“Suck the life out of every single day.” Father Donal Burke
This past week I experienced a whopping dose of Déjà vu.
For the second time in ten years I walked away from my job to pursue triathlon. However, this time was very different than the first time I left production in 2008.
When I left my job in 2008 after working 12-20+ hour days for eight years at various levels of TV/Commercial/Film production, I was ready for a break, and looked forward to channeling my energy into a different challenge, training for my first Ironman triathlon. Plus, I was a newlywed, and was trying to figure out my new identity as a wife and parent. My last day of work was on May 31st, and my race was on August 31st, which meant I had a solid three months to train, race, and then come back to work in September.
I enjoyed that summer more than I imagined I would. I hodge-podged my triathlon training together from various sources, and finished the race quicker than I planned, but the experience created a gaping hole in my gut rather than filling one; I knew that I was just getting started in triathlon, it was not just a “Bucket list” item, rather it ignited a passion I wanted to explore. Therefore, I did not return to my job that September.
I have been working freelance since I graduated from college, I have no idea what job security feels like, and living with that kind of hunger encourages taking risks, but it also creates an enormous amount of stress. I have wondered about a million and one times over the past fourteen years that Marion and I have been together what our life would be like if we weren’t living each day at level ten, certain there is no tomorrow. For example, Marion once worked on a movie that was going to be at least a yearlong project, and then one Friday afternoon the director had a disagreement with the studio, walked away, and the movie crumbled. Marion had a job one day, and it was gone the next. But, that’s show business, sexy and brutal.
The fact is, when I left my career in 2008, Marion cranked up his, he had to, and he did. However, even though I spent seven years training for, and racing triathlons and marathons, being a stay-at-home parent, and working as our house/business manager, I still felt crushed by the pressure I put on myself for not bringing home a paycheck. Therefore, when a fantastic job opportunity popped up to work full time again in post-production, but on a schedule that still allowed plenty of hours to train for triathlon, I snatched it right up.
I worked as a producer at 4 Max Post for nearly three years, by far the longest I have ever worked at a facility, and even though the work ran out, I chose to leave two weeks earlier than my proposed end date, because once again I wanted to give more time and attention to triathlon.
I have a big race coming up in a few weeks.:)
However, this time felt different.
I sat in my office last Friday and couldn’t keep the tears from bubbling to the surface; I was exhausted from training, lack of sleep, and a hectic travel day the day before, true, but really I was sad to be leaving my co-workers who had become friends, and to go back to an existence where I felt lonely and insecure. Suddenly, while staring out from my window at the buzzing humanity along Riverside Drive, the tears dried up when I realized I am ready to handle what is next, because this time I know how hard it will be.
I am not a twenty-nine year old wearing oversized rose colored glasses skipping toward the great unknown, I know.
My goal when I first left production ten years ago was to pursue becoming a professional triathlete, I did not reach that goal, but my goal now is to combine my passions for storytelling and triathlon by sharing my story of what I have learned by pursuing that goal.
What does that mean? A LOT! It means more writing, more Instagram Stories, vlogging, and speaking. Will it be hard? Will I fall down more than once? Will I feel lonely and insecure at times? YES! Do I know exactly how to do it? NO! But, I am going to try anyway, because in my first ten years of being a triathlete I have learned that I am much more capable of achieving gigantic goals if I maintain faith in my potential, and have the guts to go after them even when I know it will hurt to get there.
It’s an amazing feeling to know that I can handle riding my bike over one hundred miles on a Saturday, then running over 26.2 miles on a treadmill the following Sunday, and swimming 10,000 yards that next Monday, I am not sure if I would have believed I could do that ten years ago, but that is how I spent my 39th birthday weekend, and I know have many similar weekends in my future.
I can’t wait.
For some reason, I have been listening to a lot of old school Enrique Iglesias recently, so here is one of my favorite songs of his, “Rhythm Divine”. Enjoy.:)