Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reality Checks

You have probably already figured out that I operate a lot like Jim Carrey's character in the movie "Yes Man".

I say "Yes" to a lot of things. This is a function of both my hardware and my software. Physically, I have a ton of energy and a huge tolerance for stress. Emotionally I want to experience everything that I can while I am here on this earth.

I would not change this about myself, and generally it makes for an exciting and fulfilling life. It also has its inherent, and utterly predictable, drawbacks. The biggest being the occasional realization that I have WAY overcommitted myself.

Lately these insights, awarenesses, kicks-in-the-teeth have come in the form of physical, fiscal and familial wake up calls. I posted previously about the exciting 2012 I have ahead, full of races and adventures and festivals and fun. And I am still looking forward to it. But a few things have recently been trimmed, out of various necessities.

One big one is the Canadian Death Race, a 125km ultramarathon in Alberta in August. Last month, an inspiring runner I met at the Haliburton 100 last year, Elise Maguire, told me she was signing up for the race and asked if I wanted to go as well. Logically it made zero sense for me to say "yes". It is 5 weeks after my return to The Spartan Death Race in June, and I will not be anywhere near recovered enough to run 125km, with 17,000 feet of elevation change, summiting three mountain peaks in 24 hours, much less 5 weeks before the Haliburton 100 Miler. I also will have neither the time nor the money to get myself across the country again this summer, after four trips to the U.S., three to The Maritime Provinces and countless local events. So, last week I sucked up my pride and took that one out of my schedule. (It would have already been paid for a week earlier if I'd had a PayPal account, but I had to wait for funds to transfer from my bank to my PP account and this caused the wait during which my common sense kicked in.) When I told Elise, she replied, "Yeah.... I was kind of expecting you bailing out." (Ouch!!) She then graciously added, "But really no worries. Your schedule is quite busy and after all, we only have one body and we need to take care of it, right? Sometimes, we just need to listen to it and calm down a bit." I was actually rather grateful for the jab at the beginning, as it woke me up to the thought that I am setting myself up to disappoint people.

And it's not just the racing that has my schedule bursting at the seams. I have coached wrestling most of the past several weekends, already travelling this season to Renfrew, St. Catherines, Milton, London, and more. With my own kids no longer participating in the sport, this has meant time away from them when it is already very precious. This coming weekend is wide open for both of them - and I am scheduled to run the Winterman Marathon in Ottawa on Sunday (driving across Saturday). I tried to convince myself that this would be a super-fun trip for them but, other than a night in a hotel, the reality is 10 hours of driving to stand in a freezing cold city while Dad runs an inconsequential race. So, instead, I am surprising them with a night in Toronto at a hotel with a waterpark, each also invited to bring a friend. And I can safely reveal said surprise two days in advance as neither gives a rat's ass about Dad's boring blog :)

All probably for the best actually, as I am back to weekly chiropractic visits for my shoulder (old AC injury causing impingement) and Achilles (still nagging) and have an appointment with the elbow surgeon for March 5th (the day I get back from the Winter Death Race). So a bit of time off will no doubt do me some good!

One quick note, whilst on the topic of my amazing kids ... We have our tickets purchased for Electric Forest Music Festival, June 28 - July 1, 2012. And after my transcendentally wonderful trip to Camp Bisco last summer with Jack I am over the moon excited about this adventure with the two of them!

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