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When in Darkness…

I have had a rough few days.

And I have completed not a single workout since the half marathon on Saturday.

This morning, I saddled up and got on the bike.  I just pedaled and I didn’t think, and I felt slightly better afterwards.  Like the clouds have parted and I can see a bit of hope.

22a

Sometimes, I just get dark.

My bestie, Sweet Red, says that’s when I “go in my cave.”  Then she sends me things like this to ponder:

22ss

I’ve been in the cave.  I will admit.

But I’m working on coming out.

My cave-likeness is usually marked by inexplicable disappearances from social media.  If I am not posting something on Instagram, then I am either: a) in the hospital; or b) in my cave.

[There is not a great Wi-Fi signal in my cave.]

22f

Whatever is going on in my life or yours… I know that it is easy to get in the rut and remain sad or worn out or hopeless…  it’s hard to pull up the bootstraps and say, “Everything is going to be okay.”

It’s even harder to mean it, and then play out the part.

It’s hard when you are in a seemingly extroverted world… to be a crazy introvert, too.

[But we have established that I am not crazy, amirite? Can I get an amen?]

22

Regardless..  sometimes, just putting on the Spandex and the shoes lights the path.  And I can start to see my way out of the cave.  Just getting moving and making actions to do something… sometimes, anything at all, is enough.

Pedal, cry, pedal, whine, pedal, curse… then turn on the Eminem and the familiar feeling comes back.  That I actually like working out, that it makes me feel and see things clearly…

And then I realize that everything really will be okay.

22b

Ok? Ok.  Okay.

So on this Friday, remember that you are your own light, even in the crazy darkness.

If we could only see the light in ourselves, all the time.  If we could see the wonderful things about ourselves that we see in others.  That’s the good stuff.  That’s something to hold close and work towards.

That’s the kind of thing that lights the way out of caves, and takes us back to the land where the Wi-Fi works and Instagram reigns supreme.

🙂

Have a great weekend, friends.

 

20 Comments

  • Nikki B

    November 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for that…been struggling for a while to find an ‘even keel’. Why do I fall off the ‘workout wagon’ when I know I will feel better after….I just keep moving forward 🙂 even though sometimes it seems slower than can be perceived by the naked eye.

    Reply
  • Kathy Bruinooge

    November 14, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Wise words!!! I will hold on to that as I go spinning tomorrow.. Which home rider do you recommend for riding inside? It’s something my husband and I are interested in. Thanks for the posts.. Keep them coming.

    Reply
  • Jennifer

    November 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    This made me cry…a lot. Sometimes the truth is…it’s hard. Sometimes no one knows that but me. It got a little brighter here today thanks to this post. Big Love!

    Reply
  • Joanne

    November 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the post. I’m usually a very self motivated individual. However, life is very tough right now and it seems to be taking it’s toll. My mother has terminal cancer and now my father is very ill with cancer and several other issues as well. A few months ago I pulled a muscle and couldn’t run or bike for about 4 weeks. Between being forced to take that rest, going to the hospital everyday for dad, and helping my mom as she declines, it’s getting harder to pull myself up. I know a good run will make me feel better, but it’s still hard. What also makes me sad is that I did an 140.6 last July and a 70.3 in September. Now it’s hard to run 5 miles. Like you said, everything will be okay and God will see me through this, but what I really want to do is hide in that cave.

    Reply
  • Lori

    November 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I don’t usually comment. I’m a more “stalk-you-on-the-internet-type” But I have to mention that maybe (and a huge maybe cuz I don’t know you nor what is going on), just maybe some of your blues have to do with a tad bit of over-training? 140.6 followed by 13.1 two weeks later is just not enough time for your body to recover. Please take care of yourself. I really enjoy your blogs and instagrams and such. That’s it. I’m no expert, just know the signs of over-training. This isn’t hate mail, just concerned mail. 🙂 Go live life, enjoy your family, take a break from social media. We all need it now and then. Peace.

    Reply
  • Stephanie W.

    November 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I’m in tears reading this. I’ve been in my cave for over a month now. I haven’t wanted to do anything or see anyone. As always thank you for sharing. Heading out on a run now thanks to your words. Here’s hoping a little sunshine will hit us both soon.

