As my world has gotten busy again, I’ve found my rhythm in training. I’ve taken on some additional work recently. At first I’d thought maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I’ve discovered that I actually get more done when I have more to do. Now that I’m buried in work, I’m making all of my workouts. I know part of that is because the reality of my half Ironman in St. George being just eight weeks away is kicking in. Part of it is that I need the workouts to help maintain my clarity in a stressful time. But it’s also just true that I do better when I’m focused. Right now, I’m super focused. All of that is great, but the problem is that I’m not sleeping well. I can’t get my mind to rest. How do I get to where I’m sleeping through the night?
In Africa, I slept incredibly well, not in the hotels, but on the mountain. In fact, I slept so well that the one night I shared a tent with someone, I slept through her coughing and even through our guides coming in and giving her oxygen in the middle of the night. We were paired together that one night because we slept at 18,000 feet and our Kilimanjaro guides wanted us to be able to help one another in the event one of us had trouble. I was of no help whatsoever because I slept so soundly.
Why did I sleep so well on the mountain? I’m not entirely sure but this is what I do know:
- I was working hard every day. The climb was challenging. Whether we climbed for three hours or nine hours, I had to stay focused on what we were doing to see myself through it.
- I was focused on one thing – getting up the mountain. I did write on the mountain, and I checked in with Dave and my parents when I had cell service. But mostly, my only concern was just making sure that I got up successfully. I didn’t worry about anything else.
- I was surrounded by people I genuinely enjoyed. I loved our guides, and I loved each of the eight other people who climbed with me. We didn’t have any personality conflicts or weird tensions. I didn’t worry about any particular person hiking in front of or behind me. I didn’t worry about who would be in my particular meal tent for any given meal. The people were wonderful and easy to be around.
- I was feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to be climbing that mountain. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. My heart was completely into being there and doing that, if that makes sense.
Right now, I’m loving all that I get to do, but it’s a lot. Plus, sometimes I deal with difficult personalities, both professionally and personally, and sometimes I’d much rather be doing something else. I’d love to figure out how to be completely present in each moment the way I was on the mountain. I think the first step for me is only committing to things I really want to do.
I really wanted Kilimanjaro to happen. It scared me silly as I learned more and more about it, but I wanted it the way I’ve wanted an Ironman finish line. I’m looking at my calendar now, and I see plenty on it that I don’t really want. Sometimes I let myself be talked or guilted into things, and those things weigh on me in the days leading up to them and often leave me exhausted and grumpy when they are done.
What would life feel like if I only said yes when I absolutely and completely wanted to? I’m going to find out. I have a sneaking suspicion that fully committing only to things I really want to do and only with people I really want to see will help my mind rest at night. I’ll let you know how it goes.