I am mourning the loss of the forced stoppage of sport. It came at a time when our athletes were on their regular break after nationals. We pushed return to practice back by a week so that they could focus on final exams. After which it was apparent return to sport was not an option over the summer. Athletes were given workouts to do on their own. We had
no answers for them.
I used this time to slow down. Eat supper at a normal time. Do at home workouts. Go for epic walks and bike rides. I did not pine to return back to normal. I quite liked this change of pace.
I thought I might read more. That didn’t happen. I thought I might do some spring cleaning. That didn’t happen. I thought I might clean out my inbox. That didn’t happen.
When people asked the loaded question “how are you?”, I could honestly say “fine”. Anxiety has a weird way of helping you in these situations.
It is not to say I didn’t have ups and downs. They just weren’t as evident as the stories I read on Facebook or Instagram of people who were really struggling with all the changes happening so fast. I empathize, their world was turned upside down in a matter of days. And they didn’t know how to react or feel. I deal with upside down thoughts all the time. And I don’t always know how to react or feel.
Our program just started up again and I am mourning the loss of my slow paced summer. I feel as if I have gone from zero to 100 in a matter of days. I’m already signed up for more webinars than I have done all year. Practices are five days a week and I am back to eating supper at a late hour (even with prep the night before).
This time of year always brings challenges. It is dark by 8:30 pm. I am rushing from home to work to track to home on a daily basis. Fatigue looms large. I hoped I could bank the hours I spent napping for this very season.
Add to this the fatigue of hearing/seeing countless accounts of unarmed Black (mostly) men being murdered. The fatigue of reading people deny Canada has a problem with racism (or saying its not as bad as our neighbours to the south). Then there's the fatigue of watching your friends deal with this situation by sharing every single new thing they have learned about racism (as if these aren't things I think about regularly - not by choice).
Do I love coaching. Absolutely. Did I miss my kids. Absolutely. Do I want more space for myself. Absolutely.
There is no right or wrong in how I am feeling. I would not be true to myself if I did not acknowledge my true feelings.
I hope this gives people permission to feel what they are feeling. Wholeheartedly.
This summer has been pretty great. We’ve done long (for me) bike rides, a couple prairie hikes, had fires in the backyard, and eaten more hot dogs than I have in years. Since we haven’t been very far from home and Kevin heads back to work on Monday (teacher), we decided to make a quick trip to Calgary/Canmore/Banff/Kananaskis.
(In Calgary) We woke up early to get on the road at a decent time. We were about to load the bikes and head to Canmore to do the Legacy Trail and walk around Banff when we discovered Kevin’s vehicle had been broken into. Everyone was very helpful. Livia and Liam cleaned up the glass and Adam called around for quotes for a replacement window - hoping we could get it fixed before Sunday morning. Ivy found out from a neighbour that there have been other incidences in the neighbourhood (they are hoping to find video evidence as a number of neighbours have security cameras). Kevin then dealt with the rest.
Not what we had planned for our weekend getaway.
I am always so amazed at how patient and calm Kevin is. I would have reacted much differently if it were my vehicle. I am so grateful to have him in my life.
After a quick lunch, we ended up borrowing my sister’s vehicle and continued with our original plan for the day.
Legacy Trail - Canmore to Banff. My legs were shot after 14 km. No pictures. I knew if we stopped I wouldn’t want to get back on the bike. Once we arrived we walked around for a bit and had a quick bite to eat.
Legacy Trail - Banff to Canmore. This was a breeze (comparatively). It was down hill for the most part and we were able to ride side by side for a lot of it as there were less people in the evening.
I’m proud of us. Kevin was very encouraging and I only complained in my head (but not very much honestly). We treated ourselves to ice cream before heading back to Calgary for much deserved showers. Total 42.83 km. Total time 2:25:00.
Day 2 was a BIG day. Thankfully we weren’t too sore from yesterday’s ride. We drove about an hour to Little Elbow/Sheep Valley Trails. We went up Nihahi Ridge Trail to a point called the Saddle (which was a challenge in itself). Adam convinced us we could make it up to the Ridge. He said “see those two trees, it’s right there”. It was all or none, and since we were so close we decided to do it. Little did we know (Adam had "tricked" us) it was around the back of the mountain and much further than the “two trees”. Livia (the mountain goat) led us up the steepest parts. Adam and Kevin stayed back to make sure I was ok. After much scaling we made it. Livia was our guide once again. I am thankful I asked to bring hiking poles, they came in very handy. Once we were done the technical part, Laurel took over the lead and led us back to the start. She was a trooper the whole way. Total 7.00 km. Total time 3:58:11. Unsure of the elevation gain. Fitbit said 642.82 m (this may be cumulative). But online accounts have much different numbers - we only did the first ridge of two.
Before heading back to the city we made a quick stop at Forget Me Not Pond. As he often does Adam took at dip into the ice cold water.
Before the girls went to bed we had a nighttime chat in their room. I’m glad they get to see me in this light and not as the person I used to be. I think they have some understanding of my past (their dad is a therapist as well so mental health is not a taboo subject).
In the morning Kevin taped some plastic over the “window” to make the drive back to Saskatoon more tolerable (it came off as we left the city limits). Blankets and sweaters kept us warm until the sun came out.
This weekend showed me I have quiet determination (as Adam put it), perseverance, mental toughness, and a desire to take on new challenges. I already look forward to our next big bike ride and hike.
I can’t think of a better way to wrap up summer.
I’m having a hard time processing how I’m feeling. I feel as though I should be panicked, terrified, and afraid. Yet I feel a sense of calm. As I watched coworkers get ready to work from home, and I see everyone sharing articles/stories (which by the way I have not read as it is overwhelming to say the least) - rather than give into the hysteria, I have decided to limit what and when I read news articles and waited for a while before I began to work from home myself.
I sometimes wonder if anxiety is a friend to me at this time. I know it must sound so strange to hear. What I mean is that I am used to racing thoughts and being in the state of fright, flight, or freeze on any given day. But for the average person who does not have anxiety and had a pretty normal life before everything was thrown into disarray. Before school was cancelled, before you had to start working from home, or were forced to not work all, before you had to self-isolate (if you had travelled), and before you had ever heard of the term ‘social distancing’ (I prefer ‘physical distancing’), this must be the most difficult thing you’ve ever encountered. Difficult because you don’t know when it will end. Difficult because this wasn’t in the plan.
During this time I have fallen back on what has served me well in managing my symptoms: staying in the moment, taking time for myself (walks, yoga, meditation), and exercise (walks, yoga, online classes/apps).
It is my hope you can find something that will serve you well.
Today: Like most, I'm trying to figure things out. Sometimes that's day by day, moment by moment, and even breath by breath.