Tears of a Clown

Blogs-contributors, Dan Waeger — By on July 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Up until this week, I’ve really been enjoying the swim piece of my training. Five weeks ago, I could barely do a lap, and last week I was up to 22. However, it seems like this week everything hurts. My lower back, my nagging foot issues, my calves. I was chalking it up to the normal training lull… until I hit the pool this week.

The past 3 days, I’ve had a lot of trouble with my endurance and breathing. When you’re in the water and out of breath, you can get a little panicky (even if the pool is only 4 ft deep!). Today was my long swim- 25 laps ( a little over the distance for my event .6miles- trying to get up to a mile). And from the moment I hit the pool I felt like a rock with arms. But I kept on, slowly and trying to adjust my breathing patterns to get a little more air.

At one point I become very mentally frustrated. My thought was- how can I go faster if I can barely float?!?! Another lap went by, and I was increasingly irritated. You see, this training is my best attempt to put some order into my life, and have something to focus on… a purpose. After hearing this week from my physical therapist that I may need another 3 weeks before I can even run, I was already worried that I may not be able to participate. But I had been consoling myself with the thought that I could really work on my swimming and get decent enough that the run, not the swim, would be the challenge.

So as my mind started to wonder, I was worrying about what would happen if I couldn’t finish the triathlon or even participate… because what if I sink in the swim! How can I go faster if I am just struggling from the get-go?

After another lap, I made the obvious parallel to the grieving process- how can I move on if I can still barely get up? The three-month mark has come and gone, and I find that this time is more difficult than the immediate aftermath of Dan’s death. It’s more quiet, life has returned to normal. Or at least that is what it looks like on the outside. More days than most, I keep thinking of the lyrics from “Tears of a Clown”… “If there’s a smile on my face, it’s only there trying to fool the public.”

I’ve really been putting my best foot forward, keeping so busy that I am only home long enough to sleep most days. I tricked myself into thinking that I could be an A+ griever, flying through it like a champ. And while most days I do, I’ve been noticing lately that just doing the basics (work, gym, etc) is exhausting. I can go to work, but I am a mental space cadet. My absentmindedness is awful (and I’ve always had a knack for losing things)- I’ve lost my car keys (still missing), locked myself out 2-3 times, lost my credit card, lost my driver’s license, forgot my car when I thought I’d walked somewhere, broken my phone… I know that these are all normal things that people go through, but it still sucks. Yes, it sucks. This is “suck” period. Yes, I said it, and I am not feeling sorry for myself, but it doesn’t change the fact that it sucks.

I’ve been so focused on trying to figure out Meg 2.o and what shape my life will take that I have not allowed myself the time to just get up and get through the day and be ok with it. I am ok with this “suck” phase, bc it has to happen. But I want to go faster in everything, and it’s just not realistic.

So I did finish the 25 laps today. It sucked, but I got through it. Just more slowly and with a bit more of a struggle than I wanted. Ain’t that life.

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