“The defining characteristics of the Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP) are a strong drive to succeed, hostility, competitiveness, perfectionism, a desire for recognition, wealth and advancement, difficulty talking about feelings, and a sense of urgency and impatience.”
I have a Type A Personality. I’m competitive and at times too competitive. I like to win. The only exception is running because I know I’m not going to win (perhaps I should be more competitive about it! Hmmm…). I’m extremely impatient and very stubborn. I have a tendency to take on everything and to think that I’m not doing enough. I’m very goal-oriented. If I don’t have some form of a goal, I get anxiety. I need a plan. Lately I haven’t had a training plan and it’s really starting to bother me. I’m not the type of person to fly by the seat of their pants. In college I was a pre-med student. I had plans to go to medical school for my MD/PhD (because obviously obtaining just one of those degrees wasn’t enough) to become a pediatric oncologist (which is a little weird, because honestly I’m not a huge fan of kids). As most of you probably know, being pre-med can be grueling. Lots of very hard courses, studying for the MCATS, researching, tutoring, and volunteering and you still might get rejected by all the medical schools you apply to. Since I have a Type A Personality I had my life planned out in a three ring binder. Crazy? Completely. I had all the undergrad courses I needed to take and when. I had all my research and volunteering experiences planned out. I even had all the schools I wanted to apply to and go to in the binder. Like I said before, I need a plan or I don’t function. I don’t handle spontaneity well. I was following my plan till Summer of 2008. This was the summer I was suppose to apply to medical school. I was out in Montana doing biomedical research on bone regrowth. I had a freak out. I became unsure of myself, which is rare for me because I’m very much the type of person who does what she says she’s going to do. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be over $200,000 in debt and spend the next 8+ years working 90 hour weeks. So I decided to wait at least another year. Fast forward to January 2009. My Mother started having weird symptoms. Her left arm and leg became “twitchy” and she couldn’t do simple things such as dial a phone number or remember how to brush her teeth. She was diagnosed with Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a very rare (1 in million) prion disease that is 100% fatal. My Mother succumbed to the disease several weeks after my 22nd birthday. Talk about Life throwing me a lemon. My life plan had completely been thrown out the window. At this point in life, I learned that you had to take life one day at a time and cherish the simple things in life and not take them for granted.
Everyone grieves differently. I’m not a super emotional person and generally don’t cry in public. My way of dealing with her death was to emerge myself into a ton of stuff and stay busy. If I was busy then I couldn’t be sad. And since I have a Type A personality, this was typical of myself. This worked great till News Year’s 2010 when I had way too much to drink and just lost it. As embarrassed as I am (still) about that night, I needed it. I needed to vent and grieve. That year I found triathlons. Triathlons are the perfect complement to my personality. I’m pretty sure most triathlete’s have a Type A personality. Who else would be crazy enough to swim, bike, and run 140.6 miles! Through this experience I learned that you can’t have a life plan because it can all fall apart in one single moment. When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. Or you can find someone with vodka and have a party! (Personally I prefer Tequila).
Two and a half years later I still have a life plan. It’s just not in a three ring binder. I know where I want to be in 5 and 10 years, but I’m taking one day at a time. However, when it comes to training plans, I need a plan. It is one of the main reasons I hired a coach this year. I need a plan if I want to reach my goals this year. I start an official training plan with my coach on January 1st, which I’m very excited about! However, I’m working on a loose training plan till then. I registered for the Mid-Winter Classic 10-miler in February on a whim today. Guess that means I should start running again really soon! I was planning on running on the trail behind my house today with my dog; however, just as I was about to change into my running clothes I heard the lovely BANG BANG from guns. They were target shooting in the field. Somehow I’d rather not become their practice target, so I decided to swim instead. It was my first time swimming since my 70.3 race on September 11th. I forgot how much I love swimming (and pretty much how to swim). It was a rusty start. I had a workout planned but after the warm-up I just threw it out the window because my stroke was just bad. I spent most of the hour just doing drills to recover my stroke back. By the end of the workout I found my stroke again! Time to hit the pool multiple times a week again!
I’m really excited that I am beginning to see improvements in my strength and flexibility! My trainer commented yesterday after our workout that she can tell that I am stronger and my core is tighter in a good way! Score! Bootcamp and training sessions are paying off! 🙂 Now to work on the nutrition aspect of my training. I have a lovely stack of books that I was been reading here and there about different diet plans. I would like to try different things to see what my body prefers. Everyone is different and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. And speaking of diets, for the past couple weeks I have been a very delicious Veggie Chili.