Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What a wild and strange trip its been...

Last July 29th I signed up for IMLP with gusto. I could barely afford the entry fee 'cause (as you may have recalled) I was only working part time as I'd just quit my job. I was confident that I could find something permanent and be in a good position to train. Things work out. They always do.

But before they did I experience tremendous periods of ups and downs. Nov 4th I went out for an easy ride and crashed, experiencing minor soft tissue injuries and a concussion. This was to be day 4 of my training. Not off to a good start. With some TLC from friends, family, and co-workers I managed to get through that OK with no lasting affects. It took me a long time before I could ride on my own. The hardest part was the fear of riding. I am not scared on a bike. I am strong, confident, and balanced. In fact it was not until the following April that I rode alone. And not until just this last week that I rode past the scene of the accident. Determination. Perseverance.

Then I quit a job, started a new 40 hr job that was to be awesome. I was laid off 5 weeks later, I was unemployed. Worked a bit at a SNF, then a day hab, then got hired full time at an out patient clinic. I started working full time just as my training was peaking. The 3 hardest weeks of my training. All while training for Ironman Lake Placid. It wasn't so bad working 24 hours during much of my training. Once I got a steady contract job things were OK. The hardest part about a rocky employment is the unsteady pay check. Triathlon training is expensive. Food is expensive. Gear is expensive. And you need to eat a lot when training for an Ironman. But somehow I managed. Friends fed me. I borrowed money. Unemployment finally came through. In the last 5 weeks I have had a steady paycheck. But with that came a sudden increase in hours worked and stress of a new job. Perserverance.

I met Amy in January. This is a huge up. It's, well it's amazing and wonderful...but I'll save that for another day. The point is that it was a huge change. For the first time, maybe ever, I had to work training around something other than me. It mattered if I was on a 3 hour run or needed to spend 4 non-consecutive hours training. But, she could not be more supportive about my triathlon training and addiction. (Lets all face is a bit of an addiction!) I have cold bottles of water, chocolate milk, and smoothies waiting for me after long workouts. Sometimes I even get dinner made for me. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing there is someone who cares about me when I arrive home.

In March my Grandmother passed away. She was older and had dementia, so really it was for the best. But it was and still is very sad that she is no longer with us. She taught me to make pie and to always bring something when you visit a friend, amoung other things. She was kind, a good listener, a fantastic baker, and an even better eater. She always asked about my racing and told me how good and healthy I looked. I think she knew how happy triathlon makes me. She will be in my thoughts tomorrow.

The Marathon Bombings happened. No need to go on about this. But I will be racing for each every person who was affected and lost their lives. No matter how hard it gets out there on Sunday, I will remember that I am there. I am able to race. I will love every second. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to train and race. It is a gift. Every single day is a gift.

Without doubt I am a happier fuller person today July 24, 2013 than I was this time last year. A lot has happened, but it has changed me for the better. I am stronger. I know that I can get through periods of unemployment. I know that I can make any PT setting work, at least temporarily. I have swam, biked, and run longer and harder than I did two years ago. I am more confident. I have my confidence back. My self esteem was hiding last year. It is returning with vigor. I have a huge gaggle of friends that care about me. I am in love with an amazing womyn who cares about me. My life is frickin fantastic. I am ready for Ironman Lake Placid.

I bounce well. I know this. But the last year has proven that to me multiple times. Too many times, universe. I am heading to IMLP with a secret weapon this year. One that will make me unstoppable. More about that in the next few days. I am SOOOOOO excited to start this journey with Amy and Cort.