Sunday, August 11, 2013


Maybe not entirely about the ones you imagined based on the title, but still related…
As triathletes, we envision transitions as a rapid and chaotic change from one sport to the next.  When we first stand up after finishing the swim, we find ourselves dizzy and wobbly, but hopefully we manage to quickly adapt and find our way to the bike.  If it’s a wetsuit swim, we fumble around – often falling, cursing, and falling again while trying to strip off the constrictive device before grabbing our protective equipment and hopping onto our speed machine (bike).  Hopefully, we manage to escape T1 and execute a flying dismount without kicking off our water bottles, or hitting a cone (sorry Ben, I couldn’t help it!), or a face plant (as I did when I was flustered after not being able to get my wetsuit off).  It’s only a matter of time before our next transition… 
My T1 – Our lives mimic the transitions of a triathlon in many ways.  I recently completed my doctoral degree (a painful experience, every bit as difficult as an Ironman if not an Ultra!) and moved to the Lone Star State (really Steve and his Mom did all the moving, I just timed it so I wouldn’t have to lift a finger :).  Although the change was planned, finding employment on the other side was not as easy as expected.  I haven’t had to look for a job in about 13 years.  I found myself dizzy and disoriented but quickly adapted to the online application systems.  I quickly learned that it’s more about who you know, are able to reach on the phone, and if you can arrange face-to-face meetings with prospective employers.
Approaching T2 – you know it’s coming up.  You know what you need to do.  But what you need to do and what actually happens are not always synonymous.  I’ve forgotten to pull my feet completely out of my bike shoes before a flying dismount which resulted in an epic crash.  I did manage not to curse but may have chipped my teeth in my grimace of pain.  I’ve left my nutrition behind.  I’ve forgotten my race number.  I’ve nearly gotten lost in transition.  Name the mistake, I have probably made it!  It’s how I deal with and recover from those mistakes that determine my overall performance.  Even when I’ve made ridiculous mistakes, I have still managed to pull it all together if I kept a positive attitude.  I remember Jessica Jacobs telling me about one of her IMFL experiences when she flatted at least 3 times but kept going!  And another IMFL where she lost one of her aero pads = OUCH!!!  She still WON! 
My T2 – Selling our house in todays’ market is NOT fun! Especially while managing a move, trying to find a job, and completing a doctoral dissertation all at the same time.  I guess it’s better than dragging the stress out…  Even though the markets are tough, both job and house, we just kept each small step in mind as we prepared the house for sale and transitioned to San Antonio.  Just as in triathlon, visualizing and tackling the smaller steps – taking a deep breath – and trying to enjoy the process makes a stressful situation more manageable. 
We cannot always control change.  It is how we chose to deal with change – expected, or unexpected – that defines who we are (especially how we deal with it when no one is looking). 

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