That Mystical Mojo

Mojo. I can’t hear that word without envisioning Austin Powers uttering it through his gnarly, ill-kempt teeth (though he was referring to a specific, Fembot-hexing sort of mojo). I relate to mojo of a more athletic nature: that intangible energy that brings focus, fervor and momentum to the grind of training.

When mojo is high training seems effortless, even through the most grueling, demanding sessions. The body exudes extraordinary performance stamina while the mind’s focus on the long-term goal is as fierce as a shark’s with a frickin’ laser beam attached to its head. (All right, all right…I’m done with the Austin Powers metaphors). To put it simply, mojo makes everything click.

Burnout, stress, life imbalance, illness, improper self-care and injury can all knock mojo flat on its keester. After Ironman Mont-Tremblant, I was immediately ready to dive back into the build for a late-season Ironman. My heart and mind (and seemingly my body) were more than up to the task. I took careful measures to ensure I wasn’t overlooking any potential issues with the above list of mojo obstacles, blinded by my sheer desire for redemption after a dissatisfying race in Quebec.

But then it happened. All it took was a little tweak in my heel during a morning run (on my birthday, no less!) and my training mojo took a nose-dive like a defective bottle rocket. A dramatic shift in weather from pleasant fall warmth to blustery rain only made things worse. Almost two weeks later, despite compliance with my physical therapist’s instructions and the return of sunshine, it seems the momentum and fortitude that has carried me through my most demanding race season yet has finally submitted a leave request.

Mojo can’t be forced. It emerges over time, cultivated by dedication, discipline and passion from within. While my natural response is to retaliate against this unwelcome deviation, I know that patience and long-term thinking is the best approach to carry me into 2018. I’m not quite ready to admit it (still holding out some hope for IMAZ in November) but I could be looking at the beginning of my post-season.

(Photo by Jim Larson Photography)

I demand a lot of my body and it’s time I show it some grace for all it endures throughout the season. When something like this happens I turn to the other things in my life (besides triathlon) that make my heart sing. Among these things are: hitting Saturday market, indulging in food/sleep activities that don’t jive with my standard training schedule, nurturing some long-neglected friendships, catching up on some reading, enlivening my work through this newfound mental sharpness, skipping an evening workout to bake cookies and watch football (something that NEVER happens but it did and it was so glorious!) and binge-watching Season 3 of Narcos with MFMG.

My mojo will return- I’m certain of that. In the meantime, there are other pursuits that warrant some attention...like finding the best pumpkin beer in Boise. As Austin Powers would say, "Yeah, baby!"

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