Now What?

The triathlon honeymoon is over. In the hours and days following my triumphant run across the finish line of my first sprint tri, I’ve been overindulgent, a teensy bit lazy, and not very focused.  I have a super fun 5K coming up to benefit Sophie & Madigan’s Playground, as well as the Marine Corps 10K (when I dropped out of the marathon I downgraded to the 10K, which I’ll run with my husband), but those are both relatively easy races.  There’s nothing big on my calendar or goals list to work toward right now.  And I feel a little lost.

My brain is being tugged in a dozen different directions, and I’m just gonna lay out its blueprint here because writing is therapeutic for me and I read this fantastic and utterly truthful quote the other day:

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One route that my brain wants to take is on a fast track to Couch Town. I’m tired.  I trained hard this summer.  Six days a week of swimming, biking, running, PiYo, HIIT, weightlifting, or any combination of the above since many were double workout days, have drained me.  I kind of just want to live in yoga pants without actually doing yoga.

The reality, though, is that I’m not cut out for couch potato-ing anymore. I get restless and grouchy if I go more than two days without a workout, which is why I only take one rest day per week.  So another option is to dive into a new training plan and refocus on weightlifting again.  I’m actually already doing that, having created a PiYo/Chalean Extreme Hybrid program with 3-4 double days of either a run or ride mixed in.  And I’m following the plan so far and loving the rush and the soreness of lifting again.  But I’m still kind of “meh” about the whole thing.  Lift, yoga, run, ride, wash, rinse, repeat.  It’s nothing new or exciting and there’s no specific goal at the end of the line.

One of the crazier roads I’m thinking of taking includes planning for a bigger tri for the spring or summer of 2015. I’m confident that I could tackle an Olympic distance tri… and the whackjob in me is entertaining the notion that I could actually make it across the finish line of Half Ironman by next fall.

But here’s the nuttiest idea of them all. Are you sitting down?  Got a stiff drink within reach?

How ‘bout a baby?

Wait, WHAT?

So, I have planted my feet firmly in Camp Done for at least a year now. I’ve sworn six ways to Sunday and back again that our family of four (plus the dog) was complete.  Two healthy children – a boy and a girl – was both everything we needed AND could handle.  Nothing was missing; we were happy.  And we still are happy.  But… is it possible that we could be even happier?  That we could triple that love and awesomeness with just one more little Terry?

Obviously, I have some concerns. Not the least of which is how much it already costs to feed these bottomless pits and the fact that we’d be prolonging the single-income household status by a few more years before we could finally feel financially comfortable instead of strapped.  But some of my fears also come from a place of vanity.

I’ve worked hard – REALLY hard – for two years, to lose 70 pounds. I have changed my body, my brain, my diet, my life, my self-esteem, and in many ways, my identity.  Before I fell in love with running and cycling and weightlifting and athleticism, I was *just* a mom.  Unquestionably the most admirable title I could possibly ever hold, yes.  But it was one-dimensional.  I was pregnant, then I was birthing, then I was breastfeeding, then I was babywearing and cloth diapering and attachment parenting.  All of my interests and adjectives were wrapped up in motherhood.  Now, I’m a mom AND a triathlete, a runner, a health and nutrition enthusiast.  There are things that bring me joy and that fulfill me other than my family, and that has become critical to maintaining a sense of balance and practicing self-care.  Can I maintain this new, multi-faceted, happy Self with a third kiddo to look after?  Could I remain fit during my pregnancy and bounce back after birth before the breastfeeding munchies and reverse sleep cycles of a newborn wreak havoc on my junk food cravings?

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I am terrified of being obese again.

Thinking about taking up that space in the world as a 219 pound woman is what motivates me each and every day to get the workout done, even when I’m not in the mood. And I had lazy, inactive pregnancies with tons of morning/noon/night sickness and zero energy, and the postpartum phases weren’t much better.  Do I risk the hard work I’ve invested in myself because I’ve got a case of baby fever?  Do I tempt fate with another pregnancy when we’ve already been blessed with two healthy children and two healthy, safe pregnancies and births?

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It’s important to consider how cute beyond words this maternity cycling jersey by Sheila Moon is before we begin to answer these questions definitively:

I truly think I’ll be happy either way. Our family is currently perfect and would continue being perfect without any additional mouths to feed.  I would be pleased as punch to go on as I have been, pursuing endurance sports and chasing that next medal.  I love the idea of earning my personal trainer certification and gaining employment outside of the home to help people improve their lives through fitness.  Really, I’m good with the status quo and all that it has to offer.

Or, I could easily be persuaded to dust off the ol’ uterus and experience that inexplicable feeling of limbs wiggling and hiccups bumping inside my body as I grow a life. Latching a tiny mouth to the breast and listening to the gurgle and gulp of a new human getting a fresh-from-mama meal.

So, what’s it gonna be? 70.3 miles?  Or 40 weeks?

I did name this blog “Mama’s Lost It.” Perhaps I truly have.

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