Thursday, May 17, 2007


Remember in Superman II when he decides to give up his powers and becomes just a regular dude? And suddenly he can't fly, and Clark gets his ass kicked as the diner, and nothing really goes right because not only is he mortal, but he doesn't really understand how to be mortal?

That's me these days.

And yeah, I'm comparing myself to a superhero, and just be glad it's not Batman from the crappy 4th movie when the suit had nipples.

Since the fall of 2003, really, I've had in my life this singular source of motivation: Ironman. And I began this lifestyle that saw me running and biking and swimming several times a week, rain or shine, come what may. I slowly developed into a kind of machine. And last summer, a superhero. Bullet proof. Injury proof. I could run forever. I was locked into every nuance of the game. I could tell you my watts on a given 80 mile ride. I was up at 5am on the weekends to workout. I was so dialed in, and felt unstoppable, strong, amazing. The climax to that movie, of course, was Ironman.

This year. Bah. I've said before that it's okay that real life demand some attention this year, and probably I say it out loud so much to make my own peace with it, which I think will never come easily. And, I need to stop seeing "real life" as, I guess, "real life." Like it's some anomoly, in competition to the Ironman lifestyle. Probaly the trick is to find a way to do both - after all, and like I've said before, doctors and mothers and policemen do this stuff every day. But, for whatever reasons, this season I'm finding it just about impossible to get into the river. There are lots of distractions, and other things to focus on, and as I've said before there, too, those things have their own rewards. I'm not unhappy or anything, just...unfamiliar.

I have a half marathon to run this weekend, and so I was out for 6 miles yesterday. I'm lucky these days to get a 6-miler in at all. Today I have soreness. What is that? I remember when 16 miles barely left me feeling it the next day. I feel like such a hack. What I really need to do is start over. Like, seriously begin again the whole season with short 3 miles runs and half an hour on the bike, and begin the build again. But, hard to do when I'll be taking 2 weeks off soon for the move. So in my mental schedule it's seriously, like, the first week of July before I'm able to start training seriously again.

But maybe to hell with that. Maybe I need to not be so OCD about it, arranging a workout schedule that's "just perfect". I have a kid on the way people, "just perfect" workout schedules are a thing about to be long gone. Maybe this is part of the bigger game - figuring out how to make this go in the wider world. Maybe that's a purpose to find: How does Superman exist among mortals without having to give up what makes him Superman.

Feel a little like I'm flailing here.


Someday, not yet, I'm going to Become Ironman again. Better. Smarter. For all the reasons one chooses to Become. But next time around I think I'll have a new and different appreciation for the process, even as much as I loved it the first time.

Yet, and I suppose this is important: I do think its true that, once an Ironman, always. It lives in you. Thick in your blood. And it's that thing that burns essential. The body, which is in need of reconstruction, is at least secondary to the heart for it - the willingness, the discipline. Those things are intact. I guess that's something.

Anyway. I think I have to think on this awhile. So meanwhile, I'm not Superman just now. Need to make some kind of peace with that. I guess, s'okay. There's another superhero who's suit I'll always fit into.


Steve S. said...

You'll become Ironman again. And hey, there's NOTHING wrong with a nipple suit... (although the movie sucked hard)

TriSaraTops said...

Well said. This has been an interesting road for me, too, as we both head into this new chapter.

Hey, can I interest you in IMKY 2009? I've already got 3 other buddies in.


Thinking about the future keeps me going when I get down about the fact that I can barely hold 11 minute miles.

Robin said...

I'm catching up on blogs after being away, so just read about your impending Dadhood. CONGRATS!!!!!!!! How very exciting for you.

You say: "But maybe to hell with that. Maybe I need to not be so OCD about it, arranging a workout schedule that's "just perfect". I have a kid on the way people, "just perfect" workout schedules are a thing about to be long gone. Maybe this is part of the bigger game - figuring out how to make this go in the wider world."

I think you are on to something, the big something. At least the big something that parenthood brought into my life: there is no more perfect. Having a kid is an exercise in being reminded daily how little of life is really under your control, it's about releasing that illusion of control and learning to swim with the current. I don't know how your experience will go, but I found that parenthood brought a peace that I never knew when I was just concentrating on the things I was passionate about. It's just one of the many, many blessings.

Congrats again. I'll look forward to reading about your journey. And yes, Ironman will always be there. It took me 7 years to get to back to an IM after our last kid was born, but the journey was just as important as the destination.

Triteacher said...

You say so much in this post. I'll pick one point to comment on: the idea of Becoming again. I've always wondered about the second time. Will it be as meaningful? I've always concluded that it won't be, that I'll slack in the training, cuz "Hey! I did it once already, what do I have to prove?" But I think you've hit upon something -- "a new and different appreciation for the process" -- because yes, we are different people than we were in '06. And yes, the process is really something.

OK, 2 things to comment on: Rock on, Superhero X!

Oh, and #3 - Thanks for the kind words. Even in blogosphere, you ring true.