Traditions are nice. They are comforting when life feels chaotic. It’s reassuring to repeat things. Traditions are a reminder of what we feel is valuable to set aside time for. The holidays are nice, but I’m really liking the athletic traditions I’ve been creating.
Velocikitty Snuggles celebrated our one year anniversary at the Square Lake Triathlon. Which makes it a tradition now. A really silly goofy wonderful tradition.
We had gotten way more into it last year. We had t-shirts, tattoos, special toenails… Dinosaur everything!
This year we’ve both been been focused on different life projects. We’d hardly seen each other all summer. But we still painted our toes, and we had our dinosaur transition towels, and we passed ‘lil T (the squishy green guy) as our relay baton.
We got one pre-race selfie (pictured right) with ‘lil T and Rexy Roo (the plush dino backpack).
Despite minimal training, we did very well. We placed 1st in our all women relay division and second among all relays. I was surprised and pleased with my swim and run paces.
Traditions can also be a reminder of where we come from. Swimming and running are deeply a part of my past. Even when I’ve neglected them they feel like home. Swimming and running welcome me back so easily.
While I’ve been trying new hard things (like flexibility and dance) and trying not to get frustrated with what feels like impossibly slow progress (I still can’t balance in a handstand) This race was a reminder of the depth of my roots in swimming and running. People might be so frustrated at seemingly how easily I might run or swim with such minimal training. But it comes from decades of experience. It comes from years of dedication and effort and progress.
I have to remember I am an infant in the world of gymnastic and dance movement. When I see images and videos of people who do amazing, mind-blowing, gorgeous feats of strength-flexility-control, I have to remember that we come from different athletic homes. I am welcome in this new home, but it will feel awkward and foreign and that’s ok. I do not have to be “good” at something for it to be valuable and meaningful to me.
Still, it’s nice to come home. It’s nice to repeat traditions I know so well. It’s nice to be in a community I feel so comfortable with. I don’t have to look around wondering if I’m doing the right thing or in the right place. It’s nice to feel effortlessly competent. It gives me the strength and confidence to keep pursuing the new hard things.
So much love to all my athletic families.
As I wrote this I couldn’t help but think of the experiences of immigrants, of marginalized people, and anyone who feels they don’t belong. I hope we can all reflect on personal experiences that might give us insight into the experiences that are not our own.