Most people know that I don’t put a lot of weight in numbers. Yes, I keep track of my heart rate and speed and time, all in the effort of quantifying my experience and telling myself that I am making progress and getting better. But I try not to let the numbers let me down. But this past week I was in the doctor’s office and was alarmed and disturbed that one set of numbers went up—my weight. I was 193 lbs in September and now I’m back at 206 lbs. And it seems that most of that took place in the month after the marathon.
But it all makes sense. Things started feeling different in February and things were strange. So I’m not as surprised as I am disturbed. Unfortunately, the numbers for my weight always leave me feeling depressed in some way. A lot of things in triathlon would be easier if I were lighter. In fact, everything would be easier.
And so I’m faced with a challenge again. I was at this weight before; I can bring it down again. I lost some momentum after the marathon. I didn’t realize that the race would take more out of me than I thought. Then I got sick. So it’s at least another week before I can get this body moving the way I want it to. But it will happen.
There are always setbacks, there are always detours and distractions, but the goal must stay clear. I have a lot of plans this year, so I have plenty of reasons to start moving. It just seems strange sometimes that we allow ourselves to fall further than we planned. Not because we want a greater challenge. But it is more that we need to feel the depths and taste the dirt. We need to hurt in a way to give us the strength to get up and exceed what we thought was possible. Maybe we’re strange this way. And maybe this is why many of us never cross the boundary.
We simply haven’t fallen far enough.