The other side of the IronMAJ

And so I press on in my agnostic pilgrimage
Knowing I can swim deeper than the grim reaper
And ready for whatever sea creatures may abound
When the water swallows me and not the other way around . . .  .

I wouldn't call myself agnostic, but the lyrics to this Buck65 song largely describe my attitude toward this part of my life.  It's all about how I got "here" from "there" and being ready for whatever mysteries await.


The IronMAJ (and MAJ myself) is really like a coin.  All the bloggy world ever really sees is one side:  the training side.  Every now and then, I like to show the "everything else" side.  I'm not sure if this is "NOW" or  "THEN" but there're a lot to talk about that are not specifically related to racing or training.  I have alluded to "news" outside training, so today seems like a good day to break it down.
The nerves in my inner ear are excessively sensitive
 and my Eustachian tubes constantly feel "full,"
which cause ringing and fullness in my ears
daly and, less  frequently, severe dizziness that
causes nausea and falls. They think it might be
Meniere's disease.
As I've mentioned, I have several issues that cause me to get extremely dizzy (lots of fun while swimming) and sometimes fall (lots of fun while walking).  Some of the symptoms bother me every day, and some don't bother me for months.  It's hard to tell how to treat the "spells," because they could come from 1 of 4 separate conditions. I have migraine and vertigo medicine if I need it, but sleep is usually the best remedy.

So, I spent a lot of this weekend sleeping.

When I wasn't sleeping, I was thinking.

The IronMAJ is only one of the milestones I've been training for this year.  I'm also collecting my materials to apply to PhD programs.  It's going to cost me a small fortune and the rest of the year, but I've been occupied with planning for the past year as I have been involved in anywhere from 1-2 teaching assistantships and a few research assistantships every semester.   In the past few weeks, though, that activity level has escalated as I prepare for the approaching application deadlines.  I've narrowed down my choices to 5 of the top programs in my field.  I've agreed to be on the PR committee for my professional conference.  I'm working on my first "real" research proposal.  Outside of training, my days have been a blur of meetings with key players in my field, searches of possible references for my proposal.  Finally, I'm auditing a class I already took to brush up on my skills, and I'm studying to take the GRE again.

I almost feel like my body threw me for a spin to force me to spend a day doing nothing.

Of course, once I get in (fingers crossed) to a program, the hard work really begins.  Everything about my life, from my schedule to my salary and possibly even my city of residence, will change for the next 5 years.  Much of what I have done has prepared me for these changes, but it will still be a shock.

While I admit it does get overwhelming from time to time, this is the closest thing I've ever done to what I really want to do.  Most of my adult life I have wanted to earn my PhD so I can teach and do research.  The idea that I be able to do this for my job, is both foreign and welcome, as is the idea that finally doing it may actually provide a much-needed break in workload (as being a PhD student is only 1.5 full-time jobs, not 3).
Once the IronMAJ is done, there's a lot of work on the other side of the coin before 70.3 and crit training begin.  But I'm ready for whatever sea creatures may abound when the water swallows me and not the other way around.

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