“I can’t run at all this week.” Marion said as he plunked down on our couch next to me last night just after he got home from work at 10:30P.
“Why?” I replied.
"We have 8A meetings all week, so I need to leave by 6A."
Let me explain, we live in southern California, a beautiful part of the world, but one of the most heavily trafficked, too. For example, from our house in the San Fernando Valley, a mere twenty-five to thirtyish miles from his office near LAX, it takes about thirty minutes to drive door to door on New Year's Eve, (one of the lightest travels days of the year, no one is on the road), however, on a standard weekday between the hours of 6:10A - 10:30A, that drive takes over ninety minutes. The trick is rolling out from our 'hood before that window, the commute drops significantly, hence the desired 6A departure.
"You can still run." I replied.
"I knew you were going to say that."
"Just bring your stuff with you, and break away for twenty minutes at some point during the day. I know you don't want to do that, but you could."
"Your building has a treadmill, right?"
"You could get down there earlier and run before 8A."
"Alright, alright, what if I don't want to leave you?" (Yes, I agree that's adorable.)
"I will wake up earlier and hang out with you before you leave. It's all possible."
I have not run in over two weeks, not since mile 18.87 of the marathon in Ironman Wisconsin. Does that fact bother me? Yes. Do I want to run more than I want world peace?Yes. Am I nervous that I am going to find out later today during another Dr.'s appointment with a Sport's orthopedic foot specialist that the tear in my plantar plate, (toe), will require surgery to fix, or at the very least, many more weeks of rest? Yes, yes, I am. Do I hope that I am exaggerating here? Yes. Regardless what the prognosis is this afternoon, I have survived the last two weeks of not doing my absolute favorite activity, running, because I have focused on what I can do, vs. what I can't, or shouldn't. (I could run, it's possible, but I didn't want to chance any further damage, plus my coach told me not to, so I haven't.)
What I can do is swim.
What I never believed I could do well, is swim.
"Hey Taryn, it's the Universe, you keep saying you want to be a triathlete, but that means you need to be decent at swimming, biking, and running, not 'okay' at swimming, 'better' at biking, and 'good' at running. You've been at this for over a decade, I keep assuming you'll learn, but you haven't, you keep using running as a crutch, so I am taking it away. Figure it out."
"Oh, hey there! Thanks for chiming in! Although, you don't quite have it right, I want to be a great triathlete."
"Okay, then get in the water."
That is a real conversation I played over and over in my head last week. It usually popped up during the numerous drives home from the pool after swimming 5,000, 8,000, or 10,000 yards during a workout, and every single time it reinforced my belief that everything happens for a reason; this silly, yet more than slightly serious foot injury happened for a reason, it forced me to back up what I have been saying for years, I don't just want to be, I want to be great, but not just at triathlon.
I want to be a great friend, daughter, wife, writer, filmmaker, sister, parent, aunt, cousin, coach, client, neighbor, teammate, leader, citizen, human, and being a triathlete is a physical manifestation of trying to achieve that goal everyday.
I don't know what it looks or feels like to be great, yet at forty years old, an age that feels both old and young, I know I am not there yet, but I live for the challenge of trying to get there.
"Hey Universe, I'm off to the pool, but since I have your attention, can you tell me what happened to my Hush Puppy that I lost on my way home from a house party circa, 1998?"
The song and video this week is one of my current favorite's in rotation, Illenium, featuring Jon Bellion, Good Things Fall Apart.