"I try to say good bye but I choke, I try to walk away but I stumble, though I try to hide it, its clear, my world crumbles when you are not here." - Macy Gray
This is many any athletes relationship is with their sport. Its not always a give/take relationship. It can be rather abusive, risky, unfair and sometimes even downright depressing. On the other hand, sport can be exhilarating, fun, rewarding and energizing. Oh the agony and the ecstasy. I think the positives always seem to slightly outweigh the rough times. Or the idea of the good times just somehow seem to get us through the not-so-fun times. If you’ve been through a rough patch or seem to be on a downward spiral, unable to change the direction of the flow, you might wonder when the good times will come around again. Trust me, they will. Trust me, they can. If you are super motivated athlete and have willfully built your life around your sport and you still can’t seem to get in the groove, maybe it time to let-go of “controlling” and “working hard”, maybe its time to release your efforts to the world, give your body a break, and watch as your sport comes bouncing back to you. This happened me 3 weeks ago- I was done after getting sick from an iron shot (that I really needed as my stores were totally shot again!). A week later I was doing some of the best workouts I ever could do.
I’m writing from my experience with running over the past Olympic cycle. Ive pushed so hard I’ve “burned out.” ( I’d rather fade out than burn out, I dont know why everyone glamourizes burning out. Damn you Kurt Cobain and my formative grunge years) I’ve taken time off to rest and recover. I’ve cut back in training and auxiliary training (vinyasa yoga, pilates classes, gym work all cut out). Nope, still tired. I’ve spent the last year enjoying a resurgence in energy and lust for life, being pregnant and then nursing and minding my little babe. Obviously I cut back on training to enjoy my pregnancy. Now I’m back into full training, and back on the rollercoaster ride that is life as an athlete: some days up, some days down, some days climbing, some days cruising, some days charging ahead, some days dragging, some days standing still.
One motto I will stand by (and i’m thinking of getting tattooed somewhere on my body), is my family-name McGettigan’ motto, TRY. I will try. No shame in that. I can rest well knowing I’ve tried my best. I hope to harness the meaning of my maiden name “fleet of foot” or a diminutive of eite ‘wing’ (perhaps originally a byname for a swift runner)!!