Here I am! Today marks 6 weeks post surgery.
I have had an interesting six weeks which have included a lot of rest, traveling and enjoying Mexico, and dog walking.
Here is a picture of my two precious furries.
These two love their morning and afternoon walks!
Mexico was nothing short of amazing. While Michael prepped for race day, I slept a lot, relaxed, and enjoyed our all-inclusive resort at Fiesta Americana. While I do usually enjoy being in a condo for races, there is something to be said about daily maid service and delicious, organic, nutritious food being made for you daily.
There was very little internet service while we were down there. And I admit that I really enjoy that aspect of Mexico. It gives us a real chance to unplug and decompress from life and “noise”. We take this part of the trip seriously. We usually do not get on the Internet at all until after race day. Even then, we try to limit ourselves to 30 minutes a day to clean up the inbox and take care of “emergencies”.
Being in Mexico gave me a lot of time to think. I thought about a lot of stuff. I thought a lot about all of the people who reached out to me after my blog about my surgery. I was surprised. I was touched. Most of all I was extremely grateful. I was also a little surprised who did not. It made me curious. Were these friends afraid? Were they too busy? Were they really my friends? I don’t know…
One of the things that I thought of the most is TIME. In recent years, time has become the most important thing in the world to me. My time is very valuable, mostly because I don’t have a lot of it. I thought about what I want to do how I want to spend my time, and who I want to spend my time with in the future.
The other thing that I thought of was how good and happy I felt post surgery. In Mexico I had a real chance to decompress and I took full advantage of it. One thing that I really noticed was what had become my “normal” in every day life was not normal at all. Little things such as bending over or getting up quickly used to cause a “lurch” in my heart. My doctor told me that he thought that I had been having SVT’s a lot more often than I originally thought, and I now believe him.
Because my punctures from the surgery were in my femoral artery, my doctor strongly encouraged me to not swim in the ocean. This was a hard pill to swallow because Cozumel is one of the most beautiful places in the world to swim. I waited several days before getting restless and tacking on a box of tagaderm to each leg. I think it worked out ok. I’m still alive. And I had the experience of a life time training and swimming with the dolphins at Chanakanab.
One of the other things that I thoroughly enjoyed was riding horses with Ruben and Martin…and Michael.
I got on my first horse three weeks after I was born. I competed in my first lead line class at the age of three. My parents were fanatics and horses were my life for a very long time. I know horses and I understand them. It’s hard to explain, but I feel what a horse is going to do before they do it. I love them and respect them. Most of all I miss them. We always try to go riding whenever we are away on vacation. However, I always worry about Michael whenever we go riding in Mexico, Costa Rica, etc. It has been my experience that the Latin American countries don’t usually care or consider helmets or waivers. The horses aren’t usually wild, but they are a lot more “untrained” than the American trail horses that walk head to tail, never wavering no matter what. I really like the “untrained” horses because I don’t feel like their spirit has been broken. Michael really enjoys them because he likes going fast. This isn’t always a good mix. On this particular ride, Michael asked for a “fast horse” in Spanish probably so I couldn’t understand what was going on. Michael also asked if we could “gallop”…in Spanish I might add.. While Michael is a good athlete this doesn’t always translate to being a good rider. This particular ride ended up with him on the ground and him getting run off with. He didn’t get any sympathy from me. After all it was his own fault. The good news is that it didn’t deter him from going again the next day!
Upon arriving home, I had a few more days to get our home and life collected before real-life began again. I considered moving to Costa Rica to be a guide on horse back…and a few other things. Ultimately, I decided to resume my life as a triathlete.
Training has been nothing short of hard emotionally and physically. I have tried to be consistent for two weeks. While my heart feels great, I am just tired and out of shape. Jesse from QT2 is writing my programs and I can’t handle the workouts which seem so simple on paper. I feel like I am learning to walk all over again. I sometimes feel like a failure. Every day I make a goal for myself and some days I can’t keep them. It’s a horrible feeling. It is amazing what six weeks of little or no activity can do for your fitness.
Jesse and I have agreed to back off training even more. I need to come back more organically and not force anything. I admit though, it’s hard for me to look at a program and to not be able to complete it 100%. Slowly, I am becoming ok with it mostly because Jesse told me that it’s ok.
I am frequently asked what my “goals” are for 2013. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have a few answers for this question, but ultimately, I want good health. I do believe that I now have it and I don’t want to let go.
It’s going to be a long road back to becoming an athlete again. In the meantime, I am taking it day by day.