Sunday, May 11, 2014

Holding Your Ground

It's May, and there are no triathlons in my Race Calendar.  I don't really have any goals set.  I follow bloggers who are doing half-ironman and ironman triathlons, bloggers who have already done their first marathons this season.  It's an ecology of overachievers in the corner of the blogosphere that my personal flight pattern covers, and at the very least, the benefit of setting goals is well understood.  I should feel bad for not toeing the line by having some goals set.


I don't.  I won't.  I can't, because feeling bad certainly wouldn't change anything.  I'm certainly inspired by all those who are conquering new ground, there's no question of that.   They are my heroes.

Yet, I can't help but be reminded about something I read about the movie 300.  It's based on the Graphic Novel by Frank Miller, and loosely (i.e. with plenty of artistic licence) based on the Battle of Thermopylae, where a mere 300 Spartans (give or take some other support from other Greeks) held off tens of thousands of men serving a Persian invasion.  When Frank Miller learned of the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, "...the film altered his perception of the 'Hero' concept insofar as he came to realize that the hero didn't always win and that sometimes, to be a hero, one must sacrifice oneself."  In that story, the good guys (according to the way it was told) didn't "win" or conquer, but they held their ground against seemingly overwhelming odds.



So while conquering a new frontier in multi-sport and/or endurance is an appealing goal, that might not be the path for me at this point in time.  Over the past 3 years, we've become not only a family of two small children which is often overwhelming ("That's cute." said everyone with 3 or more kids), but a special needs family too.  The special needs aren't that overwhelming, but the Lightning Kid has more of them now than he did as a newborn.  The transition from daycare to "real school" is coming.  I'm looking at some medical procedures, which I won't detail here, at least not yet (nothing serious, routine stuff).  Oh, and there's water in the basement (my precious man-cave!)... that'll take time, effort and money.

I have an incredibly supportive spouse, but not a Sherpa wife.  Triathlon (and by extension blogging about it) is a hobby, and fits in after (or gets outranked by) family obligations, career, the welfare of my kids, my relationship with my wife, etc.  It can't eclipse them.

These are not excuses, per se.  I'm not trying to weasel out of anything, in fact, I am more committed than ever to active, outdoor, multi-sport living.  So we'll be running races with the whole family using a stroller, parent and child sports classes, triathlons for the kids, active family vacations and so on.  These are my values.  They are our Family Values. I can serve these values without pushing my personal performance envelope.  And to whatever would try to come between me and those values, I say:

MOLON LABE

Which loosely translates to "Come and Take them".

8 comments :

Lindsay said...

kudos to you for doing what's right for your family.

Janelle J said...

It's definitely important to hold your ground and it can be tough with all the bloggers out their doing big things! You gotta do what's best for you. Dropping by from the #Bestfoot linkup!

Tara Newman said...

Love this post! Laughed when you said you had water in the basement. So matter of fact.

TriGirl said...

Our sports can be very solitary, and therefore selfish. I LOVE that you are making them a family affair! I wish you the best of luck in the preschool transition.

Krysten said...

I LOVE that your focus is Family. Honestly, there is nothing more important. And I think finding a balance is seriously under-rated.

Obviously... I am training for a Half IM this year. But the truth is that family is in the back of my mind. Babies and Pregnancy, so definitely in our not to distant future, and I know my priorities will change with that.

Healthy can be priority without having it be the Be-All End-All

Truth 2 Being Fit said...

I am so in agreement with you on this! I see all your family pics & you keep quite active! I think you have to make decisions in life on what is right for you & you are right on here... In fact, just =because we don't do certain things now does not mean later - great post!

Axel Kussmann said...

Thanks everyone! I'm touched by all your supportive comments, because frankly, I was expecting a bit of backlash... After all, so many of you are managing to kick butt on new goals while balancing your family obligations, careers, and whatever else. Everyone's life has its own rhythm and dynamic, and luckily, this is a supportive community that recognizes that. I'm proud to have such great "blends".

cpalen said...

Long distance tris are certainly overrated in my mind-and I have completed two IMs and a half dozen half IMs (and 110 of shorter distances). Stick to sprints when your kids are young. You can find time to train and you will race and be home before noon...
I work full time (did when daughter was younger too) and now that I am 60 I have the time, but the body is sometimes not willing nor is the energy there.
I guess what I am trying to say is 1.) triathlon is fun, so just keep it that way 2.) I had no life changing moment when crossing the IM line...don't even "get" that.... 3.) I am much more proud that I raised a compassionate, smart, independent daughter and put her through college single-handedly, and have worked in a career with special needs kids for almost 40 years, than my age-group awards or finish medals! Keep doing what you are doing...

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