Thursday, May 08, 2008

Me, We, Three

I’m going to make light of this, because it’s the only way I can come to terms with it. I’m disappointed. Very disappointed.

So, last year I decided that it was about time I buckled down and got serious about this sport. A new bike, a new coach, a new attitude, and a lot of great races on the horizon. Soon I added a nutritionist and an ART therapist, piles of gear, and lots of traveling.

And it was a good. I was happy and wise. But somehow not so wealthy.

Seems that when you spend all of your free money on training and racing, there’s no money fairy that replaces it in your wedding savings fund or the ‘I’ve gotta move out of this dang neighborhood’ bank account.

Like, seriously....where is the freaking fairy?

Two nights ago, Mighty M and I had a heart to heart. He’s a man of few words, and being that man of few words, I know that when he says something in one of our “grown-up” conversations, I should listen.

We talked about our wedding. And our mortgage. My student loans and his outstanding obligations. We talked about needing to move before making babies (thankyouverymuch) and how much house we could afford. And when we could afford that.

And it was scary and a reality check for me. You see, all Mighty M needs for entertainment is an Xbox and zombie movies. Seriously. I wouldn’t joke about this.

Me? I’ve picked up a habit that’s a wee bit more pricey. And it’s not totally fair, you know.

And every husband or wife out there reading this probably remembers the moment the “me” became the “we.”

Well, we just had a moment.

So, I decided to pare down. EVERYTHING. And it was hard. Being responsible sucks monkey balls.

Of course, the Elf understood when I explained it all to her, and was more gracious than anyone I know. A consummate pro, in more ways than one. And you’ll see my race schedule has DRASTICALLY changed on the sidebar. I’ve pared it down to just some local races that I want to keep so I stay motivated and in shape, but won’t break the bank. I’m going to skip the rest of the halves this year and, instead, continue to build my own fitness with lots of cross training.

And maybe I’ll start needlepointing again.

Cause I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of this free time.



I’m sad, but I know it’s the right decision. I’m part of something bigger than just my own wants and needs, now. And for that, I’m very lucky. So it’s time for a little sabbatical from my favorite hobby so, one day, Mighty M can carry me across the threshold of our brand new house and we can start making the “we” the “three.”

And that is worth it.


Danni said...

How much truth there is on this statement!
Life is full of choices, hard ones and easy ones. We must adapt to what gets thrown at us, and sometimes it sucks.
The three is super worthy!

21stCenturyMom said...

Well - you have what you need for IM so I can't imagine you will have more free time as you build for that - you still have to train!

As for the races - too expensive even if you do have the money. Cutting out 6 races = very nice weekend get away with sweetie. Of coruse right now that translates into pancakes in bed but you'll get there!

Congrats on making the right choice.

21stCenturyMom said...

Oh wait - I don't see an IM on your schedule. I was sure you were doing one. Oh well... just pretend you are doing one (as if).

Just keep up the training - why not??

Andrea said...

Heart braking. Really.
But only you know if it was the right decision - and you can be the one (with the consultation of your future spouse) to change your mind again when you feel the time is right.

Taking time off from the sport, or simply letting up, may actually make you faster! It did for me! I was forced to take last year off and I've have come back stronger, faster and more dedicated than I ever was before.

You know though, just because you are backing off from the sport does not mean you get to slack on the blog posts - because we all LOVE IM ABLE's BLOG! :)

Go Mom Go said...

The same conversation occured here this winter. It has been a hard decision, I won't say it was easy, but I hope that in the long run I will be able to say it was all worth it.

Almost every day I miss the training for IM. But I know that it will still be there when I have the family time...someday.

The only advice I can give is make the decision and move forward.

Peace! Laura

Alili said...

You are a brilliant and well informed woman and I am happy that you made a decision that while pares down your list puts the bigger picture into play. Most of us, myself included should follow your example.

You are still doing what you love, still racing, and planning for a better future-with the person that you love.

We'll pass on Wildflower '09 ;)


TrainingtoTri said...

I hear you, tris are so expensive. I am a newbie and can’t decide if it’s worth it. Best of luck on getting that new house!

Stef said...

Sounds like you are doing the right thing for the right reasons and you STILL get to race!

Only you know in your gut what you need to do and sometimes it takes a lot of courage, sacrifice, and yes, disappointment to follow that.

Congratulations on making that tough decision.

I need to echo Andrea; I too hope you keep blogging!

Robyn said...

Oh, *WE* have had this conversation many times. Fear not. As for the *ME* part of that equation, one of my process goals for this year, was to keep it simple...meaning, that outside of my one half IM, there is no racing that requires a hotel / massive travel costs. Still really, really fun!

Calyx Meredith said...

Before I got married (the first time) I used to skip meals to be able to afford books. After the wedding it was a *shock* to realize that my cute new hubby would rather eat than watch me read! Adjustments were made - lovingly but not easily.

I'm sorry that you're having to make even tougher choices, what with the resource fairy being MIA and all - but you sound so centered! You keep raising the bar on me for how to do this sport well. Best, best, best of luck with the results of paring down. Remember - less can be more (and er, blogging is cheap!) :D

Sarah said...

It's hard! I'm going through that same thing right now, trying to figure out what we can do reasonably while also being responsible. I try to remember that the races will be there and that I don't have to do them all right now. But man, it's hard! It's so much fun!

Tea said...

Now that you have all the equipment, stick with the training!

where's that race report anyway? ;)

LBTEPA said...

There will be a right time. You're, what, thirty? that's 50 more years to fit in family, IM, everything! There will be time.

Bill said...

Yep, those monkey balls keep slapping everyone on the chin.

