Some days we stay on the course. Some days we stray from the course. During the course of my training, I have had empowering stretches of time in which I followed my training schedule religiously and witnessed my stamina, muscles and confidence strengthen. I have also run against training obstacles like extensive traveling, a much needed hormone-balancing cleanse, personal emotional upheavals and quite recently the vacuous holidays in which time seems to disappear into a blurry vortex of happiness.
Of course, my coach Laura Fromdahl says I'm exactly where I need to be which feels like a very Buddhist sentiment. Aren't we all exactly where we need to be? (Even if at the time it might not seem that way.)
The course of life takes on many different terrains and many more turns. It branches in unforeseen directions and has false starts. Conversely, it also can follow a clear trajectory and surprise us with rewarding finishes.
Recently Coach Laura asked me to familiarize myself with my triathlon course. Until then, my training was primarily about my physical body with aspects of mental conditioning. It wasn't until I started to visualize my course that I got on course and had an impactful realization.
We are not tightrope walkers and we do not always maintain the balance to walk both the real and perceived fine line we see before us. We are, however, all working toward something. (Again, even if at the time it might not seem that way.)
I know my race will start January 8th at 7:03 a.m. on 239 Vanderbilt Beach Road. The water temperature is expected to be around 64-69 degrees. I will open water swim 750 meters, bike 12.4 miles and run 3.1 miles. This is, essentially, my course. But I do not know what my nerves will do to my stomach, my mind or my heart. I do not know what it will be like to have dozens of people thrashing in the water around me, how cold I will feel transitioning to the bike, and how hot I will be when I run. This is, essentially, my other course. And I am going to trust in both courses. As we've all heard before, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey.