I couldn't possibly write a blog about things that used to matter without in turn telling you what does matter.
- Shorts - I have a long and negative history with shorts. Even when I was young and cute and skinny I still rarely wore shorts. I don't have a good reason for why I disliked shorts so much but my new and improved triathlete self greatly appreciates that shorts and I have buried the hatchet. What really brought about this change was the combination of training and excessive heat. Sounds simple enough but it used to take a half marathon in 90 degree temps to get me into a pair of shorts. Now I have so many pairs (ok maybe like 3 pairs) that I absolutely love I find myself wearing them around before, during and after a workout. I've also found that I don't care. In the same way I didn't care if I was last during the tri because obviously no one else would, I've found that I don't care what people think of me in shorts. I know, it's stupid.
- Hydration - Totally obvious but it is so important to be well hydrated even when it doesn't pertain to a workout. Swimming made me really recognize hydration primarily because you don't realize you're sweating when you're in the water. But I guarantee, 1000 meters later walking from your car in the hot sun, you'll remember to drink your water. My exercise has been scaled down this past week +2 days but I still notice if I'm not drinking enough that those little headaches, body aches and general fatigue that used to be commonplace start to creep in again. A page I follow, My Healthy Passions, said that dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue. Lesson learned, drink water.
- Hang Dry Instructions on Laundry - You only have to spend over $50 (of your non-profit salary) on a pair of shorts for what you've deemed one of the most important days of your life once to appreciate what it says on the label in regards to care. I could not afford (in more ways than one) for my tri shorts to be anything other than perfect on race day. The same went for my bathing suit (which unfortunately has seen the dryer a few too many times) and compression sleeves. That meant picking through every individual article of clothing before it went into the dryer to make sure my precious apparel was kept pristine. I know some people actually own nice clothing and because of that they pay closer attention than I do. I, however, own maybe 3 articles of clothing that could be considered "nice" and as cheap as I am I have no plans on re-buying anything. Thus, what the tag says goes.
- Myself and My Happiness - Last but certainly not least would have to be myself. The triathlon was honestly the first thing I think I did entirely for myself. A lot of things I've done have been for me and something/someone else. I got a Communication degree for myself but also to make my family proud of me. I did the triathlon for myself. I knew my family would be proud of me but most importantly I knew that I would be proud of me and that was something I didn't realize I needed as much as I did. This was something that I did 100% for and by myself. Yes, my sister was there on many occasions during training and was there on race day. Tyler was there to rub the plantar fasciitis out of my right foot on many early evenings. But I was the only one who could set the alarm for 5 am, get out of bed, drive to the training site for the day and do the workout. On race day, I was the only one who could get me across the starting line, who could round those buoys, who could lace up my shoes, who could keep riding up those long inclines and who could run on aching legs and sore feet through the finish line. That was something I needed and now that I know what it's like to do something you love (and yes, I love triathlons now) and succeed I can never go back.