Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Back to the Grind

I started my new "job" on Monday. I'm so overwhelmed. I think it's started to hit me. Within a month, I've defended and graduated with my Ph.D., moved across the country, and started my postdoc at the Scripps. It's this incredible research foundation with overwhelming prestige, and I feel like I don't belong there. I'm daunted by everything that's happening to me, and the big shoes I'm expected to fill. I feel like I'm pretending to be an adult in "daddy's" clothes in a grown-up world, and I don't belong. Can I get the flu again and stay in bed with a good old-fashioned fever?

Maybe I started too soon. However, I was getting anxious. I have to say, it's nice to be back in a routine. But I just feel like I'm on a whole other level. Everyone is so serious. I feel very isolated and alone. And I don't have the energy to reach out and make friends. I miss college where opportunities were at your fingertips, and all you had to do was show up, and things just happened.

I felt a surprising twinge of envy today as I went through the UCSD campus to pick up Jason. It made me realize how much I miss being part of a college community. I think it's made me come to the realization that I might enjoy academia more than industry. Otherwise, I would miss being part of the community and all the understated, underappreciated benefits that come with it. Young, enthusiastic students, the chance to mentor and teach, the chance to meet all sorts of people and openly exchange ideas--I don't want to miss out on that.

I'm sure I'll start to feel more comfortable. I'm having to work hard to keep myself in check and not overextend myself. If I don't feel like doing something extra or being especially social, I don't have to. There'll be plenty of time for that later.

It seems I'm finally starting to exercise again. It feels sooo good. I think that's one of the few things holding me together. It's my most favorite activity that I look forward to each day. I joined the UCSD gym. There are so many opportunities there; I'm overwhelmed. I ran at the apartment gym on Sunday. It's very small and crowded though so it's not optimal. I weight-lifted afterwards. Monday, I biked to and from lab--3.3 miles each way. I'm very out of shape so it was a good little workout for me. ;) I know. I'm a wimp. On the way home, I stopped at the UCSD pool and jumped in for my first swim in months. I'm SO out of shape. I swam for 40 minutes--very slowly. My arms felt like they were going to fall off. They still feel like they're going to fall off today. It was nice swimming in an outdoor, heated pool. Very relaxing. However, everyone else in the pool is like an Olympic swimmer compared to what I'm used to. I've forgotten how everyone in California seems to be an adept swimmer. Even more so in this area. It's very intimidating. But I swallow my pride, and jump in. How's that for a metaphor?

My goal for right now is just to get comfortable, get into a regular routine, and have fun. I've decided to use a more holistic approach to my tri training. I want to build endurance but have fun too. Therefore, at this time, I'm going to hold off joining a tri club. The one here is HUGE, and famous. I'm just totally intimidated. When I belonged to one in St. Louis, everyone was SO intense, it sucked all the fun out of it. I wish there was a laid-back, just for fun, tri group. There seems to be a paucity of those. I get a lot of pleasure out of training solo, with Jason, or with a few friends. I may do a few relaxing, group bike ride with a touring group on the weekends (no pacelines, thank you), or eventually take a masters swim class (once a week; no more!) to brush up on my swimming skills but only when it strikes my fancy.

I also am going to go sans heart rate monitor and watch for awhile. I need to get back to the basics and just enjoy myself. Enjoy nature. Listen to my body. It's much more fun (and cheaper too). I don't need a lot of gadgets. I don't need aero bars. I have the basics--running shoes, bike, and helmet. What else do I need besides a healthy body?

1 comment:

Cliff said...

Suck at swimming is all perspective..i can't swim 40 min in the pool. Only after two months of drinking chlorine water I am now finally getting the hang of freestyle.

Ok I am still slow but at least i ain't huffing and puffing after one lap.

I hope you find some good people to tri with.