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Dealing with disappointment

Living a healthy lifestyle comes down to the choices we make

Sometimes despite our meticulous planning of life, what we thought we would accomplish in a year gets thrown out the window. When this happens, we are faced with a choice: let it derail other things we have worked towards and set us back in different aspects of our life, or accept where we are now and make the best of what is in front of us. 

Now let me start by saying that I understand completely that my fitness goals for the year are not a matter of life or death (at least short term), and what I am ‘dealing’ with is minor in the bigger picture of life and what others are going through. However, for the here and now in my life I needed to step back and figure out how I would proceed with this year. 

For those that don’t follow us on Instagram (you should be @journeyvirtualfitness) as a little background to what I’m babbling about here, I was told that I have not one, but two hernias, and I will need surgery to repair them. These are not major hernias, in fact, I didn’t know I had one of them, but they do cause me discomfort and pain when I do most exercises. This is a big deal in my life. 2015 Coach Miah would not have thought twice about having the surgery or possibly decided not to have it because really how often does it hurt standing up from the couch? Today triathlon and running have become a big part of my life, and fitness in general is a major part of both of our lives. Not being able to do what you enjoy can hit you hard. To top this off I was about to begin my big training block for Ironman 70.3 Michigan last week. 

My doctor said pretty directly that while I may be able to suffer through the training, he definitely would not recommend going through the intense training required for an Ironman with a hernia. So, I made the choice to have the surgery now instead of the fall. I was told my recovery could be fairly quick depending on how well I follow instructions (and how well he does. My surgeon’s words not mine). Even with a quick recovery, it would be very doubtful that I would be able to compete in the race this year. I know I could get enough running and bike training to struggle through it, but I would not be able to bring my swim fitness up enough to avoid having some major anxiety going into race day. 

Our choices define us 

I had to make a decision if I was going to sit back and let this little bit of news define my entire training year, or pout for a day and then regroup. 70.3 and half marathons are a lot to wrap your head around. You need to gear yourself up for the training you are about to undertake, and everything that comes with it. Not just the day of the race, but the countless hours leading up to it that really matter. Once you’ve committed to that not much else registers in your fitness world except that. So, having it abruptly taken away can be…confusing? It’s easy to get depressed and go down a spiral of eating Honey Nut Cheerios and Nachos every day while you sit on the couch staring at your running shoes saying, “I’ll go tomorrow.” 

I like to remind myself that life is simply made up of a bunch of choices, and in the end, we are the result of the choices we make. Sure, there are things completely out of our control, but often, not always, we can choose how we react to them. When I’m having an extra slice or two of pizza even though I’m already beyond full I remind myself I am making a choice to feel like shit tomorrow for the instant gratification my mind wants from this pizza. Or when I’m tired, and I really don’t want to get on the bike for an hour, I know making the choice to do it will benefit how I feel not only afterward, but a few days to come too. These choices can lead to a snowball effect of good or bad depending on how often we choose the best path for us. One bad choice doesn’t have to lead to a bad day, that leads to a bad week, that leads to a bad month, and then a year. 

I took my day to feel bad for myself and now today I’m working towards how I can recalibrate my training for the year, and new goals I can set. In the end, we do this for fitness and to live a healthy life for as long as possible. Yes, racing is fun and provides temporary motivation, but fitness is the end goal, and that requires discipline. I will continue to move however I can so that it doesn’t cause discomfort up until the surgery, but I know it will be less. Knowing this I will have to make the choice to be more cognizant of what I’m eating because I won’t be as active. Does this mean strict no fun “dieting”? No, it means passing on the extra slice when I’m full and eating as many healthy whole foods as I can in hopes that it will aid in my recovery. 

Choosing what’s next

As for races and goals? I will adjust there as well. I really want to finish a full Ironman in the next year or two, so that training needs to continue to get a good base for when I plan to go into that training cycle. Maybe I can do a late-season Olympic triathlon, and then possibly an early-season 70.3 next year. I don’t know, and that’s fine. I need to choose to keep moving forward and remain as fit and healthy as possible. Since I can still ride the bike with little to no pain, I’m going to attempt to ride every street in our hometown. I’ve had the idea for a little while, and now the time is perfect. From what I can tell there are between 300-350 miles of roads here, so well within reach for the year! I started in earnest a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a lot of fun. I haven’t gotten too far from our house yet, but I’ve already seen a ton of new areas that I’ve never bothered to venture into in the 15 years we’ve lived here. 

Is this post an overreaction to a minor problem I am dealing with? Possibly, but I have dealt with many serious life happenings and at this moment this is consuming nearly equally as much. Blowing it off as oh well “That’s the way she goes” as my son would quote wasn’t what I felt or needed. Acknowledge the issue, deal with how I’m feeling, figure out my choices, and decide what I’m going to do. That’s how I plan to move forward with this, and many things in life. I hope it serves me well, and now I’m a bit excited about planning to cover some more pavement. 

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