Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Triathlon Troubles

I thought that if I did all of the leg work before arriving in Scotland, I would be able to get here and just start training. I thought I had three guides lined up. I thought a lot of things, but it seems I thought wrong.
When I first got to Edinburgh, I put the triathlon training on the back burner since we had more important things to work out; like where we were going to live. I had told everyone that I would contact them once I was settled in and I've spent the past three and a half weeks trying to get into contact with one of my potential guides. We've played email tag and the one time I was supposed to phone him, his phone was off. He was supposed to call this weekend, but I didn't hear from him. I haven't given up on him yet as he sounded quite interested, but the inability of either of us to get a  hold of one another in combination with a few other things has me completely frustrated.
Joining the gym isn't going as planned either. It's kind of an extra expense a month Mr. K and I aren't sure we should be spending money on. It's not overly expensive, with the membership running around 17 pounds a month, but that could potentially add up. Plus, this particular gym does not have a pool. The more expensive gym does, but the cheaper gym also said there was potential for sponsoring my triathlon endeavors. But it is just that, a potential. What if I join the cheaper gym and spend the extra money to use a pool three times a week or so and the sponsorship falls through? Should I go with the other gym? The question of monthly payment comes up again.
The price concern is not the only problem. If I do join a gym, how do I go about using the equipment? Hiring a personal trainer is more money and although I'd benefit from a sighted person assisting me with the inaccessible touch screens of the cardiovascular machines, forking out that extra money seems a bit irresponsible and unnecessary. That said, moving from machine to machine would be much easier if I had someone's help. E is using the more expensive gym, so that brings me back to which gym should I join? Do we even have the funds for me to join a   gym?
Since the gym is a bit of money and I'm not entirely sure I can even use the stinking thing on my own, I thought I'd contact running clubs. These clubs have annual fees that are cheaper than the gyms and would at least give me a starting point to build up fitness. Problem is, they won't take me. One emailed me back just today to say that the committee had all discussed it and that they were not qualified to assist me with my needs; end of conversation. Again, the theme of other people knowing what my needs are without asking seems to pop up. At first, I emailed them back and thanked them for their time and for referring me to Scottish Athletics-which is not what I want since they deal with athletes getting into Track and Field-but I emailed them back asking them for clarification. I would like to know what they think my needs are exactly and why they can't meet them. When you get enough of these types of emails, you begin to think "why bother?" For some reason, I just keep going; I just needed to bi*** about it before carrying on. :)
I did make some progress with a cycling club designed specifically for blind people located about a 15 minute train ride from here. The location is slightly inconvenient, but traveling out there once a week wouldn't be so bad. Mr. K is planning on joining as well so that will make the travel time a bit less boring and tedious. We are in the process of scheduling a "beginner's session." During this session, a few pilots-the sighted people who steer the bike-and bikes will be brought out  for us to try and match up to.
Writing it down, makes it seem less horrible, but I'm still a bit frustrated. The phrase "but if I could see" keeps running through my mind and I think dealing with that thought is just as difficult as people deciding they can't meet your needs without discussing it with you. This is a demon I don't have to face often as I am comfortable with my disability and who I am, but sometimes it does rear its ugly head and now is one of those times. It's a thought I have to shut down quickly because "seeing" is not an option and there is no point in dwelling on something that cannot be changed. Focus must be placed on the things I can control and/or effect.
It's  also frustrating when you feel like all of the ground work you laid months in advanced seems to have eroded away and you are starting from the beginning again. All I want to do is train. I miss challenging my mind and body. I miss the burn and knowing after a hard workout that I accomplished something. Part of me wants to just throw in the towel, but a bigger part of me won't let that happen. My goal at this point is to just get a guide(s) and to build up some fitness. I want to run a triathlon and one of these days I will do it; it may just take me way longer than I planned.


browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

I hear your frustration...I think more often than not we tend to "open mouth insert foot".

I remember in college how shocked I was that a blind person could actually attend the same classes I attended. (I thought they all had to attend a special school.) Growing up I'd known blind people and marveled that anyone could learn to read by touch (braille)...

The point I'm trying to make is that those of us who do not have a physical handicap underestimate what a handicapped person, regardless of their handicap, can physically do.

I have a feeling that meeting the pilots for cycling is an honest attempt to match your goals and fitness level with the correct person. If you just want to cycle for exercise and have zip in fitness, you don't need the same type of pilot that an experienced cross country cyclist would need.

Sorry to be so wordy. We'll keep our fingers crossed everything works out well for y'all.

BrownDog's Human

Jess and Glacier said...

LOL No worries about the wordiness-I understand what you are trying to say.
Thanks. :)

pattib said...

Don't give up, Jess, although I have a feeling you don't need to be told that. I hope things work out and you get to work out soon!