From Bia today:
“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.” – Nadia Comaneci
* * *
Strange things happen in threes. Tri.
I looked across the garage (a/k/a the Playroom) this morning at my bike, the lovely Antonia. All slick and greasy from the prior day’s ride. I knew the pain she and Tri would inflict on me in the weeks and months to come, preparing for the insanity of a looming 70.3. “I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden, and [Tri] is the serpent, and I cannot resist.”
Then, out of the corner of my eye in the Playroom, I saw the glistening flicker of the neoprene suit, the snapping goggles, rubberized swim caps, and the laces binding together shoes and tubes and silicone for Antonia.
All of the toys, meant to bring so much joy, yet so much deep and scarring pain. Welcomed pain. Bowing to the domination of swimming, biking and running.
On Friday, after being beaten by the welcomed whippings of spinning class and feeling the contents of my stomach rising to my throat during the final minutes, I wanted to run away.
At the same time, I wanted to pedal harder and faster until my insides were splattered on the floor, all native and restless like. Give me more, Sir Tri!
Then, on Sunday, I wanted to quit again whilst being flogged by the wind, the leathery whippings of insects and the dirt and salt crusted and splattered on my face. The Queen adequately hurt, and bowed to the Master of Tri.
I no longer wanted to see the agreement I had made with the Devil Tri to finish another half Ironman. I would not sign! I will not negotiate this again, I had screamed after finishing Miami.
I will not do this again! I must be free! But alas, I am powerless over Tri.
“I wasn’t aware we were fighting. I thought we were communicating…” What has Tri done to me?? I was not sure I could agree to continue the abuse. Oh, Tri. Tri.
I knew all these feelings were normal, loving this sport in the wake of such darkness. The sport itself full of darkness and anger - such anger then such light. Such light! Argh! I continued to worry about the danger of Tri. The mental games, the hypnosis.
Would I ever be able to return to old vanilla running again? To amble through a cycling class lying down? To take a leisurely dip in the ocean?
“Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the company of my [triathlon heroes], and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high…”I pondered it all this morning. Staring wearily at the sweat pouring down my arms after every part of me hurt so badly from the short, but glorious, but excruciatingly painful run this morning…
Despite the torture, Tri wins.
“Such a sad, exciting score, which no doubt you can play? So many accomplishments, Mr. [Tri]….” Tri wins. And shall continue to do so.