Monday, November 24, 2014

Off Season-college, sports, friends, and trainer rides

Things really wound down quickly this fall as I fell back into the normal routine of school, and the race season came to an end; well, my race season ended with me face planting down a muddy hill in Edmonton two days before Age Group Worlds, but what seemed like such a big deal at the time, is now a valuable learning experience from the past. I have had much time to reflect. I feel that I learned more about myself at that race, than I would have had I podiumed.  Only downside of the experience is I have a nice slit in my eyebrow that will most likely never go away. That's ok, that's why they have pencils for that!

I have needed to prioritize this fall, and I feel as a student-athlete I am constantly working on that balance between school, sports, friends, the internship search, and life. It's a tough go, wanting to excel in multiple facets of life, and I realize there's a reason why so few people in school are able to sustain this lifestyle. This unique lifestyle choice at times can be lonely, but it is also what drives me: that will to be different. It has been an invaluable skill learning to compartmentalize: when I'm in class I try to be 100% there, and when I am training I am 100% there, and likewise with my friends. It is amazing what being in the moment can do to your life. It's all about perspective and choice. Choice of attitude is a great place to begin.

It has taken time management this fall with my classes, and training has been a positive outlet. I feel fortunate to have all the support I have with the influences in my life in and far from Boulder. As I put forth my best effort in the classroom and in the sport each day, my perspective of life and sport has continued to shape and change. I feel in awe of the beauty that surrounds me as I escape the busy campus with my snowy runs into the hills. Away from campus it is quiet, peaceful, and calm and it's the only time when you aren't bombarded by the noise pollution, therefore I really enjoy this alone time. The experience is spiritual, meditative, and moving for me each day I have the privilige to train and I always return to campus in an uplifted mood. This lifestyle isn't for everybody but it has been incredibly elevating in my day-to-day life.

I have learned to really enjoy the off-season, the good laughs with friends, and some great trainer rides with awesome company! I also feel I am finally learning an important skill: how to relax. My dad would joke that I could only sit still for approximately 18 minutes through a movie before getting up to do something more productive. Those days are over as I am realizing the importance of rest on the mind and body.
Me and my teammate, Kasia during a long trainer ride. 

What I'm noticing is that it gets a little easier each year as a student-athlete as you begin to figure it all out. There will always be a form of stress in one's life whether it is school, relationships, family, work, whatever! This should remind us that THERE IS NO EXCUSE not to embrace the journey starting NOW. 

Boulder Reservoir in November
This past while my focus has been on relative consistency of workouts and enjoyment of completing the small tasks in my training with the best quality possible on that given day. I have found a way to do what I love every day because I feel that when you really enjoy something, you find ways to fit it in, so I think others are definitely capable of doing the same. And yes, you can do this and still get adequate sleep, despite what some may think.

I am embracing the ride and enjoying the downtime, the workouts, the academic challenge and the friendships I continue to make at this stage in life since college will be done before I know it. I'm thrilled to jump back on the horse this Spring 2015 with some exciting new races to come! 
Mini vacation- Fall Break
The trainer corner in my apartment

my eyebrow slit

homemade pizza cooking
interview outfit this fall

Boulder from above

Doudy Draw; one of my favorite places to run in Boulder

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