As a friend put it recently over a meal of grilled Brazilian steak, “suddenly you have everything you were hoping for and you’re just working your job and things are just sort of running along smoothly.”
Or something far more eloquent than that.
I don’t have everything I want (mini freezer! rice cooker!) but I knew what he meant. I’ve by no means arrived—do we ever, and do we want to?—but these days I’m feeling the rhythm of daily life in a way I haven’t in a while. Maybe it’s that I’m immersed in my work in that way I vaguely crave when it’s absent. Maybe it’s these longer days. Somehow, things feel smooth. Not perfect, and not always good, but smooth.
Training wise, I’ve been enjoying my non-structured rhythm. I keep meaning to “get serious,” and then later realize that working out on a whim brings me a lot of joy. After my last race, I took a training hiatus to enjoy my Mom’s visit (hello yoga and easy rides), and then worked back into things during a work trip to Texas. Last week I managed to log 18 hours of training, even with my new “joyful” approach. Sure, it sometimes causes me stress as I decide the night before what I’m going to do, but more often than not I’m enjoying the “what shall we do today, body?” approach.
This training on a whim has taken many different forms. Like the hellish 104-mile pre Tour of California stage ride (above) that I only survived because of a very chipper blonde friend.
Like last Saturday’s breathtaking East County ride, featuring a mid-ride pie stop in the charming town of Julian.
Like Sunday’s cove swim followed by a faster-than-comfortable run with one of my favorite training partners, and a Memorial Day coffee ride with a newly-minted Ironman.
Like mid-week solo hill repeats, getting sunburned at impromptu Masters swim sessions at new outdoor pools, and dancing in the balance between pushing myself on my own and relying on others.
May is almost over. Here’s to more daylight hours for training, and hard work and laziness in the right doses. Here’s to always having something to strive for, so to keep the claws of boredom dull. (Did I mention I have Vineman 70.3 coming up?)
I leave you with two epitomes of the Hippie Triathlete spirit, spotted in my travels over the past few weeks: