It’s hard to explain what change feels like.
It can be fast.
swift, gradual or unexpected.
And dealing with a transition [like going to college], a breakup [ouch], a friendship ending [the worst] or otherwise can be tough. Whatever the change may be, it can knock you off your feet; take the wind from your breath. And sometimes, it can be difficult to focus on things other than the changes in your life when they are occurring.
“It was hard to feel the right emotions at the right times. They didn’t come at all when you set a place for them, and they sacked when you weren’t ready, when you were just innocently flossing your teeth, for example, or eating a bowl of cereal. ” ― Ann Brashares, The Last Summer
Ann Brashares’ quote perfectly describes a sentiment that affects most of us – emotions hitting us at strange times. A sense of being overwhelmed or sad can hit you at any time – whether you’re ready or not.
For this reason, triathlons are so appealing because they offer an escape from our everyday lives [filled with change and craziness]. Triathlons are three different events coming together; filled with unexpected twists and turns; yes, but all ending with that blissful, consistent finish.
At the end of the day, maybe the best way to deal with change is to just run [or swim or bike].
Feel the pavement beneath your sneakers; your breath speed up.
Let your mind go b l a n k.
Because through all the difficult days; changing times and long, tireless nights of studying or working toward a goal, one thing has the ability to stay constant in all of our lives:
Even if you’re in the offseason or focusing on a different sport [like being a collegiate athlete]; this can still apply. Whatever you’re currently focusing on in the athletic sphere can serve as a productive outlet for mental soundness. [and plus, even if you’re not training for a tri, you’re probably counting down the days until you are :)]
Oftentimes, mental clarity can be found through a tough workout.
And no, swimbikerun can’t fix everything.
Having said this, through all of our crazy lives, triathlon can certainly help.
But sometimes, the only way to deal with a tough change is to face it front-on. Ask yourself what made this change so difficult, and how you can learn from it. Cry if you need to. (Even the guys out there…) Scream. Write out your feelings. Drive around your neighborhood blasting sad music. Or happy. Whatever you need. Mourn the change. You’re allowed to.
“You know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon…everything’s different.” -Bill Watterson
But at a certain point, let yourself move on. Sometimes, life seems to be going so quickly that, like the quote above expresses, it can be an arduous process to pin point when exactly your younger brother grew taller than you – when high school ended, when you grew apart from a childhood friend. Change is sad. It’s hard. But it can also mold us into the people we’re meant to be. For if things were always stangnant and un-changing, what would life be like?