Its really easy to write when things are going well.  Sharing successes is fun.  Its a lot harder to write when things aren’t going well.   Sharing failures and short comings doesn’t have quite the same appeal.

The past four months have been fairly difficult for me.  I had a nasty case of bronchitis in January and February, which caused my asthma to flare up.  While I’ve had asthma for my entire life, for the past ten years or so its been pretty well under control.  I would have a flare up once or twice a year, but nothing serious.  Since my bought of bronchitis this winter, I haven’t been able to effectively control my asthma.  I’m now on a twice daily inhaler in addition to my rescue inhaler.  To make matters worse, winter here was mild, so the pollen levels have been astronomically high this spring.  I feel like I’m constantly struggling to breath and the asthma medicines completely through my heart rate off, making it frustrating to train.  In the past few weeks I finally felt like things were getting better and, once again, I end up with bronchitis.  As a I sit here now, I’m struggling with whether or not I should go out and run.  I’m coughing and I don’t feel that great but I am having a hard time determining whether I’m sick or just lazy or some combination of both.  Its difficult to be motivated when I don’t feel like myself.  With regard to my lungs (and health), I feel like I cannot catch a break.

In addition to dealing with asthma issues, I’ve been struggling in my real life outside of training and racing.  Work is always difficult (and demanding) but over the winter things were either very, very slow, or incredibly busy.  Neither is ideal.  When work is slow, its stressful because you worry about actually being able to make hours requirements (and whether or not you’ll have a job at the end of the year) and when its busy, there’s a huge time demand and a lot of pressure to be perfect even though you have multiple things going on at once.  As an associate there are only so many things you can control and it can be difficult to function in an environment in which you have so little say.  The one real positive with work is that I was offered a position in a different practice group, which I accepted.  Over the past few weeks I have officially transferred from the Business Litigation practice group to the Labor and Employment practice group.  The work is still demanding, but I feel like overall the group is a better fit for me.

Finally my home life has been turbulent.  Shaun has a had a rough couple of months and its tough for me to support him when I’m struggling to keep things together myself.  I’m really good at keeping things together when things are going well.  When training and work and home are all buzzing along, its easy to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and get on the bike.   When I feel like crap, its a lot harder to do what I know I need to do.  I train and I race for two reasons: (1) I love it. I love the fact that I can crawl into my own head space on a long run or ride.  I love the feeling of total buoyancy and effortlessness that comes when I get into a groove swimming.  I love working hard and pushing myself and seeing the positive results; and (2) Triathlon is hard for me.  A lot of things in life come fairly easy to me.  I never had an issue getting into good schools or finding a good job.  Triathlon is hard.  I’m not naturally talented but I am attracted to the concept that you can outwork the competition.  I love the idea that if I work hard enough and smart enough, I can be good at this (and I want to be good at this). 

Unfortunately destroying things is much easier than making them and I feel like I’ve undone a whole lot of hard work because of a few inconsistent months of training.  Right now I just want to re-capture my momentum and start making forward progress. 

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / witsup.com writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

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