Thursday, February 5, 2009

Reality Check

I had a plan. I thought now that Julian is older and his days are relatively consistent, I could train. The year we got pregnant, I had done a season with with Team in Training that spring with the triathlon program and then I was the Hike Leader for the summer Hike for Discovery (now Team in Training Hike) program. I really enjoyed being so involved with the Society and it really bummed me out that I took the year off last year (despite the break being caused by having a child). I love the camaraderie and the passion that surrounds the Society, its mission, and its volunteers, so I thought this year would be the year of my return. Besides, it's not like blood cancers took a year off, too....

So back in November I applied to be a team captain for the upcoming season for the Philadelphia Triathlon (race is end of June). I was selected and I was super duper excited to be getting back "on the saddle," so to speak. We had some recruitment meetings this past month and this coming saturday is kick off for the new season. I can handle it, right?

Wrong. Oh so wrong. I am a firm believer in following your gut and when I received an email from my campaign manager this week asking for my bio for the welcome packet and informing us of a friendly table decoration competition for saturday's kick-off, I had a minor panic attack and the rest of the day I was unusually anxious. "Why," I wondered, "do I feel this way?" So I thought about it all day and I realized that I just wasn't/am not ready for the commitment that Team in Training requires. Some days I can barely get in a shower- what more if I am supposed to help fellow participants as well as get in a 1-2 hour training daily? What about my weekends? What about my 2+ practices with my group per week?

Unfortunately, time won't multiply for me and I realized that whatever I do is at the expense of something else. The pressure of training and fundraising is too much right now and I feel incredibly guilty backing out of this upcoming season. I had a talk with my campaign manager and while she is totally understanding of my situation, I hate backing out on a commitment that I already made. If I signed the paper and said I'd do it, I want to be able to do it. Even though I think I have incredibly valid reasons for not participating this season, I still can't help feeling like a failure. A failure to the Society and to the cause. A failure to my fellow participants that YES it's possible to train and fundraise despite life's crazy schedule. A failure to Julian that mommy made a commitment that she just cannot uphold right now. A failure to the people that would benefit from the funds raised.

Yesterday we received news on Thad's friend, Hanna, lost her battle on tuesday. Hanna had been battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia since this past fall when she had a recurrence of her disease. She was fortunate enough to have a second bone marrow transplant (the first had put her into remission) and she and her husband were going into and through her treatment with high hopes for recovery. While I never met Hanna face to face, I had emailed with her and I looked forward to her email updates. Hanna was 32. She will be sorely missed.

Despite the things I'll be missing, I know what I'm trading it for right now. I know that triathlon will always be there and Team in Training will be there as long as blood cancers need to be cured. I'll rejoin when I can. Until then, I'll focus on the little dude asleep upstairs.


MBS said...

You can't be so hard on yourself. It's more then a full-time job because you never leave work! you will be able to return and inspire people in that way again but know that you still inspire people in your everyday life as well! You're amazing and deserve to give yourself a break.

belleshpgrl said...

Melisa is right- you can't be hard on yourself. It's not fair to you and to all the hard work you've done and are doing.

Remember you have already created a legacy. Think of all the people you've inspired to get out and do triathlon. Think of all the people you have touched with your fundraising. What if you do something for the cause in a way that doesn't require such a long time commitment? Didn't you throw a fundraising party where you just passed around a can? You can do something like that again. Besides, your presence is support enough.

My thoughts are with you both.