    Reply
  • dona cardenas

    November 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Im new to this tri world and for me I go out for group runs or rides and I look at everyone and think they must be such strong people. Then, I am reminded from time to time that we are all human and all struggling with our own demons.
    Try to take each moment one step at a time. Just go for a walk, just put your bike cloths on, etc get the the picture? Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Take a day. It’s ok!

    Reply
  • Jill

    November 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I’ve got to say…many of your blog posts lately have been like I had written them myself. Thank you for sharing your deepest, darkest emotions with us….it reminds me that I am not alone in the ‘cave’.

    I’m currently reading Women Food and God after reading one of your posts. It’s like a light bulb has gone off and made me more aware. For that I am grateful!!

    Keep the faith…you are doing good work!!

    Reply
  • T

    November 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    It sucks to struggle through the dark days and push on. I’m 2 weeks away from my first full. I am also an attorney with my own practice, a mom of two young athletic boys on multiple sports teams & who still need help with homework. Husband works evenings.
    After a really bad couple of days – you reminded me that I’m normal!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  • Brooke

    November 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I always feel so different on days I work out in the morning vs. days I work out in the evening. Sometimes I have the worst day then I’ll go for a workout and I leave forgetting that I even had a bad day! 🙂 Glad you got on the bike and are feeling better!!!

    Reply
  • Elizabeth

    November 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Bravo! You are awesome! By the way, have you considered you are dwelling in the well known cave of post-IMblues? (ahem Irondistance Blues lest I offend trademarks;) I know you’ve written about that scary place before, and here you are again, but you’re not identifying it as that, unless I’m missing a blog post or two? I’m sure that’s why you tossed that hail/half-mary last weekend, tried to run yourself out of that cave!? Even as we meet our craziest challenges, life still plods on just as it did before. The glory of achieving the goal seems surreal. Life is still blah (in a good way perhaps, but ll the same ol’ same ol’) Nobody but your fellow triathlete people really understand what you did on that weekend or the months of preparation it took when you show up on Monday for work or a meeting with your child’s teacher, or in the supermarket line or gas station, or even your kids when they need breakfast/lunch/dinner/bedtime stories and kisses etc. Laundry and cleaning still need to be done. Life goes on as if it never happened. It’s kinda like aging, you expect once you hit a certain age, you will FEEL like a grown-up and have it all together. Yet here I am, nearly half a century old, and I still don’t feel any more cluefull-9yes I like to make up words) in my head than I did when I was a kid. Sure, I’ve experienced lots of life lessons and successfully (sort of) juggle a crazy amount of responsibilities, but am I really an “adult’? I keep waiting for that BIG birthday where AHA I am finally a grownup! Maybe that AHA moment never comes and we just keep moving forward with the experiences we’ve learned and earned. T think that’s the draw of triathlon, thinking that the AHA moment ends with the finish line of achieving that goal. But we are buggers to ourselves, that goal didn’t feel as fulfilling once it’s met as expected so we set another, and another, thinking that will bring that AHA. It’s why I’m about to do my 2nd marathon in a year, even though up until15 months ago I swore I’d never do one. SOO, I’m beginning to think it’s not about getting that AHA, but about the grace with which we just keep moving forward. That’s why I love you and your blog. It’s made me know that I’m not the only one looking for that moment I’ll finally feel I’ve gotten My Act Together/Adulthood/Worthiness/Competent/ etc etc. Now I’m reminding myself almost daily it’s about moving forward. No FINALE, just moving forward again and again. Thanks for your blog and your honesty- it’s nice to know that I’m NOT crazy Because I too am aware that I am!

    Reply
  • Me

    November 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I totally agree with you on this “If we could only see the light in ourselves, all the time. If we could see the wonderful things about ourselves that we see in others. That’s the good stuff. That’s something to hold close and work towards.”
    Have the best day !
    Me xox

    Reply
  • Helga

    November 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    you need a break. Ironman followed by diverticulitis followed by half marathon…..how about a little rest?
    I’m sure this is all you need. Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself. Post a note saying you will be away for x no of days and that you’ll be back afterwards. We will all understand and send you good vibes.
    take care of yourself. Big Hug to you. H

    Reply

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