Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I think

Yeah, I know, hard to believe - Barb thinks. But contrary to popular belief - Barb thinks alot. Mind is continually active in search of new things, new goals, new ideas, new dreams. But the one thing that has never required alot of thinking as it has just remained a part of who I am since falling upon this wonderful sport, is that I LOVE TRIATHLONS. Everything about it - literally makes me smile. And whilst it's not been the most injury free of sports I could have chosen, it is the sport which challenges me in every conceivable way.

I've never really thought about why it is I love it so much. But I'm sure if I had to write a list - it would be humongous. But the one thing that sticks out the most is the friendships I have made. Never have they failed to support and encourage me in my quest to want to do better. And for that I am truly thankful. So it's with that in mind, over the last few weeks I have started to mingle with the idea again of trying to reach the goal i had set last year.

Port Macquarie IM.

Yeah, I know I know. I know I said I wouldn't try again to reach it as I am sick of trying to get this running thing happening. But much like an ember which has stayed alight after the blaze of a bush fire has settled, so too has my dream of becoming an Ironman. I can't let it go. It has literally been burning a whole in my psyche since being told I couldn't participate in it this year. And so in true Barbara fashion - I shall go back and conquer my dream. 

Only this time, the difference is that my running will take the major focus. Not that it hasn't before - but it is going to be slow and completely focused on keeping my lower limbs happy. Even if that means the majority of my training is walking, then so be it. I'm going to make this happen if it's the last thing I do. I'm not one to give up on my dreams and this has been one of mine since I did my first 70.3 in 2011. So I will get there - just watch me.

So yesterday I did my first ride on the road. Now don't get all excited - leave that to me :) It was only 24km but it was the best 24km of my life. Check out the ridiculous grin.
I'm surprised I dont have any bugs in my teeth from grinning. I just couldn't stop. I felt so free on that bike. Mind you my undercarriage was saying something completely different. But the good thing was that my foot has pulled up fine. Just tight this morning but that is nothing new, just have to keep stretching and seeing my physio. Can't wait to see what my next 12 months have in store for me. The possibilities are endless. But for now, Im just excited as hell to be able to do fun things and to write again on my blog.

Monday, April 22, 2013

To dream

Do you ever dream?

Not the kind of dream where you close your eyes and drift off into the land of nod and allow your uncontrolled brain to run wild. But the kind of dream where you are wide awake and you forcefully imagine every last minute detail of what that encounter will be like? Where if given the chance to make it come to life just as you had imagined you would jump at the chance in a heartbeat?

For the last however many weeks since my injury I have been dreaming. Dreaming with EYES WIDE OPEN for that moment where I would be able to walk those first cautiously tentative steps towards my dream again. I have yearned to be a part of a community again which has given me so much. 

So when Steve my physio said that I could do a walk, let me tell you - I think I gave him the biggest cuddle ever. It really was like all my Christmas' had come at once. Ive been waiting for those words for ages. And it almost felt as though those words would never come. But here they are!!!! I am able to walk.

So yesterday - I took the opportunity whilst the sun was shining to go for my walk. The sun shone about as brightly as my smile. And if I had of been on my own during this walk I still think I would have smiled as brightly albeit it would have looked slightly weird. But instead - I went on my first glorious walk with my beautiful daughter. It couldn't have been any better if I tried. We had the best time, a great mother/daughter bonding session. And there was a little competitiveness that came out in us both with some unsuspecting male walkers. It was so funny - our goal was to stay ahead of them for the entire walk - however, right at the very end they took a short cut and beat us to the finish line. Somehow I think they may have known we were trying to beat them or MAYBE they were trying to beat us. Either way, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone :) I might just clarify here though that it wasn't a fast walk either. And this morning I feel great.

The only feelings I have this morning reminding me that I walked yesterday are tight back muscles and a blister on the back of my right foot. And you know what? Im happy that I have that tiny blister. It means that I have done something that required a little effort :) and whilst it was the best walk ever, I was slightly out of my comfort zone and I didn't realise how unfit I had become. Seems like only yesterday I was able to run a full 21km and still do a full days worth of other stuff around it all. 

That day will come again. I know it.

Till then I will embrace this journey with both hands and look forward to my next walk.

Monday, April 1, 2013

One way, or another.

Ever since hearing this song on the radio by One Direction - thanks to my daughter, these words have stuck in my mind. And one way or another I have had to learn that I can still do and train for my dream - it was just going to have to be ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

When I heard the news that I wasn't able to compete in IMOZ, I was completely devastated. I got so down in the dumps and wondered why me, again, this sucks, I give up, Im over it. Just felt like another low blow. When I finally got over myself - I realised that there were still so many opportunities that I had in front of me. And it was unfair to me to allow them to float on by without grabbing them and using them to my advantage. After all - how many people out there who are in far worse conditions than mine make the most of their situation and succeed regardless of their physical limitations. I was acting like an absolute spoilt twit. One way or another they used their limitations to enhance the things they were able to do - and I had to take a leaf out of their book.

One way or another - is now my motto. I have shown myself that I dont need my feet to help me swim - I can swim without them AND Im getting stronger. I have also shown myself that whilst I can't ride and run - I can continue with my strength and conditioning classes and smash out quality sessions. But most of all - I have proven to myself mentally - that there is no barrier I cannot overcome only that which is self imposed. One way or another - everything is attainable - you just have to change your mindset.

I proved this to myself in the water the other day and did my first 800m TT with a pullbouy and band and was quite happy - ACTUALLY ECSTATIC that I did it in about 12mins. Give or take a few seconds as I timed myself off of the wall clock. One way or another I am making my swim dream happen. And once this romper stomper boot comes off - I know I will do it in under 12mins. I can feel it in my bones - and no it's not my arthritis talking. :)

I just had the best feeling in the water. The one where you just feel like you can keep swimming because all of a sudden you have found that groove. The one where all of a sudden you can feel the water caressing every inch of your body and your using it to your advantage. Im excited because whilst Im holding a comfortable 1:30/100m with my feet all tied up, the thought of being able to hold sub 1:30's comfortably once my feet are in the mix is really really exciting. 

I cant wait. Lets see what the following week will hold in the pool.


Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage