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The Anatomy of a Reformed Quitter

So I had a really funny and amazing morning.

It was one of those days where seriously EVERYTHING was backwards.  Nothing was wrong; but everything was mixed up and backwards.

I woke up and had the boy child jump in bed for snuggles. (Gah. I can’t even tell you how much I love this. He’s 8. I will weep when he’s too “big” to snuggle and breathe his stinky ass morning dragon breath on me. His sister, on the other hand? That child is so fiercely independent, she is more apt to walk up to the bed… and smack me on the head with a hairbrush. “Do my hair, Mom.” )


Anyway, the snuggles went something like this:

James:  What did you dream about, Mom?

Me:   I had bad dreams last night. Well, not bad, but weird.  I was on a giant spaceship that was like a football stadium, and I was trapped with all these people I didn’t like.  I kept trying to get off the ship, but they said I had to play football and win to get off the ship. And I just wasn’t really into football…

Ohhhh.  (He paused.)  I didn’t dream about anything. It was just black.

That must means you had a good sleep.

I did.  (He paused again.)  Hey Mom… maybe you should learn to play football…

And he hopped out of bed.

First weird thing:  I should learn to play football.

The Expert was already at the gym, so I was getting the kids ready for school.  The morning routine was all backwards. Kids folders were mixed up. Water bottles in wrong book bags. I headed out to the car in boots (I had to go to the gym after taking the kids to the bus).  I went back inside for sneakers.

Kids were off to school and I arrive at the gym for first, strength training and then, swimming… to discover.

NO GARMIN IN MY BAG.  Noooooooooooo.


I jest. (Sort of. Okay, not really.)

So, as I am headed up to strength training, I say, “I can’t workout without my Garmin!” And I rush back to the locker room and dash to the car – in order to run home to get it.

I get to the car. I don’t have my keys. They’re in the locker.

It’s a sign. You’re addicted. Time to step away. Workout naked. (Garmin free… not naked).

So I go back into the gym, ready to start my 2+ hour workout, without my data.  Kind of talking to myself about it, getting fired up.

I head up the stairs, and I see this guy… who I see often.  I won’t go so far to say he’s a creeper. Or a stalker. BUT…  Let’s just say, that I have this feeling that wherever I am… there he is.  Boo.


As I go up the stairs, he waves his hands and says, “Heyyyy!”

And I say, “Heyyy…”

And he goes, “It’s gonna be a great day upstairs if I have you to look at!”


Oh my. 

Well, normally, I would turn around and look behind me if someone said something like that in my general direction: “What? You are talking to me?” Except, I know he is. Cuz the dude talks to me all the time.


So then, I thought, What a seriously nice stalker I have.  How complimentary. I needed that today.


Ahem. I mean, really.  The guy is perfectly nice. But I am an introvert and he makes small talk. And it makes me nervous. But it was really funny to me. Funny.  (Is it funnier than me posting that photo five times? I don’t know. But that was totally my face.)

He’s not a stalker. He’s my Gym Friend.  We’ll go with that. Gym Friend.


As I headed up the stairs to get back in my headspace of training without my blessed Garmin, I see the Expert, finishing up his training session. He has on his 910xt. My eyes light up, My Precious.

OMG. Brilliant.  “Hey, can I have your watch for my strength and swim?” I ask him.

“Sure,” he says.

And I grit my teeth. He’s so sweaty.

“And your heartrate strap,” I say, a little bit pukey thinking of the cold, sweaty feeling of putting a fresh, wet HR strap of MY OWN on my body. Not someone else’s.

“Oh gosh,” I said, “That is so gross.”

He says, “I watched you give birth. Twice. That is something… This heartrate strap is not.

I said, “Fair enough. Thank you.”

[Yaaaaassssss…. we know BIRTH is a beautiful thing (‘cept it’s quite ugly), and children are miracles… yeah yeah. I got it. We don’t need to discuss that.]

I put the strap on. It was so gross.  Just like birth. Totally the same. Totally.

Strength training happened. It was hard.  (But I did the Ab Dolly thing for 4 SETS of 24, people.  When I started strength training I could do Only No Sets of Zero without crashing the damn Dolly and breaking my face. SO this was a great step in progress.)


But yes, it was hard.  (And yesterday’s BIKE was hard, too for that matter. Whew.) Anyway… I was tired. I did not want to get into the pool afterwards–mainly, because everything being backwards today–I realized that I brought a swimsuit that was very tight. Ugh. Putting that sucker on when I was already sweaty. Not fun.

I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim. I didn’t want to swim.

But I did. And my head was all, “You could go to Starbucks and get a coffee and sit there and stare out the window for an hour before work. You could do laundry. You could catch up on writing. You could…”

Quitter quitter quitter quitter.

That was the word that I could hear in my head, though. And I thought, “Oh Starbucks would be so nice. But I should swim. It’s on my schedule. And I am not a quitter.”

Right. I don’t quit. Like, ever.


And as I looked at my schedule on my phone, standing in the locker room… I groaned audibly.

The woman in the towel next to me flipped her head, quickly over to me, like, WTF.

“Oh no, not you,” I said.  “It’s this workout,” viciously pointing to my phone, “I hate this workout.”

She looked horrified. Like I was lying to her.

Starbucks Starbucks Starbucks, I thought.  No!  Not a quitter!

I went out to the pool (where I saw my Gym Friend hanging out in the sauna, mind you). And I looked at the clock. I was already really behind for the day, which meant I was going to be behind everything.  I really should cut this workout short.


A year ago, I would have probably gone home.  Really.  Just Keep Moving Forward was my mantra, but Eh, There’s Always Tomorrow was a pretty close second. I mean, I am not (was not) a total slacker, but I did have some issues with Motivation versus Discipline.

Because here’s the truth:  training is HARD.

When you do it correctly, training is REALLY HARD (as I am learning more and more every. single. freaking. day these days).  In training my body on a daily basis, the biggest muscle (and most stubborn) is the mind. And convincing the mind to cooperate.  Wow, that’s even tougher.

So I did my swim warm-up and I was still trying to talk myself out of quitting.


What is wrong with me today?

Just stay for one set of your main set. Then you can leave, I said in my brain.

My main set today was 6 sets of horrible things. And at the end of each horrible, I had 100 meters for time.  So I had to sprint swim for 100m for six times…after all the other shenanigans. I was thinking, “Yeah these are going to be awesome.

But I was already chlorinated, so I might as well go for it.

I did the first 100, hit the wall and the Garmin and saw a time that was pretty good for feeling so horrible. Hmmmm, I thought.

I did the next main set.  Then started the second 100 for time.  That was even better???  Well, you can’t go home NOW, I thought.

And here’s a scary swim pic… wowzers.


And there it was. The CLICK.

Something happened and my mind and my body clicked, synced and I was in the moment, in the workout, and ready to get through it… Wait. No… Not just get through it- but to crush it.

In the next 100, I PR’d my best-to-date 100 by a second.

In the next 100, another second peeled off.

And the third 100… yet another second.

I finished out the last 100 at the same time.  A solid 100 PR…

I couldn’t shake the feeling on the drive home (with soaking wet hair and dressed like a crazy person–because well, NOW, I was late)…  if I had only gone to Starbucks. 

aa aa4


Uh…. well, whether it’s 70 or 80 or 90%…  It’s A LOT.

A LOT of success is directly proportional to showing up. I bet Jack Handy would say that 100% of success is showing up. Because if you don’t show, then the guaranteed results are 0% success.  🙂

So it’s not like I qualified for Kona today, but… the fact that this was the mixed-up and crazy start to a day… and a desire to quit was killed… well, it was a big little win–just from talking myself into getting in the pool.

And then once in the pool, throwing my best effort at the problem. It was a good day.

*Oh! And for those of you who might think it’s a good idea to get preachy on me about my reliance on my electronics and the Garmin. No way. No how. I have PROOF of those PRs BECAUSE I had the Garmin. So stick it, you naturalists. I’m keeping my data. 🙂


  • carin sarz

    January 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Truth-I haven’t read much of anything online lately or thought much about training or anything related to fitness in quite some time (major family thing that took nearly everything out of me) but for some reason I clicked today and read this and it gives me hope that I can restart and refocus and put some energy and time back in to me. Thank you-you are really inspiring!

  • Laura

    January 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Perfect post for this week! So glad you nailed the workouts. When Brett posted my plan this week I felt like a whiny 2 year old – (I don’t wanna swim! I don’t wanna do an FTP test on the bike! ) – but I did them anyway. The swim was ok, but the bike was a revelation. I haven’t been on a bike since CHOO last year, but I’ve been doing strength and endurance training and my FTP power numbers were way up over last year. I just keep repeating – that Ironman won’t train for itself…

  • Seewead

    January 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Awesome- great that you are able to do so much in the a.m. be4 work! I am at workplace at 7 so have to do most of my stuff really early, or after work. Way to rock it….what ARE those PRs on the Garmin BTW? Do you have pictures of that?
    I think ALL training is fun….but that’s just me.

  • Gretchen

    January 29, 2016 at 10:55 am

    OMG, I laughed out loud at the Garmin graphic. I swear, I can’t even count my own laps in the pool anymore, and when the Garmin doesn’t count my kicking laps I get all pissy. I’m a numbers gal, so I get it. Good for you for sticking to it.

  • buckets226

    January 29, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I can TOTALLY relate to the feeling about forgetting your Garmin!! There are few worse feelings. I’m 200% with you there – if it didn’t record, it didn’t happen! I’m not so bad with my treadmill runs because it doesn’t always record those correctly anyways (yes, I’m crazy enough to spend the big $$$ on the Garmin 920x but not the extra $50 on the footpod…I know, I dont get me either) but a bike/swim/outdoor run without it?? Forget it!

    And your “I didn’t want to swim” paragraph could have been plucked right out of my own mind.

    I totally relate to everything about this post. Glad I’m not the only one!


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