09 September 2008 By Rachel’s

Climbing Back Up

Okay, so I am having a difficult time. Again. Peaks and valleys. I love riding the peaks so much! When you hit the valley floor, and look up at the mountain you’ve got to climb, sometimes it seems impossible.

I put so much responsibility on myself. Be a great mom. Be a great racer. Be a fantastic massage therapist, personal trainer, healthy chef, etc. etc. It is a balancing act. You would think that knowing and trying to do all of the healthy things I know that I would never get sick. Unfortunately I am. The problem is I don’t look sick. I am very good at acting and pretending everything is fine. Ending up in hospital again finally gave it away to a lot of people including myself.

It is a good thing I am a fighter. But this one is proving to be a tough battle. I really really like to win. Unfortunately I am losing this one. I have had to retreat for a while and make a new plan. The one I was following, race and pretend I’m not suffering isn’t working anymore. One of the toughest things at the moment is backing down early in the season. I am injured (achilles is still bothering me) and I have some scary things going on with my abdominal region and my teeth that have taken a change for the worse. With a broken heart, I have had to back way down from training and it looks as though I am not going to be able to race my Xterra Nationals or Xduro trail run nationals.

I am keeping my Xterra Worlds slot hoping things will turn around by then. I am doing everything I can to get better. Hopefully if I get my health turned around I will finally be able to race again as I know I can. I have silently struggled for eight years thinking I could manage things by myself and fix myself. I am learning that sometimes instead of being the one who takes care of my world, I need to accept help too.

Lessons in letting go, pride, being a human (I keep hoping I’m invincible–nope), learning to embrace different emotions, facing fear. Wow. Just when I thought I was reaching a peak. I lost my footing and hit the valley hard. Luckily I have yoga. I have some friends who are trying to understand, I have sunshine, my son, I can still ride—just a little slower. I can still work. I can face each day one at a time and focus on healing.

Art, Ramon, and many others keep reminding me that I can either keep racing sick and continue to get weaker, perhaps never recover, or I can be brave and face everything and trust and prove I can be healthy. Then I can race like I used to years ago.

It is just so funny how I realize how much I love to compete in my triathlons, cycling, and running events. When I can’t race, I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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