Sunday, August 10, 2008

Being content with slow progress

Today a local triathlon, the one that made me want to be a triathlete, went on without me. This is the first year I haven't done at least a sprint triathlon since 2002. I did a super-sprint, which was fun, but since it was less than half of the shortest tri I had done previously, it was hard to count it as a "real" race. The first race I did made me feel like I had solved my weight woes forever, but this latest slump has reminded me that fitness is a practice too, just like a lot of other things. You can't be "done" with it.

I am filling up my training log again, mostly with short workouts, and being proud of the progress I'm making. I'm ignoring the voice in my head that wants to complain about how much more I used to be able to do. As I was telling my husband earlier, "I want this bad enough to be willing to be bad at it until I'm good."

I got out for a longish bike ride, something I've been resisting for a while. The short rides I did on my mountain bike made me worry that I had gotten terribly out of shape for biking, but once I got on my light little road bike, I remembered what the problem was. My mountain bike is fun for casual riding because I don't have to wear fancy shoes or padded shorts, but it seems to weigh about 100 pounds. I can ride a lot faster and a lot more easily on a lighter bike. Someday, when my cash flow is a little better, I'm hoping to get a better-fitting road bike, but I need to put in some miles on this one for now.

So the theme lately has been the same as the name of my blog, being willing to accept this imperfect state as perfect for now. My only other choice is to sit at home, sulking about the fitness I've lost, and lose what I still have. I take for granted being able to paint a basement floor by myself, mow the lawn with a push mower, carry heavy bags, walk for hours if I need to. Yesterday my husband and I took our king-sized bed apart and put it back together. It would be a lot more costly and inconvenient if I couldn't count on my body to do those things for me, and as I approach my forties I want to keep being able to do them.

So I'm progressing, slowly but surely, and next year I plan to be ready to do a triathlon again. I still have one more year left on my three-year membership to USA Triathlon and I intend to use it.


  1. Your list of things you can trust your body to do is pretty impressive; most of us haven't sat down to put that kind of list together. It's easier to focus on what we can't do and play "poor me."

    I"m glad you figured out what the deal was with the bike, since it's exercise you enjoy which makes it less a chore. You'll be ready for the triathalon in no time :)

  2. Wanting it bad enough to be willing to be bad until you're good. I understand that so well. You'll get there, just stay focused and remember that the journey is probably even more important than the final goal.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07