one concentrate on simply that, nothing else. So I continue to breathe….
I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon (beginning of the year) that is this coming Saturday. Yikes! I did it for a few reasons… 1) it is ITU sanctioned. I wanted to feel good about the International Triathlon Union since their decision to cancel the swim at Worlds didn’t make us the best of friends. 2) It is a great prep for upcoming 70.3 (also signed up for months back). and 3) It is in San Diego, with a run course that goes along blocks from where I lived in college. I love San Diego.
I am apprehensive because I know it won’t be like previous races. I am not nervous about it because I am not in “race ready” shape (which I am truly not), I am nervous about it because it is the “first” race without my dad. Remember when I said I am racing with a purpose? The purpose of this weekend is easy. To allow me to find the reasons I started racing in the beginning. To let me go through this. To finish.
Back to breathing. The song of the week is JUST BREATHE by Pearl Jam.
It was on my dad’s “Favorites” music playlist, which makes it perfect.
Thanks for listening.