Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Keeping it together when life knocks you down....

It has been a while since I posted but it has been a CRAZY week.  I look back at my post from last week and truly wish I could zip back there and have things turn out differently than they had.  I also wish life stayed as complicated as a crying toddler and a bad day at work.

While Spark embodies being physically strong and fit, this post is going to hit the emotional side.  This post is not going to be about exercising (much of it at least), triathlons, or losing weight.  It's not going to be about being an amazing athlete and heading outside and running 16 miles.  It's not going to be about a crazy, hurried life that makes you feel frustrated and crabby.  It's going to be about surviving when things really, really suck.

As many my friends know, we lost an amazing person yesterday.  I met Ellen when I was in 9th grade and she is someone I can truly say was one of a kind.  Ellen's attitude, spirit and energy over the years always made our adventures a little more exciting (chug-a-lug), my life a little more daring (green Polo sweatshirt), and events a little more entertaining (fall festival kegstands).  Ellen embodied many attributes that I will never have- a fearlessness and friendliness that was to be admired.

Which makes it all the harder to say goodbye.  I got the phone call early yesterday morning in Chicago and proceeded to make it through the day like a zombie- wandering from here to there with a muddled head and no direction.  Away from Kenosha where people are facing this head on, I am trying to make my way through   a normal day and process it in my own way.  Here is what I have figured out will help me, and maybe it will help some of my friends out there who are dealing as well.

- Take care of yourself.  Get enough sleep, don't use this is as an excuse to eat awful food that you wouldn't normally eat, and exercise.  Imagine how you feel on a normal day when you are overtired, eat crap and don't move.  Then pair it with a major trauma like this.   Don't let it happen.
- Forget about the little things for a while.  Life is people bitching and moaning about trivial things.  My post last week proves it.  If you need to take some time off work, not call your exhausting relative, and let the lawn grow weeds, just do it.  Sometimes we need to sit and think about the more important things and letting go of the details for a week can help.  Inevitably we will return back to our frazzled, fast paced lives soon enough.  Slow down and try to take it all in for a bit.
- Lean on your friends.  If you need to talk to someone, do it.  Call them, stop by, text them.  Whatever it takes to keep you going.  A conversation with friends or family will be a good reminder that you are going to get through it.
- Cry. There is something to be said for a good, long cry.  Pity yourself and your friends and everyone affected by this loss.  It is okay and it is healing.

My heart hurts for Ellen's family and for all my friends who are mourning her loss.  I love you all!
-Coach A www.sparkmultisport.com

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