For the first time since regionals, my schedule has finally allowed me to leave VA. I know. That sounds pretty insane, but for three months I was contractually obligated to stay in VA and not leave the Alexandria area basically. With swim meets on weekends and practices on Mondays that I wasn't supposed to miss, it was hard to get away and just shut things out for a hot minute.
I'm not someone who deals well with change, I will wholeheartedly own up to that. Almost as soon as I decided to be brave and leave teaching, a whole host of other changes came my way and pretty soon I felt like I was getting buried. My two roommates have left my house, leaving me with change there. I'm not angry with them for that because they need to do what's best for their lives and their careers. It does suck however that at the same time I got slammed with two new roommates I don't know. They both seem nice and like really cool people, but learning to live with two new people and two different set of quirks/schedules/habits can be a wee bit stressful. On top of that there were pressures from my schedule which despite being down to two jobs was still driving me insane. I was getting more time to myself, but it was coming in weird chunks, and I was always running. I'd do morning practice, then have three hours to myself until I either had to go to the restaurant, or drive a half hour again back down to Mt. Vernon. It really sucked a lot more than I thought it would.
To throw yet another monkey wrench in there, I finally gave up on a relationship that I probably should have given up on months/years ago, but for whatever reason, just couldn't. Despite the fact that I know it was the right thing, it still sucked. Not to mention, those friends who promised not to lose touch when I left teaching have continued to see each other, but not me. God bless Facebook for showing me all their fun outtings right? It hurt to see, and it hurt to feel excluded... but what hurt more was the fact that I felt like I couldn't talk about it. I didn't want to admit to anyone that I wasn't ok, that I wasn't reveling in the amazing choices that I had made and I wasn't a whole new and totally happy person. I pushed everything down and did what I always do. I worked. I ignored it as if it didn't exist, and I worked.
The only problem with supressing that much stuff is that it's bound to resurface at some point. When there is that much "stuff", it's not going to stay down forever, and it didn't. I tried very hard to just keep going and working out and doing everything people wanted me to do and all the things I was supposed to do, but it was a big challenge. And somewhere admist all this "stuff", CF stopped being fun. It wound up being another stresser again.
To be honest, I think that after regionals I should have taken more time away from CF. I was pretty burnt then on CF, but here's a truth about me. I have a huge weight issue, and to be honest, I was afraid, and still am, that if I take the necessary time away from CF to get back to where it's fun again, I'm going to gain a lot of weight. CF has been the only thing that has ever helped me fight that battle, and I guess I have this fear that the second I stop CF, I'm going to put it all right back on. I know that that is totally illogical, but still... it floats in the back of my head. A few weeks ago, I started spending more time in the pool while there with the team because I wanted to get in some extra work, and because there were days where I just didn't want to go do another metcon or run or do more double unders. I felt like I needed to do something to get some exercise in and help keep the weight off since going to CF just didn't appeal to me.
I was suffering from burnout. Bottom line. Same thing happened with swimming several years ago, but regardless I kept pushing through. Over time, I grew to absolutely hate swimming. For a long time just the smell of chlorine was enough to make me grow increasingly nauseous. Swimming is starting to get fun again, but it's taken a hiatus of 4 years to get there. I don't want that to happen with CF, so I've taken a minor hiatus. I haven't hit the box since last Wednesday when I had a minor meltdown (remember what I said about that "stuff" resurfacing?) and I've in general been taking it easy. I'm, for the first time in a REALLY long time, going easy on myself and my body. I got in the pool yesterday and hit an hour long session, and may do the same today, or go run some trails around my house. Dunno. We'll see.
So, the big question, where is Katie? Physically, I'm sitting in central Penciltucky on the farm, and have been enjoying, for the most part, cooler temperatures, less humidity, my family's new cat, and an absence of Starbucks lattes. I have however discovered, since there is not a Starbucks within 20 miles of me, that Starbucks coffee (ground) plus Hazelnut creamer, does the trick quite well. I'm on my third cup of coffee this morning, and even with the creamer (5g carbs/tablespoon), I am STILL below the sugar count of my grande latte. (I believe the way I make it it sports 58g carbs per grande... yikes) So, it's not totally Primal or Paleo, but when it comes down to it, it's a far better choice, and it still tastes good. (Eat this, not that)
But, I guess the where is Katie (physically) question was probably not the one you were really worried about were you? Fair enough. It wasn't really the one I was worried about either. So, where is Katie mentally? Right now, Katie is much more relaxed mentally. Just getting out of DC and having the freedom to take time off work and leave has meant a HUGE reduction in stress. Not to mention, the pace of life here is MUCH slower. (Nothing says slow pace of life like horses and buggies right?!?!?) It has helped to simply calm me down and get me back to being me again. I've been able to work out, but I've also been able just to wander and go about a much more relaxed schedule and I've been able to enjoy myself again. Just by removing a few stressers, I feel more able to deal with the other ones.
Will I be back at CF on Monday morning? At this point, I don't know. I've liked hiking and swimming and *gasp* running on my own. It's been nice. It's been cathartic. (Did I spell that right?) But being on my own does make me miss CF a bit too. Regardless though, I think taking some time away was necessary and my trip home fell at a REALLY good time. Mentally I'm much healthier and much more relaxed now than I was a few weeks, or really, even just a few days ago. The good news is that I'm getting things back on track, and the good news is, that some serious evaluations have been made. Life is moving in the direction it needs to. I just need to figure out and learn how to adjust to those movements.
I've been lucky enough in my life to grow up in a small town where things rarely change. It's nice to have consistency. I've lived in one house my whole life... terrific. All of my memories of the past 28 years are in that house and on that property. It's great to know that things rarely change. The probablem with all this though is that when things do change, it throws me into a tailspin because I have no idea how to deal with it. My life has always stayed the same right?! So, the bottom line is that I will need to continue to work on going with the flow and adjusting to life as it throws curves at me. I came up with this analogy on my FB the other day and it seemed to fit.
"You know how sometimes people put rocks in tumblers so that they come out all shiny and sparkly on the other side? Maybe life is putting me through a tumbler so I come out all shiny and sparkly on the other side?"
As crazy as the analogy is, it almost makes sense. Maybe this is life's way of forcing me to change and to polish up some of my parts. Who knows truthfully, but it's going to take work to get through this, and now that I'm a little more relaxed and not so freaked out, I feel more ready to tackle things. So, here's to hoping I can start putting things together.