This Is My Broken Leg Rant

Not a lot of action on the blog, mainly because there hasn’t been a lot of training on my end!

Turns out that the last time I went skiing, I did not sprain my ankle. No, no…there was no sprain. The leg itself was just broken. BROKEN. Uhg. First broken bone ever but at least I went down in a glorious yard sale of ski equipment. I had fun and I don’t regret it. What I do regret is not getting the x-rays completed sooner. It honestly probably got worse before it got better, but at least now I am relegated to a boot and am no longer in pain. No surgery will be required — just rest and relaxation. I guess there are seriously worse things that can be prescribed for me, right?

The last month has been pretty hectic, broken leg aside. With the team transfer at work, I’ve been working triple-time to get a lot of this work completed and out the door. I’m still underwater (story of my life!) but at least the end is near. My vacation officially started this weekend, and I’m feeling a lot more relaxed overall. I’m looking forward to my trip tomorrow and staying (relatively) off the grid for as much as possible.

Re-evaluating my Ironman plans for December. I’d really only be able to get 5 months of training in, but I need at least 6 or 7 to include base training. Another year, another Ironman goal down the drain. I know that I have a lifetime ahead of me, but I’m really tired of this goal getting punted because of these unforeseen circumstances. Last year it was a lot of health issues as well. Maybe this year I can be a little more mindful of how my bones can break so that next year, I can train for something fun — like Coeur d’Alene, Whistler, or something.

If all else fails — which I think we’re getting to that point — I will always have the Rock ‘n Roll Lisbon in October. If my fracture heals by the time my doctor says it will, I will have *exactly* 16 weeks to train for it. Even that is cutting it a bit close since I will be essentially starting from scratch. Also not sure about the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike for late August/early September but I think I will be able to manage it physically. It’ll just depend on getting the right amount of time off of work.

I’m getting cabin fever. I really miss the days where I could just get changed, lace up my running shoes, and head out the door for a 10-mile run. Springtime in Seattle means that I see all of these people training for the Seattle Rock n Roll this June. Wish I could be one of them. I guess I could walk it again like last year but it’s just not the same.

And now, I’m going to catch up on all of my Runners World magazines and take an angry nap. Because broken legs.

Resetting Expectations

The thing with injuries is that it allows me ample time to reflect. An injury pretty much grinds all of my training plans to a screeching halt. The Whidbey Island Marathon in April (which was downgraded to a half marathon, which was then downgraded to a 10K) is definitely out of the picture. I think I’ll still be on target for some Olympic tris this summer, but my 70.3 and 140.6 may be a bit at risk. It’s going to take some time to rehab this ankle and get my strength back to where it was last December. To think that so much could’ve gone right and wrong in the last three months…

Resetting expectations isn’t a bad thing. For someone like me who loves going at full throttle, there’s value in slowing down every once in awhile. It’s frustrating, but I think back to my rack of medals hanging in my living room and I remember that it’s all a process — I didn’t get to where I was overnight, and it’ll take a lot more than an annoying ankle injury to keep me away from the activities that I love.

These next few weeks will be a bit crazy with work deadlines, but I’ve given myself a stretch goal: Over the next 16 days I need to log 30 miles in the pool. I think it’s doable. The pool won’t aggravate my ankle. It’ll help me build some much needed conditioning. My long swim days (which are most of them) can be broken up into shorter day and night segments, or a long day/short night, or short day/long night segments. This will probably help cure some of my insomnia woes and will force me to manage my time a little better. What will be difficult will be juggling the long swims during the weekends, which is generally the time I go skiing. I guess if I can go skiing in the mornings I might be able to squeeze the swims in to the evenings. Maybe that’ll be too taxing. Now I’m just speculating…

Regardless, it’ll be nice getting back into training mode.

Here’s my schedule, for those of you who are curious what 30 miles over 16 days looks like:

Looking forward to knocking out this stretch goal…and if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll come close and at least get some swimming in. I’m certainly looking forward to some spring swimming with my tri group and some summer swimming in Lake Union. By the way, that cover image is one of me, swimming into the sunset in Lake Union. Best thing ever!

A Letter to My 30+ Year Old Self

Tomorrow, you upgrade to your next triathlon age group: F 30-35!

Your last decade was very interesting, wasn’t it? You finally got the big break in design that you’ve been looking for all of your life. Do you remember those nights as a teenager where you dreamed of calling your own shots, living a life that you designed all for yourself? You’re finally there. I know you wanted to be there ten years ago, or even five years ago. Regardless of those timelines, you’ve finally earned your stripes and you’re finally moving on up. Know that it only gets better from here. There’s going to be a lot of demands on your time and your creativity. Never let that entrepreneurial and creative fire die. Fight like your life depends on it, because it really does.

Spend your time focusing on the things, people, and experiences that matter. Those are the things that will carry you for the rest of your days. Those days are indeed numbered. Life can change in an instant. You must be prepared to live every day like it’s your last, not because you are cynical or skeptical but because that is the reality of life. There’s a reason why you have ‘memento mori’ on the back of your mind. You must truly know that the only constant in life is change. In life, nobody makes it out alive so be prepared to make the rest of your days count.

With the work that you do, the people you spend your time with, and the efforts you invest your heart into, do it to leave a positive mark on someone else’s life. Recognition, praise, and money never motivated you, and it probably won’t start to motivate you anytime soon. Continue following your heart because it never led you astray. Balance it out every once in awhile with your mind to make sure you’ve designed around all the edge cases. You’re a UX designer after all…act like it.

A word on your parents and your family – you only have one life to spend with them. They deserve more of your time and attention than you’ve given them. No matter how much you don’t want to admit it, they depend on you. Make them a priority. You can’t change what happened in the past but you can shape how you deal with it now. Forgiveness has been a major theme of your twenties. Keep moving on. Let go of that tragic childhood you endured. It doesn’t define you.

A thing on goals: you’ve got a lot of them. There’s a lot of unfinished business from your twenties: finishing grad school; finishing an Ironman; finishing that second book; traveling the world; climbing up the career ladder; starting an international design firm; starting a design school; building out a scholarship foundation for your alma mater; writing a design curriculum with your old design professors; building a halfway house; paving the way to become a design professor; learning some new markup and programming languages; getting your photography into a gallery or even published; finding Mr. Right. I dare you to continue chasing those goals. You solve a lot of problems at work. You solve a lot of problems for your friends and family. Take some time to solve these problems that will continue eating at you until the day you die.

This is day one of what can be ostensibly described as the most important decade of your life. It’s a turning point. Take caution and pause when appropriate. Know when to hang on and when to let go. Your heart and mind is way too precious to focus on the things that don’t really matter. Take care of the people that take care of you, but most importantly, take care of you. You didn’t endure all that you have to give up now. Fight until the end and set a blazing example for those who want to follow your path.

And, whatever you do, cross that finish line with a smile on your face.

Best wishes,

Your 20-29 year old self


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