Monday, May 6, 2013

Not so fast

This will be a quick blog post. I'll just get to the point.

I'm not doing the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon next month.

I have no excuse other than I am not ready, I haven't put the time into my weaker disciplines, I haven't wanted to spend time on them lately, I've let other life events and stresses get in the way, and I would rather wait to do my first triathlon when I'm actually ready than disrespecting the sport with a mediocre attempt.

I will do a triathlon. It just won't be next month.

I'll probably go into a bit more detail later, but for now this will have to do.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my other sport...running...with trail races and shorter road races throughout the spring and summer. I'll get on my bike more, I'll swim more, and when the time is better I will register for another triathlon.

To all my friends still competing, I'll be out there rooting for you as always.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What Birthday? I really don't care

I haven't celebrated a birthday since I turned 35.

I don't care if I ever celebrate a birthday again.

No, really...I don't care about my birthday.

Okay, so maybe I care A LITTLE. I like the fact that I'm turning 40 and I actually really wish it was happening sooner rather than 258 days from now. I am looking forward to being in the Masters age group, to being the best version of myself I've ever been DESPITE being 40, and to finally getting past that stupid "Over the Hill" milestone.

But I'm not celebrating. No matter how many times my friends tell me I am celebrating, I'm not. It isn't about them. It's about me and respecting that decision. They might not agree with my reasons but I don't care. You hear that, dear buddies of mine?

I'm not celebrating.

If there is a surprise party for me, I will retreat.

If there are gifts, I will feel uncomfortable.

If I'm told I should WANT to celebrate, I will roll my eyes.

My sister lived to be 37. My celebratory mood towards birthdays ceased at this time. I'm not stuck in my grief, as one might imagine, but I do not want to celebrate regardless.

When I turned 38, I struggled with it. Coincidentally, the Houston Marathon was that very same day and I could think of no better way to "celebrate" that birthday than by running my ass off in a marathon, by focusing only on myself and what I could accomplish rather than giving in to someone else's idea of how I should mark the occasion. I was in complete control of that day and it was the best decision I could have made. I ran my strongest marathon to date that day and I feel like I honored my sister and myself by doing so.

For my 40th birthday, I will have dinner with my family, I will enjoy cake as I always do, and I will travel to Houston again to run my ninth marathon, in a new age group, with a new goal, and with my thoughts on my sister.

That truly is the only way I want to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Am I Unlucky?

I'm going to venture away from my usual posts about fitness and running and delve into something more emotional and personal. So bear with me.

On April 29, 2003, my husband and I lost a very good friend of ours. His name was Dan. He was 30 years old, had been married less than one year, and had an aggressive and deadly form of cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Diagnosed at age 28, he lived for less than 2 more years. We struggled with him as he would get good news, and then bad news, as he hurriedly married his sweetheart for fear he would die before they had a chance to be husband and wife, and then we got the phone call from him that he would probably die within the week. We prayed, we cried, we yelled about the unfairness of it all. We traveled to his hospital in Southern California (we lived in Northern California at the time), hoping we'd make it in time to give him one last hug. We did, and it was incredibly difficult to leave his hospital room knowing we'd never see him again.

Dan on his wedding day -May 3, 2002

I think about him all the time. I miss his goofy laugh and his funny stories. I miss his bear hugs (he was 6 foot 5). I miss his friendship and his beautiful heart. I miss being pissed off at him when he drank too much and turned into a teenager again. There aren't a lot of people that come into your life who you know will be there into old age, and when those people are taken so soon it's gut wrenching.

But he's not the only person I've lost in my life. As I look back, it seems like every year, or close to it, someone who I love dies. Sometimes it's expected and a part of the circle of life, like when my grandparents passed away, but sometimes it's sudden and painful and the worst thing in the world, like when my sister suddenly died.

And in all honesty, I think I've had more than my fair share of loss. In my life, I lost a childhood friend at age 6 (to cancer, and I remember it VIVIDLY), a high school friend our senior year (car accident), 3 grandparents (my other grandparent died before I was born), my great grandma, my friend Dan, several uncles, neighbors, and Greg has lost 2 of his grandparents and a teenage cousin since I met him. Our neighborhood has suffered terrible loss as well, with 2 children and young mom dying in recent years. Like I said, we can't go much longer than a year without another loss happening.

I'm just SAD.

Is this more than the normal person? I'm only 39 years old. There will be a lot more loss in the coming years. I'm probably crazy for dwelling on it, but on a day like today it's very difficult to get out of that rut.