The notorious marker of the end summer fun is here….September. The month that, for me, feels the most unsettling. The calm before the storm. Like how I feel waiting for a check-up at the dentist. Stuck sitting in an uncomfortable plastic chair trying hard to focus on the article in Good Housekeeping while thoughts of whether I flossed enough invade my every fiber. Does my future have needles and freezing and fillings in store or was my conscious effort to avoid ungodly amounts of sugar, pop and coffee successful at keeping cavities at bay? It’s one of those things you can prepare for, but never guarantee. The future is unknown. The month of September is being stuck in a holding pattern after a long and tiring flight. The hard part of planning and traveling is over and you’re about to reap the rewards on your pending trip but at the moment, there is nothing you can do, except…well…wait.
The summer was jam-packed with training. Utterly exhausting, can’t eat enough, can’t sleep enough kind of training. But it felt good. While I technically had last summer ‘off’ while I recovered from the shoulder surgeries, this summer it felt good to sweat again. To hurt again. For my muscles to feel sore. But I must admit that every prelude into the Olympic season seems a bit easier. Certainly not physically, but emotionally. When the Olympic clock is counting you down day by day to the pinnacle race of your athletic career, rolling outta bed to start yet another day of hurt somehow doesn’t seem so bad. That proverbial carrot transforms into a dangling gold medal…and who wouldn’t chase that?!
Physically I feel great. Better than ever. No further injury or pain has held me back from training, although it did become evident at certain points that I was playing a bit of catch-up from my year-long hiatus from the weight room. But I quickly closed those gaps the best I could and feel ready to race, to get back in the game.
And although the summer months can feel like they stretch on forever, I knew that it wouldn’t be that long before the white stuff blankets the ground and tank tops are replaced with race bibs. But in the rare and precious days that we weren’t training I took the opportunity to have some fun too!!
After purchasing my first road bike, I took part in the Ride for MS as well as the Fernie Highline 100. I challenged myself to hit ALL of my shots on the golf course without stealthily snatching it out of the sand for a more desirable lie. I became a humbled beginner in a Learn to Row class out on the water at the Glenmore Reservoir. And I did my best to ‘rough it’ while camping with my family! Next year I will get around to some other goals and interests – learn to cook, take a hip-hop dance class, own a Ducati Monster, compete in my first triathlon and plan my dream wedding in Manhattan, NY! Yep, life is full of exciting opportunities! But I think right now, I’ll get back to the one right in front of me, the Olympics!