Life in the Fast Lane


What Is a Blogger Anyway (and Some Updates)

By 12:41 PM , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi, reader/s!

(Are you still there?)

I do apologize profusely; I have now come to the conclusion that I'm a terrible blogger. (By the way, I'll touch on my thoughts about the word "blogger" later in this entry.)

Sadly, my posts are becoming more and more infrequent, and, truth be told, half the time, I don't know what to write about anymore. I've become way too reliant on microblogging in the form of Facebook statuses, Instagram captions, and tweets; ironically, however, I'm extremely talkative on those social media platforms.

It's not that nothing's been happening lately. I just lack the discipline to collect my thoughts and write them in this kind of format. And, you know, make them appear *engaging* and *interesting*.

Anyway, with this unnecessary disclaimer out of the way, I guess I'll go ahead and write about what's been happening. No running theme, no cohesion here; just old school-style journalling.

After my last race in early June, I took a break from racing (and training for a race).

Regent 5150/Sunrise Sprint Triathlon last June 4, 2017

My body was tired (not that I was doing long distance races, but balancing my training schedule with my full-time, highly demanding job, became exhausting after a while). I was burned out from the repetition of doing swim/bike/run almost every day of the week, and I needed to recover.

I decided to go on this self-imposed break to give my body some time to rest, to heal, and to miss training (even our tri team captain told me that it would be good for me to do this, precisely so I would want to start training again once I've recovered). In the meantime, I was encouraged to try other things.

Which I did.

I took several boxing classes and even invested in my own gloves and wraps.

Elorde Boxing, Celebrity Sports Club

I tried indoor climbing (my first time in what felt like forever).

Climb Central Manila, Greenfield District, Mandaluyong

I went on several hikes.

Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal

Taal Volcano, Talisay, Batangas

Mt. Manabu, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

And I rekindled my love affair with photography, entering the micro four thirds world of mirrorless cameras.

Olympus Pen with an 8mm fisheye lens

But I still did some light triathlon-related training every now and then; just not as religiously and intensely as I would if I were training for a particular race. It was also timely that my sister got herself a mountain bike to cross-train for her hikes. So we biked together fairly often.

Marikina Riverbanks

I've been enjoying myself the past few months. Even without intense triathlon training, you could say that I'm still very much still physically active. I've also enjoyed the fact that I didn't need to wake up at 4am for a long run on a weekday and that I didn't need to feel guilty whenever I missed a workout.

It's been a good break.

On the thyroid end, however, it has been a wild roller coaster ride.

Around early July, I noticed that my neck started to swell almost overnight. Pardon the next photo, in case it disturbs you.

Hello, swollen neck!

Since the thyroid gland is located within the neck, I needed to undergo several tests to determine the cause.

It turns out that I developed a form of goiter related to hypothyroidism; the complete opposite of my thyroid condition, which was hyperthyroidism. Because, at the time, I was still on a high dosage of thyroid medication, my TSH level swung the other way towards hypothyroidism.

My doctor told me to stop all my medication to see if my TSH would return to the normal range. Thankfully, after a month, it did, and my neck likewise returned to its normal size.

I am still off medication until today, but my body has been rebooting itself big time. From a high dosage to no dosage (cold turkey), it's been crazy; we're talking sleep problems (sometimes I sleep so well; other times, I wake up every two hours at night), menstrual cycle issues (without going into too much detail, let's just say that my periods now happen more than once a month), slow to fast metabolism, palpitations to steady heart rates, etc. etc.

My doctor did, however, give me the green light to resume training for races, should I decide to join one; in fact, she's curious to see if my thyroid will cooperate, sans medication, given the same intensity and frequency in training.

I'm supposed to go back in October for a follow-up check-up to figure out the next step/s (whether to resume medication and how much of it I should be taking, or if I should still be medication-free). Praying that all continues to go well and that my body will sort itself out ASAP.

Aside from the changes taking place within my body, there have also been changes at work (I'm now with a new team in a different "division", if you will), changes in lifestyle (in way), and changes at home.

So far, the year 2017 has been one of perpetual adjustment on seemingly countless levels. Talk about trusting and depending on the Lord on a daily basis. But I continue to praise Him for His faithfulness despite all the challenges.

Bit by bit, however, I have started to train purposefully for triathlon once again (as mentioned in a previous entry, it's my outlet, especially when things get out of hand). I've missed it, and I feel that I'm ready to start preparing for a race again. I'm just not sure of what the next one is as of now since I haven't signed up for any.

However, my body is the one that needs to tell me when it's good to go. When my cycle is out of whack, or when I feel tired/listless, I blow the whistle and skip training for a day or two. I have now accepted that I can't control everything, so when my body is up to it, I train; when it isn't, I just don't.

Easing back in with my favorite sport of all, swimming!

I really hope to go back to regular training soon, assuming my body cooperates, and even sign up for a race in the near future.

Before I end this, though, I've been thinking about the word "blogger" for some time now.

Once upon a time, when it was practically the only form of self-expression on the Internet, blogging was widely accepted as a hobby that welcomed everyone. You had the likes of Angelfire, Xanga, Blogger, LiveJournal, and later on, WordPress to get you started. You didn't need to know how to code (you could choose from a selection of free templates); neither were you required to be an amazing writer. Anyone could be a blogger.

Nowadays, the term seems to be reserved more for those who monetize their blogs; those who serve as influencers.

Gone are the days when just about anyone could start blogging. Yes, anyone can still blog, theoretically speaking. However, today's bloggers curate their blogs: from the look to the themes of their posts to the photography. The sought-after bloggers are those who write about specific themes consistently in most of, if not all their entries; they have their own niches. (Just look at the difference between a present-day tech blogger's blog versus that of a lifestyle blogger; a blogger from 10 to 15 years ago would have been able to blog about both topics without a care in the world.)

Those niche bloggers who gain a large following are then tapped to be influencers for brands. Hence the sponsored posts.

So now I wonder, if you just want to blog for blogging's sake, can you still consider yourself a blogger?

Or has blogging really and truly morphed from a hobby into a career/profession?

While I don't know the answer to this just yet, I'd still like to call myself a blogger — without all the implications that come with the word in 2017.

So blog away, I shall continue to do (hopefully with more regularity in the succeeding posts!).

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  1. I wish you all the best, health-wise, and everything else. I can relate to the erratic sleep hours, along with lifestyle changes that a medical condition brings. My right arm hurts on cold mornings, not to mention the gnarly scars. Heck, even the scars have scars. I'm glad however, to read another blog post from you. For what its worth, I believe you're a true blogger. The "Baby Names" will always be my favorite - seriously, there's no topping "Diwata Go." Till your next entry, Ms. Araneta.

    1. Hello, Marc!

      Nice to hear from you again! I'm sorry to hear that you're also going through something physical. Praying for your healing!

      Thank you for the very encouraging words as well. I really should be blogging more, but I do struggle a lot with things to write about. I'll try to find an interesting topic then write about it soon.

      And yes, that entry on Diwata Go (and other weird names) is still one of my favorites. Haha! Glad you remember it!


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