ROBOT! Calm Down - with Coach Samantha

I need to start by saying that I wrote this yesterday, but life made it impossible to post until now!

I started a whole other blog this morning, but now it is almost 2 pm where I live and I think that there might be a better blog unfolding. I think this blog might be more for me than anyone else, but I am sure that there are a few gems for all here.


Last night my daughter came down with a virus. Out of nowhere she was sneezing, her nose was running, and she was coughing. This was alternated with bouts of whimpers and tears. I work from home, and while this provides me a ton of flexibility and freedom, I also am a very rigid person, some might say robotic, and set myself a schedule each week that I adhere to, from workout times to copious lists of tasks to complete. I derive a huge amount of pleasure accomplishing and ticking off these tasks with a big check mark. I actually still handwrite said lists, as it is so much fun to write that check mark!


When my daughter started to get sick and I knew she would be home from school, I went to work on how I would deal with my lists and my workouts. If I woke up before 5 am then I would knock it all out with ease. And providing she was mostly couch bound, I could work from the computer without issue.


Alas - I did not wake up and get on my bike at 5 due to a terrible nights sleep dealing with the kiddo.

This is how I feel when I am at an Ironman and athletes are crushing it and also how I feel when I am not able to crush it. 

This is how I feel when I am at an Ironman and athletes are crushing it and also how I feel when I am not able to crush it. 


I did get up and start my blog and get some work done, but that was interrupted by a kid who was in need of snuggles. Snuggles are amazing, but snuggles were NOT ON MY LIST! (Clearly, I need to add them, even a robot needs some snuggles.)




A few hours later and I had basically made breakfast i.e thrown a bunch of stuff in a vitamix and scarfed it down, and started a whole bunch of tasks and completed NOT ONE. My list was mocking me. And I was feeling in a funk.


RELAX ROBOT! That was my newly adopted motto.


The problem is that I can tell myself to relax, but that is hard to actually make happen. Have you ever met a robot that was just about going with the flow?


At some point in time I also checked social media and it was like every human on earth was exercising and accomplishing. I on the other hand, had done nothing …


Noon came and I was finally in a place where I knew I had to jump on my bike or I was going to meltdown like a toddler. So we dragged out all of the American Girl dolls and I said a silent mantra about letting go of organization and being a normal less robotic human. My house does not have to be ready to show at all times - right? On the bike I jumped and 15 minutes in I heard a little voice, “Mom, I’m hungry”. Okay - be calm, pause the watch, head up and make a quick PB and J - no big deal. It’s like a pit stop to refuel - right. So up we go, only to turn around to see blood squirting everywhere and a tooth dangling from my daughter's mouth which needed one last yank to be freed from its current residence. Whelp, the PB and J was out and so a new plan of soup was forged. I grabbed the broth to heat up and a pot, and when I went to the stove the burner would not light. Long story short, the gas company came over yesterday to change the meter and forgot to turn the gas back on - this however stole all the enthusiasm from the workout and I had to accept the fact that the bike was not happening. Or should I say was not happening at that moment.

This is an old pic of her first tooth, but she was not willing to let me take a new one. 

This is an old pic of her first tooth, but she was not willing to let me take a new one. 


It’s 2:20 pm and here I am. I still have my bike clothes on and my bottles ready, but the bike needs to be put off for a few hours so I can work and focus on my daughter. The  window for me to get it in at that point has closed. And the question that I have is will that window re-open later today? Should I re-open the window?


Here are my thoughts as a coach:


When you are in danger of missing a workout you need to assess the reason why. While there are more than listed here - this was my run down:


  1. Risk of injury

  2. Illness risk

  3. Ill

  4. Childcare issues

  5. Work obligations

  6. Social of family obligations

  7. Feeling super stressed from life

  8. Poor planning

  9. Don’t feel like it


When I ran down this list in my mind - 1-3 were not my issue. If they were, obviously I needed to not workout. 4-7 were there, but I would be able to work around them if I made sure not to fall into the trap of number 8. And so that left 9. But 9 wasn’t really the issue. I did want to workout, but I really was struggling with the fact that my workout plans were not as I wanted.


Which brings me to 10. I was being inflexible.


The robot mind was set on a specific time and the little monkey aka my kid and life were doing their all to test my ability to adapt.


I sat my robot self down on the couch with a kiddo curled up in my arms and read to her until she fell asleep and then as much as I wanted to doze off bedside her, I popped up and hopped on my bike. Before I knew it, I was done on the bike and Brynja was awake, but deep into playing and I was able to get both of my planned sessions in for the day.


Flexibility and being adaptive are essential as a mom and a long course athlete. I know this. And I’m pretty good about this on race day.


But man do I struggle with this on every day of my life. And at times to my own detriment.


Today was a poignant reminder that I do this for fun. I need to be reminded of that at times. I’m lucky to be able to move my body and workout. I am lucky to have a tiny, sweet daughter who still wants to snuggle. Both things that can get overlooked or taken for granted. When I get hyper focused on the checking of boxes and let that rule my world view than I risk stealing the joy from the movement.  And worse yet, in some cases I run the risk of missing a workout and all the growth it offers to me as a mom, coach, business owner and athlete. Oh and seriously - snuggles are never worth missing.