Believe it or not, I did take on board that, to an extent, my socialising had to be reduced. Not only due to time restrictions but going out is expensive, as is triathlon. I couldn’t do both. Although I still have the occasional relapse.
I maxed out on being a wild child ahead of January and decided that as soon as I left Shropshire and headed back home to Essex for the Christmas break, I would give myself some headspace and a bit of a detox – bad time of year; I know! After a manic few months, I made no plans over the Christmas break, bar spending time with family. All good intentions.
I honestly had not spent a single weekend in my own company since June. Over five months of back to back weekends socialising and rinsing my bank balance (or lack of).
Safe to say, I suffered serious with-drawl symptoms. It was ridiculous. As the festive period is, I was surrounded by family the majority of the time but I was used to packing my days and weeks with activities, visiting friends and running around like a headless chicken. I had no idea how to cope with ‘down time’, relaxing or even simply being content in my own company. Even sitting down for 2 hours to watch a film stressed me out. In fact, it gave me anxiety.
I was dependant on having structure, having a plan and always being productive. To an extent I still am, I struggle on my rest days but December 2018 forced me to sit back a re-assess my priorities. For the previous four years, my decisions in life had revolved around making someone else happy; without a second thought for myself. The recent months had been spent trying to make up for this and catching up with all the friends I had neglected during these years but still, not thinking about what made me happy.
New Years Eve I sat there, ready to go to a New Years Party with some old university friends. I couldn’t go because they are used to seeing someone who is full of life and I simply didn’t have the energy to be that person. I wasn’t ready to deal with the whole “back in the day, when you were fun … before you got a boyfriend…” and “the old Charlotte…” So I didn’t go.
Thats what confirmed my New Years Resolution: To be content in my own company and to be happy in my own skin.
January 2019 saw the kick start of my training programme and I have not looked back. I am not sure if it is because it gives me structure and something to focus on outside of work or because I like the challenge and sense of achievement but either way, I love training. Weird. I know.
I am now very content in my own company and more confident in my own skin. Perhaps too much so as I am very reluctant to now sacrifice it but I am SO much happier and independent for it.
It is so easy to get caught up in life’s whirl-wind and what social media portrays as the norm (Instagram stories of cocktails on a Friday/Saturday night, getting glammed up etc. – it is all fake (unless taking a boomerang of you sipping your drink is fun?!)). Honestly, everyone has their own lives to lead. My social media now spams everyone with training sessions and Celia (my bike) – it’s not staged, sometimes a bit minging but often heavily filtered (just for a perceived tan). Different people enjoy different things. We are all different, otherwise the world would be so boring.
I like what I do. I (most of the time) like my job. I have amazing and much loved friends and family. I enjoy training. I LOVE Triathlon. 2019 has been pretty sweet (*touch wood*). I am very lucky to be where I am today, doing what I am doing and being given the opportunities I have been. I am so grateful for that.
You need to have the tough times to appreciate the good times. You can’t always be flying high.