November 07, 2005

Between The Lines

This weekend went by so quickly I feel like I have wind burn. Even worse, I feel like I have Alzheimers; for the life of me I can’t figure out what happened and why it happened so quickly. Aside from the bike ride on Saturday morning and the run on Sunday, the entire weekend feels like a sedentary blur that pretty much consisted of me and my computer inescapably trapped on my couch. I swear my couch has tentacles. When I sit on it, they reach around me, maybe even right up into my closest orifice, if you know what I mean. The tentacles hold me down, a prisoner to the furniture, as they slowly suck the memory out of my brain. Which makes me suddenly realize where my brain is located and pretty much solidifies the fact that my head is, in fact, up my ass after all.

After a few hours on the couch, life becomes a blur. The longer I sit there, the more the tentacles suck the very life right out of me. I sat there on the couch a very long time this weekend. And now here I am nearing the end
of Monday, feeling a bit confused, not knowing where the past three days went, but desperately wanting them back. You know that point in Bugs Bunny cartoons right after Elmer Fudd is shot or blown up? That’s me right now: stars and butterflies circling my head, as I stumble about in utter shock and confusion wondering where the hell I am and how the hell I got here. The wascawy wabbit, in this instance, is being performed by my dreaded, tentacled couch.

It’s Monday now, which of course means I’m on a plane to somewhere. This time I’m off to Boston for my monthly trip to company headquarters. I’m wearing a short sleeve shirt which will most likely turn into a really bad idea when I get off the plane and face the 40 degree weather. But that’s the least of my concerns. I have others. Like, for instance, the fact that I left my keys in my house. Which doesn’t bother me now, but could definitely present a challenge when I try to get back inside on Thursday. Or there’s the fact that I really wanted to go swimming this week but forgot to pack any swim gear. Then, of course, there is the conversation Catherine and I had last night about maintaining our relationship while immersed in Ironman training. Let’s talk about that one for a spell.

During the Drinking Season (please see previous blog comments for full explanation of the Drinking Season), maintaining a balanced life is not overly difficult for me. Mainly because I don’t have an agenda and do whatever my little heart pleases. I run if I want to run, ride if I want to ride and go out at night if I want to. If I don’t, I don’t. Pretty simple, huh? In fact, this may sound like a good way of life for you. And, it might actually be a good way of life for you. But for me, not so much. I’m a very goal-oriented person. (Did you ever notice how the Brits say goal-orientated? What’s up with that?) Being very goal-orientated (ha!), this whole concept of “do what you want to do without any sense of direction” just ends up with me flailing about aimlessly. It’s good to flail for a bit and get all my ya-yas out, but it’s definitely not a way of life for me. So when the Racing Season starts and I have defined goals, life becomes a lot more focused. That, however, is often where the struggle begins.

I have three focuses…. Three focusi?… I’m focused on three things this Racing Season:

  1. Ironman training
  2. My relationship with Cat, and,
  3. Work

So in order to maintain a balanced life, I need to juggle these three like some sort of Vegas side-act. Let’s see, if I work 60 hours/week and train 20 hours/week, that makes 80 hours… and… hmmm… 24 times 7… uh… minus 80 is…. .um…. hold the eight, carry the two…. Eighty-eight! I have 88 hours of quality time to spend with Catherine. But, wait, we have to sleep too. Maybe I can cut work down a little bit here, slice training off a little bit there…

You get the picture. It’s all about the balance.

I looked at the training schedule for the first time yesterday and there sure is a lot to do. Seemed a bit daunting. So I put it down. I picked it up again a few minutes later and… Yep. Still daunting. So I went to sleep and looked at it again a few minutes ago. Um… daunting. Doesn’t seem to be changing no matter how much time I give it. So I stare at it a little more and suddenly I begin to see beyond the training plan. Beyond the daily exercise schedules. I see a heckuva lot of white spaces between the workout lines. And I realize that those white spaces are the quality time I get to spend with Catherine. So that’s what I’m going to do – I’m going to do my damndest with training and work. I’ll give it my all. But I’m going to really live between the lines. Catherine is too good of a thing to screw up.


Mica said...

Sounds like you've got a lot going on. I admire your determination!