Monday, June 28, 2010

Old Habits

They're the toughest ones to kick; they've become so ingrained into our personalities, daily rituals and our lives that they become a part of who we are.
I didn't order this...
School is one of those things I've been doing for a really, really long time and though I loathe to call myself a "student" I cannot ignore that I've been in school in some form or another for my entire life. Quite staggering when you really think about it. Meanwhile, Summer School started at the local JC and I'm beginning wrapping up my pre-reqs for Physician's Assistant school. The ironay is that State Parks sent me my background packet to re-do along with a letter stating that everyone on the current hiring list will be selected for the 2010 academy starting in October or for the 2011 academy starting next Spring...if there's enough money. I'm rudderless as far as a career path: PA means more money, but two years of school and $100k in additional debt. Lifeguard/Ranger means 1/2 as much money, but I get to stop being poor almost immediately. I'm familiar with the concept of delayed gratification so spare me the lecture, OK? Thanks!
Students at Miramar College get to swim for free. Woot! Back in the pool and not spending any money to do it = WIN. Unfortunately, the pool feels like it's about 84 degrees and all of the suit dryers are busted. FAIL. The pool is also the local community pool, and Holly says they're probably unplugged becasue the kids play with them. She's probably right.I'm also slowly adding running back into the mix. Mothing structured, but I have a ton of fun trail running and it's a great stop-gap for when I sleep past my alarm and miss a ride. Guess I'm a triathlete no matter what. I'm learning to accept it.
Any ideas on what to do about my career path? I'm lost on that one...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June Gloom


"...extremely annoying late spring to early summer (and sometimes all summer long) weather phenomenon in coastal Southern California that causes relentless, damp, dreary, miserable weather with drizzle and fog for weeks without end at the beaches. It sometimes spreads into the mountains. This shocks tourists who come to 'sunny Southern California' to instead find themselves in Alaska. It spoils beach days a'plenty and for most locals is the most dreaded time of the year. Number 1 cause for Seasonal Affective Disorder in Southern California. A.k.a. May Gray."

As much as that pertains to the local weather, it applies to my situation as well. The new budget for the State is due out at the end of June and there's lots of uncertainty about what's going to happen with our salary and furlough situation. Couple that with some non-employee friendly policy changes and I'm not stoked on my job at the moment.

As much as I need money to pay for stuff, I friggin HATE it sometimes. Stupid money...
Sure money pays for me to do cool things that make me happy, but it's severely limiting that ablity right now since I don't have any extra to pay for "fun stuff". After crunching the numbers, it looks like I might not get to race any more this season; at $90 a race, triathlon is too rich for us right now. Tack on $70 a month for Master's swim, $24 a month for parking, $190 for a new HRM (my Garmin fell apart), $100 for new running get the idea...

Xterra Snow Valley 2008. Jon Clark in the orange camo and me in the orange top in the background. FUN race. Moreover, I got really burned out on the 2-3 workouts a day triathlon grind. Up at O-dark 30, off to swim or ride, run at work on my break (which are getting cut back to 45 minutes, BTW). Come home, eat dinner, collapse into bed, repeat ad infinitum. All that and I might not even get to race again this year because of the cost. I got burned surprise there.

So I looked at WHY I liked racing, what aspect of triathlon kept me coming back since 2003.

Swimming? No way. Every time I'd set my alarm for morning Master's, I'd get a sinking feling in the pit of my stomach. Definitely NOT whay I race.

Running? I'll admit trail running puts a smile on my face, but sharing one Garmin with Holly turned out to be more problematic than I imagined AND I get running injuries far too frequently for me to really enjoy it.

Biking? Well...yes! When I think about which Xterra courses I like and dislike, the deciding factor is always the "fun factor" of the bike course. I love shredding sweet single track and have this odd ability to destroy myself on a bicycle every day without hating it or myself. So I'm going back to where I started: racing mountain bikes.

It's as much a financial decision as it is a personal one; races are cheaper and closer than tris, no more paying for Master's, no more buying running shoes and I don't have to figure out how to get my hands on a new HRM/GPS unit. Score.

I've been not swimming and running for a few weeks and I'm loving it: I can ride to work on recovery days, saving money on gas, and motivation is high. I'm rolling with it.

Plus I have more personal time since I'm no longer constantly prepping for or recovering from workouts. Which left me time to build a wheel for Luke. Cool.There's that saying "make hay while the sun is shining" and that's good advice for me right now.

I'm heading out for a ride. See ya...