We are endurance cyclists. We know the pleasure of uniting muscle, sinew, and bone with mental fortitude. We assemble our arsenal of training, determination, and experience to deliver new feats of distance and climbing and (occasionally) speed. We all know that the endurance game is just as much mental as physical. We speak soothingly to our demons as we pedal long distances, alone with our thoughts.
We know the feeling of being tapped out – when we have nothing left to give, when we’ve dug into our mental and physical reserves and we find ourselves wanting. We’ve felt the tears of defeat that mingle with our sweat and the grit of the road. We’ve all looked at the long route ahead and despaired of ever reaching the finish line.
But more often, we know the pride of accomplishment – that moment when all the sweat, the river of tears, the grueling headwinds and the hours of training pay off. The moment when we accomplish the unthinkable, or witness one of our family achieve a dream. The moment we roll into victory, buoyed by the waves of endorphins and cheered on by our sisters and brothers.
We are endurance cyclists; we will take this day’s victory and return stronger, destined for another new challenge.
The past week has been a gradual unwinding, as I resigned from my role at Avaya and I’ve been “getting things off my plate” in an orderly fashion. As I unwind from this company and role, I realize that I’d stopped focusing on so many other aspects of my life while I was traveling and trying to make things work professionally. Like Sisyphus, I was pushing the rock up the hill on a daily basis and I wasn’t making much progress on anything else.
I’d forgotten to pay attention to my health — and I certainly wasn’t spending any time training my body for physical endurance. I wasn’t feeding my soul either — I stopped learning and much of my non-recreational reading. And I haven’t been spending enough time feeding my relationships either. All of my “other” energy was swallowed up in the job, which was often both overwhelming and under-rewarding.
As I unwind from all that stress and negative internal monologue, I’m rediscovering energy to learn, to connect with friends, to ride my bike, and to travel. I’m certain that a mere 20 days off won’t allow me to fully correct on all levels, but all indications are trending in the right direction. I’ve found my balance again and I’m cautiously optimistic about my ability to maintain it into the new job.
For now, I’m excited about going to Florence and Pisa in mid-September. I’ll read a ton, and exercise (Pisa by bike!), and stay up late chatting with Per and Lyssi. It’s time to feed my body and soul, so I remember what normal, happy, engaged Wendy feels like. That’s “working it” in a positive way, even when I’m not working.