END OF YEAR: A time for reflection and thanks
As we come to the end of the year, our lives seem to become busier before we can all stop for Christmas and hopefully some time out from our usual routines. In our family, as the year comes to an end we not only reflect on the usual family and work achievements but also on our triathlon experiences.
This year, ours began with an intense training regime in the lead up to a parents only trip to Hainan, China (so pleased we didn’t take the kids!) which resulted in our first Hawaii Qualification (attempt #7), a month later we travelled up north for our first Club Champs experience and an exciting 4th year in a row win for our Tri Club (Warringah), then training ran throughout winter, with an unenjoyable experience for my Ironman in Yepoon, before heading off for our first Hawaii Ironman Experience in Kona. It’s been a busy and jet setting sort of year!
This sort of schedule is probably what many of you experience – year after year – if you are racing regularly in long-distance Triathlons. Obviously for professionals, it’s even more full on – and my hat goes off to those who have two triathletes in one family!
We have two young kids at school and kindy. My husband has a full-time corporate job. I work from home running my own online business. There is a lot to do in a day. However, we manage, in fact it all runs smoothly most of the time – certainly no complaints! Like everything in life, we make time for what we enjoy and plan for experiences we would like and dreams we have. If you didn’t, I think life could get pretty boring…and this is what I love about triathlon.
My husbands compulsive obssesiveness which attached itself to Ironman 10 years ago, has taken us to new places, has offered us new experience, made us lifelong friends and enriched our lives in so many ways.
We often get asked – How do you do it,? How do you cope? In other words, how can he train so much and work and be part of our family and why do I put up with it and manage it all? I am sure many of you have been asked the same thing.
Truthfully, at first I did feel like the focus was on training and races and not much else. We did not have kids – so little did I know! However, as our family circumstances changed and we both worked out what we had to do make it all work, as the years go by it all just seems to fit in. Schedules and priorities are agreed on, compromises are made by both parties and now ten years on it seems to all run smoothly.
I couldn’t be happier to know that my husband is home in bed at 9pm on a Friday night rather than out at the pub! He is the healthiest and fittest he has ever been (and might I add no complaints about him being in the best shape ever!) He has a successful job in which not only is he a model employee but a great example of how to have achieve a work/life balance – everybody knows whose desk to stop at for a bit of fitness advice! He sets goals in life and manages to achieve them all in both work and sport. Our kids see us exercise everyday and live a healthy outdoor life. What all kids need these days!
Is it a burden? No. Do I begrudge my husbands passion and desire to keep up his training and racing? No. In fact, his passions and dreams have rubbed off on to me (not quite Ironman distances though!) and I hope that our children will also learn a lot from their dad’s achievements in the sport he loves.
So, as 2010 comes to an end I am not only thankful for the life we have in Australia but also the lifestyle we have created for ourselves.
Our story may resonate with you – we have many friends who lead similar triathlon lifestyles. You may have had a busy year training and racing – or maybe not so – but I am sure you all have some fond memories (some maybe not so memorable) but certainly experiences over the year that you may now find time to reflect on.
When you can finally put your feet up for a few days and take time out with family and friends, I ask all triathletes to not only remember your race achievements and race times and reflect on how you could have raced better or worse over the year, but to also reflect on the experiences you and your families have had by being part of the triathlon community.
Remember too that now is the time to thank those around you who have supported you in your passion and followed you in achieving your goals. You couldn’t do it without us!
Merry Xmas – and give yourselves at least a couple of days off to enjoy the silly season!