The original purpose for this website and my blog was when I was starting to get sponsors as a professional triathlete. I never wanted to blog but I knew there was that expectation to give exposure to your sponsors and create a social medial following.
I just re-read my last blog post where I was feeling positive about some improvements to my career-ending car accident-induced injuries and I had just adopted my pup, Sookie. I never posted again as I think I just started gradually realizing that triathlon was over for me. It makes me a little sad to think about those long tough years where I struggled with pain, taking time off my PhD, and loss of my identity as an athlete, and then the 8-day trial with ICBC, but then I come back to the present and realize that life is pretty good these days.
Although I’ve never been able to build up to any training volume again due to re-injury or unresolved issues reappearing, I’m lucky that I am in career that is incredibly competitive, and have channeled all of my drive, focus, and hard work into it instead. Of course I miss sport, it was my passion and a big part of who I was. But just like grieving the loss of a loved one, you eventually move on and it hurts less and less with time.
I have learned about myself that my entire motivation to train and exercise came from my desire to be fast and successful in races. My former coach, Alan once said that I was an athlete who trained to compete, so I just don’t find myself that motivated to exercise anymore, especially when that is time that could be spent working toward academic success (this is mildly ironic as my research involves exercise for health benefits). I feel extremely fortunate that I have a career that is so fulfilling and rewarding and also gives me lots of external motivating factors like awards, publications, recognition of my expertise, and other measures of success.
Earlier today, Facebook reminded me of a post I made 6 years ago where I claimed to have completed a 14 km run, 4 km swim, and a workout on the bike on one of the local mountains within the previous 15 hours. I honestly cannot even fathom how I managed to do that on a Wednesday when I was writing my MSc thesis full-time. This is quite the change from my day today, where I got up rather late, re-read and then submitted my operating grant application, then cleaned my house which I’d been neglecting due to the impending application deadline today, biked to work, analyzed a bunch of echocardiogram images, reviewed responses to my blind peer review of a scientific paper, updated my CV, then decided to update my website, and soon I’ll bike home and drink some wine. #academiclife (Can you do hastags in a blog post? It has been four years since I’ve written one and have only been tweeting since then.)
In the past few months alone I have had a lot of life changes. In the span of about 6 weeks earlier this year, I defended my PhD and became a Dr, bought a house, had upper jaw surgery, moved from Vancouver to Edmonton to start my post-doctorate, became pseudo-long-distance with Dave, and became a landlord. These are all great changes except for the long-distance thing (he still works in Vancouver and comes to Edmonton on the weekends). I am really loving Edmonton, my house and neighbourhood, and my new job. I am excited for the cutting edge work I get the opportunity to do at University of Alberta.
Anyway I just felt like my blog was left open-ended and that I should add some sort of update. I guess the moral of my story is that former athletes can move on to lead a fulfilling life.
Of course current pup pictures are required to complete this update. She is now 4.5 years old and I think she’s still as cute as ever.
I haven’t decided whether I will continue to blog again. You might hear from me again!