I was in the gym last night after an hour on the stationary bike, another hour in spin class and a little over a half hour run and I went to shower and ran into a long-time friend, Nancy who was there for a swim. When I shared with her my workout du jour, she plainly asked me “why are you doing this, Wendy?”
I’ve been planning to write a blog to share this with you all and I guess it’s time.
I’ve trained and successfully completed one Sprint distance (.5 mi swim, 12 mi bike, 5k run) triathlon and am ultimately training for an Olympic distance (1 mi swim, 24 mi bike, 10k run) triathlon on July 22nd. My dear friend and badass coach friend, Shawna Gibson has me on an intense 11 week training program and though I’m on week 5 and completed the sprint tri this past weekend, I clearly need all 6 remaining weeks to prepare for the Olympic distance.
So, back to the question- “Why?”
A few reasons.
First off, I will answer a question with a question- WHY NOT? When I was a teenager I had the great pleasure of working with dozens of other teenagers and kids in their early twenties to build a non-profit music collective for kids of all ages to go, listen to awesome music and stay off the streets. It was aptly named “Pourquoi Pas” which means “Why not” in french. In Lake Charles, we accomplished something absolutely amazing which many people believed couldn’t be done. It was incredible and it made a difference. 18 years later, people still talk about it. I later adopted the motto “Pourquoi Pas?” as the name of my record label and general philosophy in life. Why not?
I was tired of feeling out of shape because of touring and working all the time. It was time to put my health and body first in a very tangible way. I’ve done this in spurts throughout my career. It’s tough to stay fit on the road when you’re running the business, but I know after an 8 month bout with a lung infection that ended last March that health is #1. Without it, how can we serve? Without it, how can we reach our goals? Help others? So. . . I’m reclaiming my health and fitness once again. . . and doing it for all my friends who are suffering with heart conditions and other diseases that prevent them from achieving such goals.
I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately as I’m growing a bit older, shifting my priorities in my work and time. I’ve been doing music and touring for 15 years now and I’m 34 years old. I’ve traveled the world, made 6 albums, served communities all over with the music I make, done beautiful collaborations over the years and I’m still growing creatively. I’m fortunate to have this vocation be my job. I’ve worked hard and taken on whatever projects were necessary to keep it alive, sacrificed comfort, routine and a sense of home for it and I have no deeply scarring regrets (other than not playing more piano when i was a kid). But after six intense years on the road, growing weary, making baby steps, getting sick and jaded and watching the price of gas go higher and higher and the value of music in the marketplace plummet, I have begun to wonder if I am not living up to my full potential.
So I’m examining my self-imposed limitations and challenging them. I’m exploring new ways of making a living with my assets with time, energy and love left to continue making a positive difference in my community. I’m training for this Olympic distance triathlon because six weeks ago, I could not physically do what I can today and I know that the limits will continue to be exceeded.
I have such an erratic schedule that self-discipline is a tough one to create. I want to become more agile on the guitar, piano, ukelele and in my writing. I only wrote 2 full songs last year and it wasn’t because I was lazy or unmotivated. It’s a challenge to carve out time for the music part of a music job when you’re constantly traveling and working and trying to survive as a performing artist. I am ready to write again, but I struggle with the discipline, the blank page, the rusty gears and half-hearted starts. I am doing the triathlon as a reminder that I started out rusty, faint of breath and weak and am steadily improving each day. . . It’s the mirror I need as inspiration on the deeper levels of change and growth.
So, Now that I’ve shared why I’m training over 3 hours daily, six days a week, I get to ask you a few questions:
What’s your highest potential?
What are your goals?
How are you getting in the way of achieving them?
Are you curious to see who you can become when you get out of your own way?
How can you reclaim what you feel may be lost to you because of your existing habits?
Lets do this together.
Big love & thanks to all my Pourquoi Pas friends. Our work together still inspires me on a daily basis.
Special Thanks to my coach from afar, Shawna Gibson and my friend Betsy who is training for an Iron man and writes this hysterical and bad-ass blog called Chunky Girl Triathlete. Check her out: http://chunkytriathlete.wordpress.com/