Thursday, April 16, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

I've been having a busy week.

Last week, my kids' dad left town because he makes three times my salary and can afford vacations and the kids have been with me ever since.

Which I LOVE.

But what this means is that I cannot go to the gym in the morning - because one cannot wake up at the crack of dawn and leave children under the age of 9 home alone to swim. It also means I cannot go to the gym after work - because one cannot leave children at after school care passed 6 p.m. and one cannot drop off her children under the age of 9 at home and leave them there alone.

So, on Monday I met with my beginner runner group, ran 3k (while my children sat in the car and played video games - well, one child ran 1k with me), and that's pretty much been it as far as training goes.

The kiddos go to their dad's Friday after school, which also happens to be the student art show. If I had two wits about me, I'd tell the kids I was going to skip their art show Friday night so I could go to the gym.

But in good conscious I cannot do that to them. So rather than being in the pool Friday after work, I'll be at a student art show.

Saturday morning I have plans to run with a friend who is coming in from Maryland (yay!). Sunday I'm leaving town to go camping until Tuesday. Wednesday I have off, but I'll be cleaning up from two days of camping. I hope to get a swim in and maybe a bike ride, but we'll see. Wednesday after school, the kiddos come back home to me.

And the cycle repeats.

Also, I've been taking a very hard look at my finances, and it turns out that over the last 6 months I have somehow managed to rack up close to $10,000 in credit card debt - paying for groceries, new sneakers, tri kits, club memberships, club wear, USAT memberships, gym memberships, chiropractors, tumbling classes, gas for my car, etc.

So, after May 17, race day, my gym membership will be canceled, and I will possibly be putting my bike up for sale.

Anyone want to buy a bike?

Turns out that while I am mentally ready to get this triathlon party restarted, I am not financially ready. And with two small children at home, there is no way I have the time needed to properly train for these races.

So, there is it in all it's glory. I have a college degree and a job that makes less than most college graduates, thanks to 13+ years of marriage in which my career was never important because my husband made money. **I am currently in a hard search for new employment, so I am trying to better my financial situation.

I also have two children I can barely afford to feed because all my money goes toward housing, because we chose to live and raise our children in an area that has high cost of living, so it's very hard to live with a single, paltry income that is too much to qualify for assistance. I also get dog shit for child support because when we divorced I didn't want the kids to live without their dad and I agreed to 50/50 split custody.

So when my triathlon friends use #doesntcarediane in posts about how I'm not training, it stings. I'd like to train, but I just can't. I put on a facade of having too many responsibilities, or simply trying to keep this race as something I'm doing for fun.

I want to compete. I want to do well. I also want to feed my children and be able to drive them to school.

But these are my problems, ones I created. So they are problems I will have to clean up - somehow.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And how incredibly embarrassing it all is.


  1. Well you've got one thing on your side you're a triathlete and once a triathlete always a triathlete so I'm sure you don't give up easily! It's another training hurdle to be conquered! It's tough and I can't even imagine how single parents do it. I usually have to try and get a quick workout in during my lunch or jump on the trainer after the little one goes to sleep but I found out the hard way that's not always enough. Keep your head up!

    1. Thanks. I often get overwhelmed, but like my kids say, "triathletes never give up." :)