With loads of time on my hands now, I find myself flipping this question around in my mind, like flipping a pancake of several sides: my own identity as a triathlete, coach, mother, person, etc… I know other athletes have been through such transitions and that pros don’t last forever in any sport. But it sure does make for some introspection and lots of questions.
I wonder if in our quest of personal best and the ensuing obsession that is needed to be really GOOD…
I wonder if we can lose sight of ourselves in all this?
I wonder if I can remember what it’s like to go walk for no reason?
I wonder if I”m ready for this new identity as a great coach, but to never again set foot on a race course?
I wonder where all the other parts of me went when I didn’t make time or space for them? Will they return? Will I become a triathlon work-a-holic as I transition to full time coach? Will I paint, write, sing, work on my French, Spanish, and German again? Will I make good on my promise to learn Arabic and guitar or finally pursue graduate work in exercise physiology, the physics of running, and yet even more triathlon “stuff”? ? I’m sure I will but I have to figure it all out. I regret nothing in my years of racing, but I relish the chance to find a new kind of equilibrium.
This makes me even more mindful of my athletes and even more certain that I need to care for the people they are, not just the athletes who log workouts, seize the podium, and populate training peaks with their brilliant efforts. When swim, bike, run is done there is surely a lot more living to do. Are you still living your life outside of swim, bike run?