Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sometimes It Takes A Friend

I registered in February to participate in a Trek sponsored triathlon scheduled for next Sunday, July 12th. I've been swimming, biking and running so I'm in shape and I know I can go the distance. Last year was my first attempt at a triathlon in close to thirty years. I finished in fine form and enjoyed the training and the actual race day. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm is absent this year. As July approached, I tried to get pumped up; I wanted badly to be excited about the challenge; I wanted to do what I set out to do, but since I did it last year, I had nothing significant to gain. The spark that drew me last year to travel to the race site, spend the night, arise at 4:00AM and be amidst 4,000 other competitors is presently dim at best.

Yesterday, my very good friend, Sarie, asked me how I was feeling about the upcoming triathlon. We are very close friends who communicate through e-mails. In fact we met through the online writing class I speak of frequently. Sarie and I share our lives with each other regularly, so when she asked me how I was feeling about the triathlon, I came right out and told her.

Sarie had sensed I was dragging my heels even before I admitted it to myself, but since we think very much alike, she was sensitive. She didn't discourage me, but instead helped me see the situation, my true feelings, needs and wants. By presenting me with a simple question, she prompted me to face the facts. After a couple more e-mails between us, I woke up this morning and made the decision to let the triathlon go on without me. This morning I ran three miles because I wanted to, not because I needed to.

I've been irritable, angry, depressed, and a handful of other negative emotions because I was pushing myself to do something I didn't really want to do. I'm sixty years old but I couldn't see that my attempt to pursue a no longer desirable goal was actually self-destructive.

Sarie is a rare friend who knows me better than I know myself. Visit her blog at It's always a happy place she'll make you feel welcome. That's my Sarie.

(Sarie gave me the book in the photo above. The author's voice reminds her of the way I write so she ordered it and had it sent to me. Pretty nice, huh?)


Anonymous said...

Auntie and (you know who) are overjoyed with your decision. why on earth do anything you don't feel like doing. you certainly have nothing to prove, you have already been there and done that. Sit back and relax and enjoy the day.

Shaddy said...

Aunt Babe: I knew you'd be happy. I almost e-mailed you but I was pretty sure you'd get the news here, faithful as you are at regular visits. It's hard to relax around here with Lon flying around like a bat out of hell. Do you have any ideas of how to get him to sit down and stay put for any length of time?

Gullible said...

Build a fire in the back yard and give Lon a six pack. That should cool his heels.

As for you, give Sarie a big hug. It's ever so much more fun doing things because you want to. And, did you ever think maybe the marathon needs volunteers?

Gullible said...

PS: I LOVE those bird house photos.

Sarah said...

Awwwww, thank you Shaddy. You are so sweet.

Readers: she fails to mention how much she helps me every day!

With everything you do for me every single solitary day, I'm so very happy I could help you this time. Because we're so similar in our thoughts and feelings, (I'm thinking you and I share brain cells) I knew something wasn't quite right.

It's been such a fantastic day since I first learned of your decision It's like we both exhaled in relief at the same time. I am soooooooo happy for you and I am so thankful that we're runnin' this road together.

I love you to pieces my dear.
Here's to doing what we want to!! HOORAY!!! We're free!!!

Thank you so much my little Roadrunner...

Shaddy said...

Gully: Lon is finally winding down as we speak. After a couple of phone calls, he told me he plans to sit by the fire and have a few beers. You must be on the same wave length.

It's too far to drive to the triathlon site just to volunteer.

Shaddy said...

Sarie: Yes, we're both exhaling in relief in unison over our own and each other's recent wise decisions. We'll get our acts together eventually and then we'll really celebrate, right Sarie!!!!

Deborah Flanagan said...

You go girl! What a great feeling to do things just because you want to and you can and not because of obligation or guilt. I let my 50 year old body kiss marathons goodbye. Haven't regretted it one bit.

I agree with you about Sarah. She is a wonderful inspiration and great encouragement.

Love your blog!

Sarah said...

We're getting closer and closer to really celebrating don't you think Shaddy!???

Deborah you're such a sweetie, I'm so glad you're here with Shaddy too!

Shaddy said...

Deborah: Thanks for stopping here. A sprint triathlon is a piece of cake compared to a marathon. I take my hat off to you for all the running you've done. Wow! I managed to complete two twenty mile races but never twenty-six.
Come visit again, anytime.

Gullible said...

The Mt. Marathon race is your next challenge. Check for coverage.

Shaddy said...

Gully: Are you nuts to bring that race up or do you think I am? Anyone who'll run a mile and a half up a mountain and then back down really is a glutton for punishment. I'll pass on that challenge, but thanks for thinking of me. This phrase comes to mind: With friends like you, who needs enemies.

Shaddy said...

Gully: You know I'm railing on you with no harsh intentions, don't you? I should have put a smiley face after my last sentence to indicate I'm messing with you. Please stick one of these beside my last comment: :):):)