DNF, AKA Let's *NOT* Do the Time Warp Again, AKA The Facebook Experiment ends

The past few days have been a blur of turmoil.  Not physically; rehab is going good for the vertigo and my thyroid seems to be chugging along nicely, so I am doing better than I have in 7 or 8 years.  Training is going well.   About 7.5 hours last week.  Eating clean is also making me feel better during my workouts and overall.

No, the turmoil was more on the emotional and mental plane.

The fundamental problem I have with blogging (as with Facebook) is that I cannot really write all the details.  I do my best to paraphrase, but even then, there are some topics that are Just Off Limits, Too Personal To Share, or Unwise To Mention.  That being said, I blog for me, about me, because that's what a blog IS - a journal that you can share with friends and family.  If I blog about my health, it's because it affects me.  Same with eating, training, and other elements of my life.  If I help someone else by writing, then that's just a bonus of doing it. I've made it private before, and I consider doing it again sometimes.

Because there are many thoughts that I cannot finish, as "real" as I try to be, there are times when not only can I not express a clear picture, but what I've said is open to interpretation. Truly, blogging and Facebook are always open to the interpretation of the reader. You can never really get 100% of the picture in a 140-word status update or a few paragraphs. Some people, no matter how your posts can be read, will always consider you a psycho/bitch/idiot for not agreeing with their beliefs, making the choices THEY would make, or reporting it in their posting style.

I learned this during my Facebook experiment this month.  There are some friends I adore in person, text, and on the phone - but, on the internet, not so much.  And it's REALLY hard to separate the blog or Facebook update from THE REAL GIRL when you hear or see more of the blog or FB than you do the Real Girl.

In the racing world, likewise:  almost every athlete will someday have a race that they cannot finish.  DNF's happen for many reasons: bad weather, poor planning, gastrointestinal issues, weather, injuries, and more.  In 2007, before I had my thyroid out and didn't know anything about vertigo, a dizzy spell in the water DNF'd me at an Olympic tri.   In 2008, poor planning, bad health, heat, and GI problems DQ'd me at Florida Half Ironman. In 2009, poor planning and an injury forced me to finish only half of the Melbourne Marathon.

Good thing; never would have made the 5-hour limit.  I'm just not a Speedy Gonzalez yet.  I train, I try to eat better, I work through my limitations.  SUCCESS to me = FINISHING RACES.  PERIOD.  I no longer hold delusions of winning someday.  It's just not my definition of success anymore. And I don't believe that it makes me any less an ATHLETE or my race any less a RACE because I am slower, or because all I'm trying to beat is my own time.  As once coach at DetermiNation New Orleans told me, "No one here's going to win this race.  The winners finished hours ago.  All you can do is finish as well as YOU can."

Since, in my racing life, it's been over 2 years since I couldn't finish a race, I guess that meant I was due for a personal DNF.

The period during which I had those racing DNF's was, perhaps unshockingly, the hardest (and darkest) time of my life. I have been more than honest about how devastating this process was.  I've mentioned the most innocuous result (missing a workout and not being clear-minded enough to know I could switch around my schedule and do a different one) to the most serious (losing and starting relationships, changing careers, not finishing races, having to make major physical and financial changes and more).

I have also mentioned moving on.  I've mentioned that I took a break from racing, from blogging, from many things in life.  I've mentioned I changed friends around, look at working out differently, eat differently.  I've mentioned that, thanks to the cancer and my jacked-up thyroid being gone, that I made giant PRs last year and I take only one medication now - thyroid hormone replacement - except on those rare days I have a migraine.  I've noted multiple times that, despite sizable training weeks and some experience, I am not the biggest specimen of athleticism, so I have a long way to go.  I've also mentioned that I finally gathered the guts to do what I really want to do in life because I've realized Life is Just Too Short.

VERY recently, I blogged about realizing I needed to let go of the past, even in my relationship, which had a notoriously and publicly rocky beginning.  I finally felt that I was ready to look forward.  A few months back, I started reaching out to people from that time in my life who I felt had been adversely affected and trying to make amends.

And then this weekend, I encountered a situation that was designed purposely to send me reeling back to the darkest period of the hardest time of my life.   I got a little lesson in being too trusting, to boot.  The rest of the story is something I just cannot finish.

Like I said, it's REALLY hard to separate the blog or Facebook update from THE REAL GIRL when you hear or see more of the blog or FB than you do the Real Girl.  Texts can even be misleading because they're tiny streams of consciousness, not a clear picture of an entire day.  What further complicates this is how much my entire life has changed since my health, finances, and relationship have begun to stabilize.  Even if you DID know me in person 2-3 years ago, you probably do NOT know me now.

Have I always made the best decisions? No. NO ONE HAS.  Have I always been able to tell you 100%, without question, all of the gory details in my blogs?  No.  FEW HAVE.  But I can say, without question, that I've always done my best.

I went back on Facebook yesterday.  For the first time in almost 20 days, I didn't feel bad about myself at all.  I glanced through some of my news feed, changed my status, adjusted some settings, checked out a few photos, and moved on.  I can't say I have any desire to "check in," cross-post my blog, post pictures, or post from my phone every few hours.  I don't really see a need to post unless I have something to say. So, at least this weekend's difficulties helped reinforce for me that no, Facebook really isn't that important to me at all.

However, there is one great thing about the internet, texts, blogs, Facebook, etc.  If (at any time) you decide you don't like something you read? You can just stop reading.

In the end, only YOU are in control of you.  And YOU are all you can control.

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