The Introvert Triathlete

I have a feeling that a lot of Triathletes are introverts. Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s a lonely sport and let’s face it, no one wants to hear about how you did the 10k at the same pace but at a lower heart rate. How about spending 90 minutes by yourself in the dark working out before everyone wakes up because I’m a “Triathlete”.

As goes with the territory I tend to reflect inwards before I’m comfortable projecting outwards. This happens a lot in times of stress and hardship. I found out that I failed a major exam that I can only take once per year and spent six months preparing for. That was July. September I got laid off. I work in the stock markets and my area, despite doing well, decided that they needed to cut costs and the method of cost cutting happened to be employee overhead. They let a number of good people go and my name happened to be one of them. This is the way that jobs go these days. I was told to never feel entitled when I first started working and always had that mindset. If you’ve read The World is Flat by Thomas Freidman then you’ll have a pretty good idea that this is the direction of companies where they want to do more with less. I won’t debate that aspect now but let’s assume that it is what’s happening.

Lucky for me, my clients, family and friends have been incredibly supportive and was lucky to have a solid lead on a job two weeks after getting laid off. Immediately after getting laid off I thanked my coworkers for the good times and experiences we shared. They notified my clients and about half of the 20 clients offered references and support. I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish the next day and the day after that. The list comprised of house chores, fixing my résumé, returning phone calls, emails, booking meetings, Facebook and LinkedIn from all the people that reached out to me. It was an extremely busy first week. Plus I was still dealing with the emotional side of getting turfed. Lets face it, it happens so the only thing you can do is come up with a positive spin and look forward. Then run like hell with everything you have inside you and work as hard as you can.

My biggest pet peeve is when people work extremely hard for their employer but let their personal lives go through the sewers. My motto is to work as hard for myself as I do for other people… And I work incredibly hard for others. I was determined to do everything I could. I ended up sending out three resumes and getting five interviews. I credit the special people around me for helping me out but I also have to believe that if I wasn’t a good employee or a good person that they wouldn’t have helped me so much.

I managed this all quietly while staying in contact. Meaning that I kept positive on the outside an confided the doubt internally and to my wife so that she knew what I was going through. I didn’t find that I was able to blog and I was barely able to journal. Journalling daily tasks kept me motivated and kept track to make sure I wasn’t slowing down. If I felt like I was unproductive that day I could look back through my journal to see how much I had actually done.

In keeping busy I felt that it was important for me to keep my schedule and that meant 5amfitness… Up at 5am and still doing my workouts. No skipping a beat, no slacking. Just because I wasn’t going to my usual place of work didn’t mean that there wasn’t work to be done. So up I got up and to work, for myself, I went.

I have maintained that routine except I’ve had the time to do two-a-days now. I’ve been following the JTF2 work-up prefitness program which is incredibly intense but has some serious results. Running, weights, swimming and more running, five days a week, twice a day.

Quietly I went about my days, working hard for myself and loving the freedom. I’ve decided to take some time off before starting work again and will continue my routine of up at 5am, workout, continue on my day, working hard for myself. Having sorted out most of my feelings and found direction for my career, I feel like I can blink now and take some time to reflect and direct some attention to blogging once again.

As blogging seems to be my only extrovert characteristic I feel ready to begin contributing again. I took my time to internalize and sort out my personal life. Now I can branch out again to the non-essential but highly important interests I have. For now it’ll be some home renos, lots of working out and some down time to recoup a bit.

Life may be very difficult at times but tomorrow will come and it’s what you do today that makes a difference for tomorrow…

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Setting Race Goals: add items that are not racing to the list

After setting up the races I want for next year and discussing them with my wife, she reminded me that I had a very busy year planned.

I thought about it and disagreed a little. I thought three races isn’t that much. They’re all about 6-8 weeks apart and it’s only three races!?!? She pointed out that I just had surgery (right parotid gland had a benign tumor removed) Jan 21 and I’m also writing my level 3 CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) in June which is the hardest set of exams I’ve ever written. They have a 40% pass rate for the first two levels.

This wasn’t really to brag but to look at my life holistically. I’ll be adding to my race roll both the surgery and exam. After all, stresses come from all areas of life and all must be thought of. When I look back on 2013 I’ll see everything that I’ve accomplished and be proud of it all and not just my tri efforts.

By the way, this is a great article about planning races in a family/relationship friendly way. Way to go Chad!

http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/12/training/5-tips-for-planning-a-family-friendly-race-season_68743

Chad’s blog is trifatherhood.com

Why do you train?

What am I chasing? What is it that I’m trying to do? Sure I have goals to complete a half ironman but what’s the bigger picture. Why do I REALLY do this? Why do you train? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

While on my Kinetic bike trainer the other day it came to me! I was watching Band if Brothers (crossroads episode) and it connected the dots for me. In the episode there were two officers briefing each other, walking along a railroad track that was within their friendly lines. A sentry yells out “HALT!” and before they could answer he opens fire on them killing one of the officers with friendly fire.

This scene outlined the importance of being well trained, disciplined and an importance to always know what’s going on. Mistakes aren’t just things we get scolded for they’re more than that. They’re what happens when Continue reading