An Off Season With No End In Sight

The only thing more depressing than an off-season is not knowing when that off-season will end. Usually, I would remedy this by meticulously planning out my next year...

Now that everything is finalized, I guess it’s time to make it official that I will be going back to school in January. After years of not being able to decide what I want to go back for, I have finally made a decision, for better or worse!  I will hopefully be getting my paralegal certificate to add to my English degree by the end of 2015.  I decided to go this route for several reasons: 1) it seemed like the least expensive option for something more specialized than a general English degree and would allow me to keep student loans to a minimum (I am very blessed that this will be the first of my student loans!); 2) it should only take a year and most importantly 3) I love what I do-working in a law firm, and getting one-on-one time with clients, feeling like I am making a difference. However, I am not married to my job, nor do I want to be. It felt like this was the best of both worlds-still pursuing my dream of working in the field of law without massive debt, years of school, ridiculous work hours, or struggling for years to find a niche in a market that is already massively flooded with attorneys. With this certificate, I will simply be adding the credentials to work I already do.  As it has been three years since I have been in school, I hope being able to relate to the courses and apply them to my job will keep things interesting and maybe a little easier.  Granted, my normal “hat” (of many) at work is more of a management role, but a business degree just felt out of the question (math doesn’t compute in my brain L) It’s scary to say that this is what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life, but I guess it’s time to commit to something (where did my twenties go!?)

I think the scariest part about going BACK to school is that I have no idea what the next year will entail.  It might be a walk in the park, and I may have tons of extra time on my hands. Likely though, working, studying and sleeping will be taking up ALL my time, and training and free time will be non-existent. It’s been kind of a bummer coming off a huge high from a great triathlon season.  Completing my first Half Ironman only made me crave more, but even though the races that I WANT to do are only increasing, I am reluctant to commit to anything this coming year until I have a better idea of what my schedule will be like. I know you can’t tell by looking at my ‘tentative racing schedule’ (on a separate page here on my blog) but I purposefully put several smaller races on there, hoping I can sign up last minute if it looks like I might be able to pull it off.

For now, I am planning on trying to do a lot of running. Maybe it will be easier to find time to focus on one sport rather than three, yet it will still feed my hunger a little! I am hoping/trying to FINALLY get a marathon checked off of my bucket list this spring! As for triathlon, I will probably be signing up for local(ish) sprints last minute, and unfortunately saving long course racing until I am finished. I think this will be the absolute hardest thing about school, but maybe it give me time to re-energize emotionally, and when I am done, I will be so hungry to train that I can go ahead and accomplish my first (and ONLY!) Ironman in 2016!!!

In the meantime, I will be wistfully watching everyone train and CRUSH their races and goals, while I get to sit back with my nose in a book.  I know I will get discouraged, but for the meantime, I am reminding myself that adding to my education is way more important, and realistically, it’s only a short period of time. I will TRY to look forward to the new challenges of this coming year, but come 2016 I will be so ready to get back on my bike! For now, look for me, cheering wildly and Sherpa-ing races in 2015, with books stacked all around me!
Challenges come in many different forms, and by focusing on just training, I would still be neglecting my personal growth.  Here’s to facing new challenges and fears head on!!
P.S. prepare yourself for lots of random (bunny!?) pictures in lieu of awesome racing photos. And if I start to lose it, send some encouragement my way!


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