Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where in the World has Ashley Been?

 Though I'm not always good at balancing work, life, and training, the past 4 months have been an amazing mix of all three.

In November, I had the chance to make my first trip (as an adult) to Colorado so that my coach could bury me in a giant training/fatigue hole to train with my new coach and snuggle with puppies.  We were blessed with mostly really great weather (Colorado wind is INTENSE) and by time I got on the plane home I was barely putting coherent sentences together but my heart was so full and happy.  Not only did I a gain a TON of fitness a mere 4 weeks out from CIM, but it has had lasting influences on life as I know it.  More about this at a later date...

In ringing in the new year, it also meant that recovery from CIM was coming to an end.  At the beginning of every season it is always smart to have your bike looked over and tuned-up... in my case this also included making a fitting appointment and trying out some new saddles.  I'm a huge fan of my new Adamo saddle and my new fit has made a huge difference in how I'm feeling on the bike!

I'm a cautious girl at heart.  Anyone who really knows me is nodding in agreement right now.  I like my routine and my ways and when I've found comfortable things, I like to stick to them.  Luckily the same people who were nodding before also see the benefit in my branching out.... So I have stressful (for me) conversations over coffee or dinner or text when they are too far away for either.  Conversations about my dreams, goals, and how I sell myself short more often than not because my bubble is a very comfortable place.  

I signed up for NOLA 70.3 as my season kick-off for triathlon.  Which I think is pretty rad.  I have hotel reservations for IMCdA.  Also pretty rad.  And completely scary

California is having one of our driest and warmest winters on record, which means that rides that would normally have to wait until the spring have already begun and I've ventured a few times off the trainer to climb mountains (Like Mt Hamilton above, on a clearer day you'd be able to see all of Silicon Valley behind me) and feel the pavement under my tires.  

There has been a lot of Kona harassment and snuggles.  Not only does it make her a happy dog, but it can set the world right when I've got a million different things swirling around in my head and stressing me out.   

I made another trip to Colorado.  This trip was far more social than training focused than my trip in November.  This California Girl was immediately in love with the snow.  I got to hang out with some of the best people on the planet and snuggle more golden love.  

I was super sad to leave this time.  I'm coming to realize and act on the idea that I really do have absolute power over my life.  I can make things happen and not just wait for them to happen to me.  I have control over my thoughts and actions, which build the world around me.  The journey I'm on has only begun to unfold - there will be more twists and turns but I'm working hard to remember that I have more control than being a buoy tossed around the ocean by the waves.  I can paddle to shore or continue to paddle out and see what is beyond.  At the beginning of this year I began thinking a lot about what Coach Katie calls "making her circles smaller" and how this relates to what I want out of life.  I feel like I have been in a state of transition/limbo for more than a year now.  Some of it is self-imposed.  Some of it is simply this: I am in a period of transition.  Life is changing, I am changing - I am trying to discover that when I put away who everyone else wants me to be, who is it that I really want to be?  Its stressful and joyful, all at once.  I have days where I'm sad, stressed, frustrated, joyful, happy, and at peace.  In. One. Day.  Other days just.... are.  I work, train, hang out with friends, snuggle my dog, and talk with my parents without any major emotional upheaval.  I'm thankful for both days.


Barb said...

Self-discovery is the biggest journey of all. You said it well it's sad, stressful, frustrating, joyful, happy, and peaceful - all at the same time. And it's a journey that I, for one, hope to take more than once because I think evolving is a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts... it's got me thinking a bit myself.

Brooke said...

hurrah! another Ashley blog!! :)