Thursday, May 11, 2017

Life is a journey. Not a destination.

I've always believed the mind quits before the body will. However, on Saturday, October 8 I proved myself wrong. I was sick. I started the race throwing up on the bike and continued to push and repeat to myself “I have more” and “It's not over till it's over”. It ended up being over in T2 when I collapsed and ended up being wheeled into the medical tent.

A week out from the race and I was ready!
I still get a stomach ache just thinking about that day…its hard.  I’m not a quitter.  I’m a fighter.  To have been there on the Island and not crossed the finish line is hard on my heart.  Life is full of ups and downs.  We all have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly and decide how we are going to handle those situations.  We may not have a choice, in the cards we are dealt, but we 100% have a choice in how we react and what we do with those cards.

The race didn't go as planned and my goal was to empty the tank in the lava fields which I guess I can say I did. I just thought the emptying of the tank would happen during the marathon and not the bike portion of the race. Looking back at the situation I should have stopped in Hawi, at the bike turnaround, and figured things out.  Which probably meant stopping at a first aid tent to let my stomach settle and try to hydrate myself. After all, we get 17 hours to finish, but when I was racing the idea of slowing or even stopping wasn't even an option for me. My goal was to give it everything I had until there was no more to give.

Lee, of course, making sure he captures the
moment of me being hand delivered to him. 
I’m a strong willed determined person. It is one of my favorite characteristics about myself. However, it was that personality trait which got me in trouble on race day.  When I really realized what happened and I knew my race was over and I was sitting in the medical tent… first, I was mad and then sad.  I sat there in tears and thought...Did I eat something weird? Did I not rest properly? I still don’t know exactly what happened.  They thought in the medical tent I was probably sick in the morning (which I chalked up to race day nerves) and then pushed myself into severe dehydration.

I had a couple of choices sitting there mad at myself, the volunteers, the world….
I could go back to the hotel room and think poor me. I got sick out on the course, DNF, and I never crossed the finish line.  OR I could be thankful nothing serious is wrong with me and I have the opportunity to make the most out of the situation I’m in and go cheer for the amazing MN athletes out on the course. 

Sara and I had many lovely coffee dates on the Island.
AND...she is one of those amazing MN athletes
who had a fantastic day!
So that is what Lee and I did.  He had a moped and knew all the backroads to get out on the course. I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  I put on a smile and tried to make the most out of the rest of the day.  The thing was I physically felt good after the meds and fluids I received in the med tent.  It was my ego that hurt the most. 
I love this pic!  His beard was so long then.  

These are our serious cheering faces.
Life is most definitely a journey and not a destination. The more we can learn from our adventures, our triumphs, and our failures the more we are getting to experience in life.  The ironman triathlon journey has always been very personal to me. I've always set out to be better than I was the last time. Those results can't always be measured by a time clock or a place on the podium. The accomplishment of being better than I was the time before comes from within. It is a feeling and no amount of data can ever prove that. We are each our own person and have our very own unique journey and battles within. In my opinion it all comes down to dreaming big dreams, setting goals, taking risks and being brave.

I’ve learned to be open to change as I've grown older. The moments when we feel uncomfortable are the moments when we are growing the most. In training when we are pushing past that comfort zone we are making ourselves become stronger and faster. In life when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone we are growing and expanding our horizons. If we are unwilling to change and not open ourselves up to the possibility of change, we are putting the brakes on and closing ourselves off from a world of opportunities and possibilities.

 Dream Big Dreams!

5 of my favorite people at one of our favorite camping spots last summer.
Who doesn't love a first day of school picture?? 

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