It's all about balance and keeping focus on what's important for the two of you. If you lose sight of that, well, let me tell you, it gets ugly.

Especially if kids are involved.

It's great that you're having these conversations now. I didn't. But I learned a lot in the intervening years, so made sure I had those conversations with Goddess for a long time before we got married.

IM and the many other races aren't going anyway. Just think of the years of base that you'll have. :D

Donald said...

You're making the right call. Especially as you start a family, you'll realize how secondary all of this training and racing really is. You'll always have timne to work your way back into it over the coming years.

monica said...

now that's what i call L.O.V.E.

girl, go on with ur baby makin'!!

and don't forget, you'll always have us bloggers. plus, you have the gear, and there's a whole movement of self supported races to look into. sometimes i can kick myself for spending money on a hotel room near a race that's really not far from home just to get a few more hours sleep. nope, after ironman, i'm mellowing out too. no more destination stuff for a while. then maybe i'll FINALLY meet my future baby's daddy and get goin' in that department too!!!

i raise my glass (of meat water, thanks!!) to you and mr. m and the future you've shaped together!!

Anonymous said...

Sooooo know that feeling. Ironman left us with a large credit card bill! If I knew it would get us in the financial poo-hole so to speak, I wouldn't have done it. There are so many hidden costs that you don't think about. Like sucking back a dozen gels in one day, or going through half a tub of Perpetuem in one ride! The tyres, tubes, new shoes, socks and bras - it all adds up!

When you have a mortgage and kids, it is very hard to balance the money pool. You need to make the right decision for you guys, and sometimes that just sucks! But, keep at it, keep eventing (cheap and locally), and when the time is right, you'll be ready to kick that half ironman!!!!

Plse don't stop blogging tho - we still want to know what you're up to!

ShirleyPerly said...

FWIW, I think you're doing what's right for you and your family. In many ways, I'm lucky that I got into training & racing late in life as there is little else it competes with right now. But when grandkids start needing my attention, I'll probably back off too. There's more to life than training & racing and family is numero uno. Best wishes to you.

IronTRISH said...

It's no fun being a grown up, making grown up decisions. Good for you, making the tough ones with such grace. M is a lucky man. Please keep blogging :)

Erin said...

Just had a similar conversation with Chief of Stuff...the most patient man I've ever met. A whole group is signing up to do IM-Moo again next year, and I want to do it with them. But it's not just about me anymore, and so, when he said he was "lukecold" do the idea, and although I was disappointed, I had to respectfully back off.

These are the defining moments of a marriage, though, methinks. The willingness to put "we" ahead of "me." Kudos to you for doing so gracefully and honestly.

Megan said...

I read all the comments and frankly don't have a ton to add. I 100% agree and support your decision, and know that you are very much NOT alone in having to deal with this. I whole-heartedly agree that you should not stop stop training, even if there is no race to train for - consider it "maintaining your base" so that when you are able to do set a race goal, you won't have to start from zero. Can't have a coach? Make your own plans, set your own training goals. I know it's harder to hold oneself accountable in the absence of a coach, but it just means that you are training your mind in a new way.

What I can relate to most is the disappointment - to be at a place in your physical fitness, and then have to put off the races and the training that you have come to structure your life around. I felt it after the back injury, after IM was over, and now with this whole kidney thing - looking into another summer of plentiful races that I can't do.

I know you know that you are doing the right thing, so i won't harp on that. But I am learning (slowly, very slowly) that a change in priorities doesn't mean that everything goes out the window. It just means you need to get creative.

Hey, I know - let's get the blogger girls to do our own version of a oly or 1/2 - we can pick a day, and do the distances on our own in our repective states. Sure, we can't go for a pancake breakfast together afterwards, but we can figure something out. No race fee, no travel fee, and it keeps us on a structured training schedule - thoughts?

We could call it the "IM Able 2 Tri" I'll make the tee-shirts!!!

Kim said...

I guess I kind of luck out in having a significant other that enjoys the sport right along with me - he is definately better at it than I am, but he only does an IM every other year - the odd year we do local sprints and OLY's. But your right its an expensive hobby.

I agree with anothers suggestion above, do your own 1/2 IM, with other bloggers!

triguyjt said...

family is reality and cash check is something that in time will be a good thing....
good luck.....
still in for mountaineer or did that get squeezed???/

good luck

Jesse said...

Good choice. Coincidental timing.

I just e-mailed my withdrawl letter to Team USA to drop out of the 2008 ITU Long Course World Championship, posted my decision to my blog, then read your news on your blog.

Hard choices in life, but you think them through, make a course correction and move forward.

A 4-5 day trip to Europe to do a race with two kids in college this fall was my reality check.

I'll still race locally (at least domestically), and races that don't require quite the time commitment, but I'm going to try to keep it simple and fun for a while.

RBR said...

"Me, we, three" Big picture. Looking at what is REALLY important. Kudos

You aren't stopping you are actually practicing moderation (a skill people of our ilk are not particularly good at. I am a blog stalker and read our sister's letter, so I know we have a couple things in common ;o). I think is fantastic.

Thank you so much for your encouragement on my blog. It means a lot to me. It still sounds ridiculous to me, but I am going for it! (Remind me of these words when I am supposed to go on a 7 hour bike ride in the rain.)

I have really loved reading your blog and your journey. It was a big part of helping me make my decision. Plus, you are funny as hell which is always appreciated!

MAJ said...

Haven't commented on this yet cause I'm too busy crying. In a good way. Man, it just seems like I can always relate to what you're going through, and it is way too personal to really share some of why . . . but I totally get it.