Friday, April 15, 2011

To Blog Or Not To Blog... What was the question?

I just looked at my last post.  Wow!  Christmas?  Really?  Ok, I am a bad blogger. 

I guess it is time to bring this thing up to date.  The last several months have been my busy season.  To this, I am accustomed.  However, late last year I took a job that would spin me into a different aspect of the industry that has provided my "bread and butter" for many years(equine competition).  I would finally step away from the hands on aspect and transition into the world of the horse show vendors. 

The horse show world is very small and divided into many groups... 1) Professional riders/trainers/teachers, 2) grooms, 3) independent service people like blacksmiths, 4) veterinary professionals, 5) vendors, 6) show management and of course, 7) the clients/amateurs.  All of the other categories exist to provide products or services to the clients.  I have always been in category 1, 2, or 3.  These are physically intense, hands-on lifestyles.  Most recently and for several years, I was doing a job that required working the graveyard shift, living on the road for more than half the year, and ignoring all the damage that the intense repetitive motion was causing to my hands and back.  There were trade offs... money, independence, etc. 

Last fall, I took a job as a rep for a company that manufactures and sells saddles and equipment. That job never really got off the ground.  It required me to train in Europe and relocate to the DC area and after being rescheduled six times, neither of those things ever happened.  Instead, I ended up stepping in at the last moment to man the trade booth when they had to let go of the girl they had hired.  However, I still had my other business to attend, however damaged it may have been by the whole "move-don't move-move" thing. 
End result... a season of 100 hour weeks, little sleep, and little time to work out, all the while laboring under the dawning realization that this job was not going to work.  All the time, knowing that I had wrecked my business for this job... on a gamble... and I was F**ked!  Just before the end of the season (when everyone goes on the road), I pulled myself together and took advantage of the giant job fair called vendor row.

It turned out to be a move well played.  Any sooner would have been too soon, and any later would have been too late.  I landed a job and get to move forward in my life.  Twelve weeks of fear, exhaustion and anxiety ended.  Unfortunately, I was too far gone to recover overnight.  I made it through my training weeks with a smile and faked energy, but as soon as it was over.... CRASHED AND BURNED.

Most (but not all) weeks I managed to get at least two of my scheduled workouts done.  Coach RW was very supportive and patient.  I don't think the biggest detriment was the lack of sleep, or even missed workouts, it was the mental fatigue.  I came out of the season feeling destroyed, like damaged goods.  Even when my body rebounded, I struggled to bring my attitude back around.  I went through a recovery period with a four day migraine and my athletic performance was tragic.  I basically would get up in the morning, work out, sleep all day, wake up for a couple of hours, and pass back out.  I wouldn't normally workout through a migraine, but I tended to have about two to three good hours a day and I felt like it was the right thing.  That aside, I couldn't work, socialize, even walking the dogs was a struggle. 

On Wednesday, my body decided to forgive me.  I woke up feeling a little more solid and promptly cleaned my house.  Wednesday night, I turned in a respectable performance at the track... not stellar, but I wasn't expecting stellar, just fair.  But to me, "fair" was a life line.  There was hope.  I hadn't lost all my fitness.  By Thursday, I felt like my old self.  I had a great day of training. 

I booked a few private sessions with my coach to work on running technique.  If I am going to have to regain some fitness, then I an going to practice with proper technique.  My attitude is back online!

And did I mention that the new job still requires a move?  To Southern California, where I will get to live near my sister for the first time in twenty years.  What is the first thing we will do?  Run Bay to Breakers together.  The poetic sappy bit?  This was our father's first race and I attended the running of that race in the spring of 1973.  I was born two months later... or should I say hatched?

Go west, young duck, go west!

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