It has been a little over one year now since I decided to embark on my triathlon journey. By that I mean, it has been about a year since I declined my offer to study medicine at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in order to take a risk, put my life on hold, and follow my heart in pursuing my dream of being the best triathlete that I can possibly be. I can honestly say that I had absolutely no idea what to expect by taking this journey, nor did I really fathom how difficult it could be at times. There are certainly moments when I am marred by insecurities, and find myself questioning whether this journey was the right decision, or whether it's worth it for me to keep going.
The past 6 weeks or so have been one of those times. I had been working part-time as a clinical research consultant in the Division of Cardiology at Mt. Sinai Hospital, so that I could make ends meet, but also so that I could dedicate more time to training. It is important to me to stay close to the medical field, so that I don't completely become out of touch with a possible future career in medicine. Our research funds were cut in January, so I was bumped to just contract work by mid-January. Finances were already tight before, so I started to really worry about funding my race season ahead. This only compounded with my insecurities about getting fit and fast enough to face the new race season, as I only started doing some swim sets in January and lacked endurance, speed, and technique in the water. Even though I had put my med school aspirations on hold, I actually put in an application to U of T (my 1st choice of med school in Canada) in the fall, since I was bored sitting at home nursing my injuries. Although it is comforting to know that I might have been a "short-listed" candidate, I still got my rejection email a couple of days ago. So, you see, all of these things combined made me question my decision to pursue my triathlon goals! Why did I ever give up my seat to study at UQ? What if I never get into U of T AND I don't get accepted to any schools abroad anymore? After all that time in school, shouldn't I get out there and at least work full-time and make some money? Etc, etc..
Not to worry though, my perspective has changed, and I am once again the positive me! The moral of the story is that nothing in life is ever guaranteed. This whole journey that I'm on to become the best triathlete that I can be is supposed to be rife with uncertainty and risk. I am supposed to face challenges along the way that appear insurmountable. I am supposed to make huge sacrifices. I am supposed to do things that scare me. That's what makes this journey so exciting and rewarding, and hopefully I will walk away from it in the future as a better person. So go ahead and take some risks and live your dreams! I am definitely back for another season!