I feel like whenever you accomplish a huge feat, there's this kind of... sadness. Mystery. Looming question. You work so hard for something, and suddenly, it's all over. What the heck are you supposed to do when that all ends?
Other than lay face-down sideways on the bed for a long time. That's a given.
The natural answer is to find a new metaphorical mountain to climb. It's certainly not a bad answer, I do have some big fitness goals on the horizon, and I am excited to get a jump on those. But at the same time, those big physical goals take up a lot of time, and require sacrifices in other areas of your life. Less time for schoolwork, less time for friends and family, it all takes its toll, and then it's over, and it's so easy to fill that void with the next obvious to grasp for goal. Obviously, it only makes sense to rest for a few weeks, and then start off-season training, so that when February comes along, triathlon training can begin in earnest. It makes sense. It is what I have said all along that I was working toward, and I truly believe that. There is a butterfly in my stomach, the tri-butterfly, and it just won't quit fluttering around in there until I give it what it wants.
There are other goals, though. Goals like finishing school, finding a grown-up Accounting job, becoming financially stable, moving across the country (have I not mentioned that in a while? Yeah. We still want that), and the big goal, the one that has been too scary to even mention. The goal that I think about each and every day, and wonder if I'm a big enough woman to handle. They're all worthy goals. They are all things that I want, but they are less tangible than an athletic accomplishment. Sure, with school I get a piece of paper, but with a marathon I get a big heavy sparkly medal, a t-shirt, and awkward race photographers taking my picture as I hyperventilate my way across the finish line. You don't get that when you become financially stable, which is probably why so many Americans never attain that particular milestone.
But what about that goal that has REALLY been too scary to reach for? That goal that changes everything about life? The one that makes running a marathon seem absolutely insignificant. THAT GOAL. There's a tangibility to it that nobody can deny. More so than almost anything I will ever do in life. It's terrifying to me. I don't feel "grown-up" enough yet, which is funny, because for years I thought I was plenty grown up enough to go for it, when I most certainly was not, and now the people around me seem to think that I'm ready, and I'm suddenly facing doubt.
It's a confusing time to be me right now, that's for sure.