I’ve read and heard many times recently that creativity flourishes best when it’s given space. You need downtime, boredom even, to allow ideas to bump up against one another. To create friction, to flourish.

If that’s the case, this will be the most uninspired post I’ve ever written.

Last week life turned on a dime with one phone call. Nothing life and death, just big changes at work that dropped just a handful of new responsibilities in my lap. Since then, I’ve been at my computer by 5:30 a.m. every day on back-to-back calls, trying to figure out knows what and bombarding Google’s servers with my bad ass spreadsheets. (It coincided nicely with my Ironman 70.3 St. George taper, however, so someone must be watching out for me.)

I’ve always disliked the “I’m busier than you are” conversational one-upmanship. And so while I want to share and process out loud how CRAZY I’m feeling right now, because that’s who I am (and really, why I blog at all), I’m disgusted by the words as I type them. “Drowning,” “barely hanging on,” and all their theatrical cousins.

The truth is, I haven’t been terribly busy over the past few months. (I’m not a bad person! Really!) By this, I don’t mean bored or not involved in anything meaningful, just that I’ve had time. For extracurricular pursuits and long rides and leisure.

Until last week, when an army invaded my garden.

What I didn’t expect was the high. I’d forgotten how energizing it can be to have to manage so many moving pieces. To dance and bounce between tasks, checking boxes, kicking ass and taking names. I didn’t expect the rush of having to squeeze workouts in at dusk, stomach growling because I’ve been too engaged in what I’m doing to remember to eat.

I’d forgotten what it felt like to wish, for just a minute, that I could get my nutrients through a tube rather than having to buy, prepare, and actually consume, food.

I’d lost sight of what it feels like to be this engaged. To be needed this much.

I’d grown out of touch with the Sagittarius archer in me, the pursuer, the manipura chakra if you’re into that. And I’m feeling alive.

And I’m feeling so many questions bubble up. Questions I don’t yet know how to answer. Modern questions that all of us—not just women—face, and which might not even be given me to answer. Like where I am on the spectrum of fiery hunger and ambition, and believing that sometimes it’s OK not to want more.

What does all of this have to do with triathlon? Nothing and everything. Leading up to Oceanside I was so invested—laser-focused on details like tapering and nutrition. Now we leave for St. George in an hour and I just hope I packed running shoes.


9 thoughts on “fire

  1. john post
    May 1, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Best of luck in St. George!!

    1. Jen
      May 2, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Thanks John!

  2. May 1, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Good luck this weekend! Enjoy it :) I hope you did, indeed, remember your running shoes!

    I understand the rush of being busy and needed. I went through a similar period at work recently and it was actually great. I find that I’m more productive in all areas of life when I am busier at work, which is kind of strange to me and makes me ask myself a lot of questions too.

    1. Jen
      May 2, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Totally. Funny how that works.

  3. May 2, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Love this! You articulated how I feel almost daily perfectly.

    1. Jen
      May 2, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Lucky! (Or not?) ;)

  4. May 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    i am with you on hating the “i am busier” war. usually for me there is a high, followed by a crash. there has to be some way to ease through life’s more demanding times or at least a way to not let it stress you out. ultimately we know life is chaotic and demanding at times and of course you can choose at which level you want that all to fall on. i like my life to be fairly demanding, but then i know i have to come up with a better way to handle it all on an emotional and physical level because i still crash. i also believe there is nothing wrong with craving a more simple life, the difference between people’s desires is what makes this world so fun. i will stop now! GOOD LUCK at IMSG70.3!!! use that momentum you have built up inside you.

    1. The Hippie
      May 4, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Yeah working on finding that balance as I navigate this new path! SG was mediocre. I guess the fire didn’t translate. I think I was distracted!

      1. May 4, 2015 at 4:12 am

        sorry your race wasn’t spectacular. :-/ you will ultimately figure it out! [i am still trying to figure my life out too]