Why I didn’t train today – I’m HUMAN
I am not injured, over trained, tired (physically) or having equipment problems; I’m simply struggling with life!
With less than six weeks remaining until the biggest physical challenge of my life, one I set myself over three years ago and have been working towards ever since; I’ve cracked!
Training has been ticking along quite nicely over the past month, racking up some quality miles, reaching new heights, while feeling strong and staying in one piece, but there has been a storm brewing and it has now started to rain.
Recently, I’ve been open about my battle with depression, and how I have learnt to cope with it.
But the past few days I’ve been left feeling drained and mentally assaulted due to constant feelings of despair entrenched between my ears. I am exhausted, which is only fuelling my dark bouts of depression I’ve had of late.
I’m struggling to deal with this final phase of The Ultimate Triathlon; the logistics, promoting it, raising much needed funds, and training for this never before attempted 2000km in 12 day challenge, it’s crippling me from the inside out!
You may think that surely I have a team of people behind the scenes organising accommodation, creating routes, and contacting potential sponsors to help take some of the Ultimate Triathlon load off my shoulders so I can simply train, eat, recover and repeat; unfortunately I don’t!
I’m still working with clients to achieve their own health & fitness goals, performing speaking engagements, and apart from only a couple of individuals who have taken one or two bits of research off my hands; it’s all me.
Now, before I get hit with a potential barrage of negativity, I want to point out that yes, I “signed” up to complete the Ultimate Triathlon, and chose my career path, and I am definitely NOT writing this to develop or encourage any sort of pity party for myself, quite the opposite!
I want to make it aware to everyone out there who is struggling with any part of his or her own life, or with mental illness that it’s ok to be imperfect, take a break, be transparent, and speak openly about your troubles – there is nothing wrong with showing that you are human!
I deal with the exact same obstacles as everyone else, and right now the effects of these difficulties are plaguing my progress in life.
After a couple of scheduled rest days from my training which resulted in long days of administration work for The Ultimate Triathlon, I was supposed to cycle to the Dorset coast this weekend for back to back ocean swims, as I’ve not had a proper ocean swim since March.
Waking to the noise of my gentle alarm, my backpack full and waiting to strapped on for the ride, my body wouldn’t move! I was frozen solid, feeling like I was sinking further into my beds mattress, with floods of negative thoughts and emotions filling my stiff immovable body.
I had to seriously think, am I simply being anxious about swimming in the sea, or going through what many endurance athletes deal with before a long training session, procrastination!
I eventually worked up some courage in my delicate state of mind, and ordered myself to snap out of it like I’ve done countless times in the past. This only made me feel worse, and encouraged more negativity…
For the next three hours I laid there in my bed, battling the negativity, and immense heaviness I was experiencing. I eventually conceded that today I wouldn’t be cycling or swimming, and would be completing nothing at all, except for the actions needed to breath in and out.
I’ve had similar episodes over the years, and recently I’ve realised that there is no use fighting them, as they simply intensify the more I oppose. So I embrace these experiences that they are happening, and stop!
This usually helps to drown any source of fuel available that may encourage any further feelings of my life spiralling into uncontrollable depths, like in the past.
Wanting to release my thoughts and feelings from inside my head while still trying to be somewhat productive with my day, I decided to write this piece. I hope that if I can help just one persons life through sharing my struggles; then revealing exactly how I feel in a very open and raw way has been worth it!
I expect nothing in return from this rambling text, but if you yourself have days like this, or know of others who struggle, you’ll spread the word that it’s ok to show your imperfections, fears, doubts and struggles; as we are human!
The Adventure. The Travel. The Challenge.
*** I will be in Morocco next month ready for The Ultimate Triathlon! ***