Creative Commons license courtesy anna_gutermuth
Creative Commons license courtesy anna_gutermuth

When was the last time someone taught you how to dress and undress – in public?

Oh, and did they teach you how to change quickly!?

I just got back from a transition clinic. No, not a clinic like with doctors and nurses and stethoscopes and stuff. It was a clinic as in a hands-on training session. And it was about special kinds of transitions – the transitions between sports in triathlons.

It was a triathlon transition clinic taught by pro triathlete Jim Vance.

It was about learning how to master the switch from swimming to cycling, and then from cycling to running. While transitions may seem simple enough, many athletes forget how long it can take to peel off a wetsuit and get wet feet into dry shoes. In multi-sport events like triathlons, the total race time includes the minutes and seconds between sports.

More importantly, struggling during the transitions takes away energy. Putting up resistance against some sticky swim cap can lead to frustration. On the other hand, I’ve had a good laugh at myself when I got a little rattled and forgot to take off my swim goggles before trying to put on my bike helmet. Ha!

It’s just the same with life’s transitions.

Ask yourself, how many of the following transitions can you say you’ve mastered?

  • Changing to a new career
  • Ending a long-time relationship
  • Starting a new relationship
  • Moving to a new house
  • Moving to a new city, or country
  • Dealing with an accident or long-term illness

I’m on the lookout for more ways to be more present and involved with all my life transitions.

I remember reading once somewhere about how differently we might act if we thought we were being televised. Some of us might just rise to the occasion and show a little style and grace, even when doing something as unglamorous as trying to catch a bus.

The three words I’ve been trying to keep before me during transitions: grace, style, and awareness. I’m finding that these help me focus on the moment in a way that leads me closer to mastery of the moment.

Learning how to master transitions in life with style, grace, and awareness makes all the difference.

What works for you?

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