Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, August 1, 2011

Done for the Week: Narrowing My Sights

I have reached the part of this summer that will involve focusing intensely on preparing for the triathlon in less than three weeks.  My training partner and I spent all day yesterday traveling to, participating in, and returning from the Danskin Triathlon Prep Camp held at the location of the upcoming race.  Tomorrow we will begin the Open Water Swim class, which will have us traveling to and training in the Lake we will be swimming across.  It is time to take my bike in for its pre-race tuneup, and to finalize additional equipment and technique tweaks.  The training schedule for the next three weeks will be hectic.  And it is time to start working on my nerves.

Even though this is my second tri, and I am no longer considered a newbie, I still approach the event with a bit of trepidation; although I have to say that getting into the lake yesterday was much less intimidating than it was last year at this time.  But, at least for me, an undertaking of this magnitude requires the kind of organization, persistence, faith, self-discipline, and FOCUS that do not come naturally to me.  Which is why this sport has been so good for me.  And so challenging.

To further complicate things this year, August brings me new staff to deal with at one job; my grandson's birthday (which I am struggling to remember is in 3 days!); a new web client, with his September launch date; a major website overhaul for another client, due at the end of the month; my continuing efforts to keep this blog up and running; support needed to get one son ready for college, and another to finish high school; and the rush to complete the long list of summer projects we came up with, what seems a few short weeks ago.  Oh, and then there's the recall election that Wisconsin believes the world is watching.  Eight crazy days, and lots of volunteer hours to go.

I am still managing to put one foot in front of the other, and still searching for equanimity.

Done for the Week:  July 25-31, 2011
  1. Completed Week 12 of 15-week triathlon training program; ran three times; swam three times; biked three times
  2. Worked out several times with my training partner
  3. Attended Triathlon Prep Camp
  4. Ordered & received new triathlon shorts; found old ones
  5. Got new contacts, and began wearing them 
  6. Finished If Sons, Then Heirs, by Lorene Cary
  7. Continued to work my two part-time jobs 
  8. Published 1 blog post 
  9. Shared Happy Hour dinner with my husband
  10. Continued reading Elizabeth George's In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner aloud with my husband
  11. Took my dog to dog wash/coffee bar, with my husband
  12. Set up lunch meeting with new web client
  13. Met with current web client; worked on project
  14. Participated in driving my not-quite-licensed-to-drive son to and from work
  15. Took last child to driver's license road test in the rain (He passed!)
  16. Worked for recall candidate
  17. Worked at two Get Out the Vote events, in the blazing heat of mid-day
  18. Attended stepson's fiance's graduate school graduation party
  19. Celebrated my husband's birthday
  20. Visited "Summer of China" Forbidden City exhibit at Art Museum
  21. Bought "new" sofa and sofa table at consignment shop
  22. Picked up sofa and sofa table, and moved out old sofa
  23. Made significant progress in cleaning/straightening/decluttering living room, family room & kitchen  
  24. Did laundry

Last week's most important accomplishment was all the effort I put into getting ready for the triathlon.   And in the process, I determined that my approach to training and preparations for this much-anticipated event has been neglecting its importance.  I have been trying to wedge this significant campaign into an already crazy-making agenda, and experiencing the necessary activity as more of a nuisance than the joy it was last year.  

Some of what has been missing is training with my daughter, which gave us some time and a shared interest outside of family.  She is four months pregnant, and not a triathlon candidate this season.  But I am enjoying training with a friend, and supporting her first effort.

The real culprit is the rest of my jam-packed life.  I haven't yet figured out what to do about that, though I have certainly spent a lot of time contemplating solutions, and writing about that contemplation.  But I have decided to enter more fully into the experience of triathlon, which is not just about race day.  I am going to try to give it the attention and the energy it deserves, and to relish its gifts and take in its lessons.  That is next week's focus goal.

Last week's focus goal, creating a realistic schedule that reflects my many current commitments, got short shrift, I'm afraid.   Given the crunch-time nature of these last weeks of summer, it was probably unrealistic to have expected otherwise.  As I said last week, "When I can be more strategic about my use of time, it should be easier to defend against additional incursions of responsibility (by using that two-letter word I have so much trouble with), and to prioritize projects in a way that will allow me to feel that I'm making progress."  Emphasis on when.  That time is not now.  

Later, for the realistic schedule.

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