|A bit burnt out: time to regenerate|
- Secondary stage: Relax and recuperate
- Third stage: Reinvigorate and refresh
basic nutrition and any specific deficiencies, previous experience at that level of the sport, sleep patterns and other significant life change/stress.
I was in need of recovery
It had been a very full on 12 months for me, truly rewarding but physically, emotionally and mentally challenging and tiring.
|Bright eyed and bushy tailed|
Perth Oct 2009
Well a year on from that decision and 6 months into the new adventure, I have few regrets. To use a quote I read today;
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. Douglas AdamsIn short, it was a very big year, including two tri seasons back to back, a quick trip to France in the middle to discover the area, finishing up two jobs, shutting down a life (emptying, cleaning and renting out houses, selling cars and other stuff no longer needed, boxing for storage or shipping the rest), then the move and starting again; renting houses, buying cars, setting up a home, setting up kids at new schools, slowly establishing new connections with parents, tri team members etc and of course all in a new language to be learned while training, travelling and racing. By the time I had finished my last race, the Challenge series ironman in Barcelona, I was in desperate need of rest and recovery.
Initial stage: Rest and Recovery
The goal of this stage is initially to recover from the event (rehydration and nutrition, removing any inflammation or tightness) followed by letting the body heal any injuries, rebuild some energy and generally come back to a state from which, if it were mid season, you could contemplate training again without risk of any injury or illness.
For me it took two weeks with lots of sleep and very quiet days to get through the fog of exhaustion. I was not just tired from one race, but a full year of change. I really didn't feel like seeing anyone other than my kids and husband and just enjoyed introverting for a while, sleeping, reading, spending time making our home a bit homely, organising photos or slowly working through all those things that got left for later while I was mid-season. I did almost no exercise, just occasional swims, yoga, easy easy rides and walks in the mountains to assist my body remove residual tightness and tension.
|Practicing my barista skills for Rob|
Recuperate and relax
After I felt some physical energy slowly seeping back in, I was still pretty mentally and emotionally exhausted. In this second stage I held back from using the physical energy too early and took time to just enjoy simple activities each day as well as take stock of the achievements of the season and the learnings from it. To use a good analogy, I took some time away from the dance floor, in amongst the crowd, instead viewing the action (both past and present) from the balcony. A better place to get some perspective and see the patterns.
|Enjoying the mountain trails|
I also took to the mountains (another great healer of mine) and walked and/or jogged along trails through the autumn leaves, mud or snow enjoying the well known trails and finding dozens of new ones around the Aravis Valley.
For me, the key for this stage was reducing the noise of the years' events. People talk about the tapestry of life. In this phase I looked at each of the significant threads of the year so that I could settle them more comfortably into the overall weave that is my past, without the noise of all the initial excitement, disapointment or other attachments to them. I am no Dalia Lama, and can't say I do this for 100% of the noise, but look to accept what was and try to only carry forward what can impact the future positively.
Refresh and re-invigorate
So the past is let go as best I can, the current day is back into full technicolour and the body and mind are relaxed and ready to look forward again. Time to get excited about what is yet to come. A funny indication for me that I was ready to look forward again was when I got sick of the girly novels I was reading and started picking up more challenging and interesting brain food instead.
I have now had some time to work out my tri season goals for next year which I am really excited about. To do so I applied for and have been granted a professional licence from Triathlon Australia so I will be able to race in the pro ranks at both the WTC and Challenge races I am targetting. I have some new sponsors I am really looking forward to working with, I'll do more writing over the winter season possibly also for some tri and fitness publications and am also looking forward to training with teammates from my club, TMT, using and extending my French.
Additionally I have started working to establish a new business and have some really exciting plans to unveil shortly. Stay tuned! In order to do all this of course I need to focus on the last of this year's goals yet to be achieved and so I am back at school learning French 5 days a week.
To set these goals I needed to have my energy back and my head and heart clear or otherwise I would likely set unrealistic goals (as not carefully enough considered or discussed with others) or goals that would not stretch me as fully as is realistic and achievable.
So here I am 6 weeks on and enjoying my latest challenge of learning a new language. I won't pretend I am back to 100% tiggerishness at all times, as I have moments of needing to go back a pace and rest, relax or reprioritise. Generally though I am feeling ready for my next adventure...or three!