This, here, is a safe space, right? A circle of trust. Just between us. Because I know we’re all supposed to be positive about everything happening in the world right now—control the controllables, adjust to the situation—but just between you and me, just right here right now for just a second I’d like to say: This is rough as shit.
Now I know we’re all in different places emotionally, medically, geographically. So I should tell you that my place I’m in has no sense of humor about this.
My place I’m in is also in full-on shelter-in-place lockdown and has run out of ice cream, and I can hear someone in my building coughing a lot, so things could get even darker real quick.
Here’s the thing: You don’t know my stuff and I don’t know yours. We never know what other people are going through—who has spent months in the hospital already and is terrified of going back, who is concerned about crowds spreading illness to elderly parents or grandparents, who is working around-the-clock shifts in emergency rooms, who just can’t take one more stressor being stuck at home what with the kids screaming and the sick dog and that deadline at work and the bills piling up and the bad news about their retirement fund. We don’t know. And so let’s just let everyone take a moment to say: Yeah, it sucks. Whatever it is.
You’re allowed to be upset about races getting canceled and pools being closed. Even if everyone else thinks you’re being silly. You’re also allowed to be upset about people being upset about pools being closed. Maybe you’ve got way (way) more serious things to be upset about. I get it. We get it. We’ve all been there, in both scenarios.
A thing we’re supposed to learn from triathlon is how to deal with adversity, how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. But another thing we’ve probably learned along the way is there is a massively wide range of people and experiences going through the same race course, making it to the same finish line with us. They have the same day, but different, than us. We’ve learned how to cheer for our competitors and support each other even as we try to win.
We also learn how to keep putting one foot in front of the other, how to ride out the lows and the highs—knowing both shall pass, and you probably just need to eat more.
Let’s use those lessons now. Let’s help each other and share our resources, be understanding and do our part. Let’s be triathletes. You get 24 hours after a bad race to cry as much as you want and then you move on. Here’s your safe space to be as frustrated or tired or angry or sad as you need to be for as long as you want. And then you figure out what you need to do to move forward, and to get other people back up on their feet and towards the finish line. We’ll all help you do it.