17 November 2010

Beautifully Chaotic

There are points in all of our lives when we are completely surrounded by chaos, when we feel like we like we are barely holding it all together.
I'm there.

When this happens, it is difficult to think straight, let alone write. I had a professor in graduate school at Ithaca who always use to preach "In order to write clearly, you need to think clearly." I believe that now more than ever. When I do any academic work, whether it is prepping a class, correcting papers, or writing music, I need to be somewhere where I have a lot of space and is free from distractions. Thus, home is NOT the ideal place. Yeah, someplace without five children running around asking me to wrestle every five minutes, or play a game, do a puzzle, play catch, build legos, or sing songs. The problem is, I would MUCH rather be doing that all that stuff with my kids than getting work done.

It has been my experience that chaos induced stress can leads to one of two outcomes:

1) Leaves stressed-induced individual utterly paralyzed, unable to perform a single task for  periods of time.

2) Further motivates stressed-induced individual to get their tail in gear and slowly chip away at the stress, all the while promising themselves never again to overcommit. Yeah, right!

Lately, I  resemble both of these outcomes.

Last Friday, I attended a play called The Laramie Project with my colleague Yisrael from the english department. My wife was a bit jealous that I had a date with someone other than her. Two of our colleagues from the Theater Department were involved in the project—one directed the play, and another played multiple roles in the performance. Needless to say, I am a fantastic date. We went out for dinner, saw a play, and I drove.

My pear salad

Yisrael enjoying some good food, a beer, and an annoying photographer.

Here is a picture of my meal. I call this "Swordfish Therapy."

This is as pretentious as I could possibly look drinking coffee.

Whenever things get stressful, I think about what an amazing life I have: an incredibly supportive wife, an amazing family, and good friends who lift my spirits when I am feeling overwhelmed. My children are also incredibly therapeutic. Sunday morning, Stella came into bed and started talking to me. 

She said "Daddy. Do you know what I like? I like skeletons, princesses, and R2D2."
Ah... I've raised her right!

Interactions like this with my children make me focus on what is truly important in life. 

Training: The training is currently at a minimal "get-it-done" level. This is my off-season, and I am relishing it. I have been trying to get in run and swim workouts, but I have still not been on a bike since Ironman!  Come December, that is ALL going to change. I will be back in the saddle again. I have some very exciting news to announce regarding my training this season. I will have the help of a coach. Look out age-groupers, I am getting serious!  What is the reason for seeking out a coach? Well, with my insanely busy lifestyle, I either will have to give up training for triathlons entirely, or find a way to do something that I love and makes me happy without sacrificing time with my family. When I met with my coach for the first time, I told her that minimizing time away from my family is my number one priority. I want to be done with the bulk of my training before 8:00 a.m. (with the exception of the insanely long weekend ride in preparation for Ironman). I know that she  understands and appreciates my concerns. She is a wife and mother, and serious triathlete. I will write a separate post about my new coach in a future blog. I am very excited to be working with her.

One other thing I hope to do this season is to keep track of all of my workouts. I did not do that last season. I had no idea how many miles I was biking, running, or swimming each week. I could look back at my training plan, but I never followed it to the letter of the law. Keeping track of all my data will prove to everyone what an incredible slacker I can be, and why I am not running a faster HIM.

Okay.... more good news to come. Train Smart!

... and to all my blogger buddies: I look forward to catching up with life and your blogs real soon!


Kovas Palubinskas said...

"skeletons, princesses, and R2D2" = truly well-balanced! Good job on the parenting front.


AHHHH to be a child again. While children think of skeletons, princess and R2D2.... I think of T1T2 and naked men from around the world.... (more of a nightmare now that I think about it...)

Kristin said...

I just saw a post...I think we have the same coach!!! Welcome to the team!

Aimee said...

I think stressful times make us appreciate what we have even more!
Your daughter is super cute! I love those type of interactions with my boys too.
Congrats on getting a coach! I'll be interested in hearing how that works out!

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

awww what an adorable baby girl! love that she likes princesses and skeletons! and the R2D2 was random but cute!

marmot said...

Great post! Love your photos...

Molly said...

I'm in "get it done" mode myself...

That's great that you have a coach, now she can do the thinking for you!

My girl has a Yoda who gets along great with her Littlest Pet shop crew....

Anonymous said...

The stress reduction feature on your post worked great but now my monitor is cracked and i've got LED's stuck to my forehead!