The Jealousy of Living With a GB Athlete
I have raced in a number of events as an amateur triathlete for Great Britain.
I represented my country in both the World Championships and the European Championships at Olympic, Half Ironman and full Ironman distances. Earning my slot in the Ironman World Championships in Kona was the pinnacle of my athletic ‘career’. But I also raced for GB in Florida, New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland.
My husband is a kick-boxer.
Also in the GB squad, as an amateur Kick Boxing Points Fighter. Currently he is the reigning European and World Champion in his weight and age category. He continues to compete nationally and internationally.
It worked well.
He would train and compete many hours a week and I would train many hours a week. He would travel to train and compete both here in the UK and abroad. I would also travel to train and compete both here in the UK and abroad. We both understood the needs of each other’s sport. We both understood the time and commitment that went into competing at this standard in our chosen sports.
There was never any jealousy or competitiveness between us regarding our sports. Why would there be? We were both doing what we were good at and enjoyed and nothing was stopping us.
Then I fell pregnant and had our son.
Totally planned. I had ‘retired’ from racing by this point anyway. I was delighted.
Darrell continued to train and compete in his kickboxing. Not only that, he was achieving results better than he ever had in the past. Meanwhile, triathlons became a distant memory for me.
I struggled with this at first.
Why? I’m not sure I can really honestly answer why. Maybe competing in triathlons helped to carve my personality. Perhaps I enjoyed being known as the ‘crazy one’ who did ‘crazy things’. Or was it the sense of achievement I got when I completed a tough event or raced well. Maybe it was simply the endorphin rush I used to get when I trained and competed. Perhaps it was the friendships I made with my fellow club mates. I don’t know. But I could see my husband was still getting these familiar feelings and kicks and I wasn’t. I was pleased for him and I supported everything he was doing but I still had a hideous feeling of jealousy.
Anyone who has ever felt jealous about anything or anyone I’m sure would agree, jealousy is a horrible emotion, a destructive, negative feeling. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
I know many professional triathletes have babies and return straight back into their racing within weeks and months of giving birth. That’s great. That’s also their career. I also went back to work 7months after having my baby. But my career isn’t racing as a professional triathlete.
I am juggling being a mum (now to a toddler), working, setting up my own business, keeping a home and supporting my husband in his hobbies. All these combined together leaves little spare time for many hours of training for myself. I’ve learnt now is not the time for me to be competing and racing well. I simply wouldn’t be able to put the hours in that I once did. I therefore wouldn’t get the results out that I would hope for. That’s OK. My time will come again if that is what I wish for. When my priorities change.
Someone once said to me, ‘life is like a big cake’ (I immediately liked this analogy!!!).
All the slices that make up the whole cake are our different priorities we have in our lives. Sometimes those slices change size but the cake can only be complete (or partially complete). It is not possible to add extra slices to a whole or complete cake. So if the time I need to spend on family life increases something else has to give. Or if work gets busy, something else has to give.
Previously my ‘cake’ was divided between training/racing and work with a small section for home life and a very small section for social things (as a lot of my social life was combined in with my sport). Now my ‘cake’ looks entirely different. A big portion is family responsibilities, a smaller section is work, a smaller section is home life and then a small section is exercise. I try not to let this section go first, I’d rather get a gym workout done than vacuum the house for example. As time passes and my family becomes less reliant on my time again I’m sure the portions of my cake will start to alter.
Until then, I shall embrace all the changes. I’ll keep the all important ‘me-time’ slice in place (no matter how big or small it is!) and most importantly keep a big smile on my face for knowing that I’m doing the best job I can!