This is one of my favorite photos…I took it from a window seat at school. I look at this beautiful landscape every day, admire it every day. I’ve lived in Colorado Springs for 19 years and I am finally climbing this beauty. On Saturday, I am heading up with 8 of my amazing epic relay team mates…I am thankful that I didn’t get injured or sick enough yesterday that I couldn’t make this journey.
The days we are given are blessings, whether they go the way we plan or not. It is disappointing what happened, and if I could have a do-over today, I would take it in a heartbeat, but that’s not the case. I woke up today with a sad feeling, but I’m not in a hole like I thought. When I think about it I get sad and a little upset, but in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter a whole lot. It was one race..my first that I didn’t finish, and that is a really, super crummy feeling, but I’ll get over it and move on. The disappointing part, to me, is that I spent so many hours training for this and thinking about this…it even entered my dreams on a weekly basis..it was a huge part of who I am, who I wanted to be, but it doesn’t make ME. I am already who I am and I don’t want to let a dnf define me for longer than a few days. In the big scheme of things it’s just a little bump. Yeah I ‘wasted’ a lot of money, time, effort, etc on this, but was it really a waste? No…I got stronger, both physically and mentally, these past ten months. I took something that I vowed to never do, and I prepared for it in the best way I knew how. I didn’t have a bike, so I bought a bike and learned to ride with clipless pedals. I couldn’t swim a length of the pool without feeling like I was going to make my lungs explode, and I taught myself to swim straight for 1.2 miles. What happened yesterday was a fluke, a very unfortunate series of events that were out of my control to some extent, and that is the bummer part, but I’m okay. In all honesty I’m sort of glad to have it behind me…big races, brand new things I’ve never done before tend to cause me more anxiety that excitement in some cases…same thing with my marathon, the night before I wasn’t excited, I was just incredibly nervous. So maybe this was for the best, maybe it was not…either way, I got the experience and learned a lot of lessons.
I’m not going to sell my bike..I’m not going to sell my wetsuit. Just because yesterday didn’t go my way doesn’t mean I should react like a child and say ‘be the best or don’t do it at all…’ I know I’ll never be the best in these races, but I can be MY best, which is all I need, and more important to me than being the best among others. We do these races not to challenge others, but ourselves. To push our own limits, get inside of our own heads, and push through the yucky feelings, the desires to quit, or stop, or walk, and we cross the finish line for US. At least that’s what I do, and I never want to stop. Even though sometimes I don’t enjoy the training, I know I enjoy it overall, and that it means a lot to me to be a part of the small population who has enough passion and is willing to expose themselves and make themselves vulnerable enough to put themselves on the line for this type of event, whether it be a long distance triathlon or a marathon…all the same.
We have heart and passion for this…it’s so hard, hard on your body, your bank account, your sanity, and yet we keep coming back. We pay money to suffer, because suffering feels good to us. We get something from it..we push through the limits we think we have and we create new ones…we keep coming back for more because suffering and succeeding is way WAY more rewarding than sitting back and watching life pass you by. We all agreed to this lifestyle the moment we signed up for our first races…I’m forever indebted and chained to running, to fitness, to a healthy lifestyle, because I LOVE it and I couldn’t imagine a life without it. I couldn’t imagine my life without endurance sports, without checking in with myself by doing these hard things…it reminds me I’m alive, it reminds me I’m human, but also have the capabilities to be ‘super human’ in my own way. It reminds me that anything is possible.
So although I didn’t get what I wanted yesterday, I got what I needed…a reality check. I want to keep pushing myself and trying new things. I never want the fear of failure to define me, I never want it to hold me back from doing the things I want to do. That isn’t the life I want to live at all…this won’t hold me back, I won’t let it. I want to spend my life continuing to be enthralled, in love with running and endurance sports…I want that to include triathlon, and I know I can do it. I’m not sure where my next steps will lead, or in what direction, but I know it will be an adventure, and I will love every minute of it.
I’m thankful I didn’t get injured. I’m thankful I’m healthy today and that nothing went majorly wrong. I am thankful to be alive and well on this beautiful, sunny Colorado day. Everyday is a gift, a learning experience, you just have to know how to interpret it, and then how to use it to make yourself better. Learn from the mistakes and mishaps in your life..don’t dwell on the negative, choose to see the positive and try to understand that everything happens for a reason. It’s an ongoing learning experience for me and sometimes it’s really hard for me to remember, but one thing I know, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s not easy, and that’s the point. We got this…keep your head up (me) and anyone else who has experienced recent, or not so recent, mishaps bumps in the road.
Life goes on..plan your next adventure carefully, train like an animal, and tear it apart. It’s who we are..it’s what we’re meant to do.
This is one of the top 5 of all time best posts I’ve ever read.