Ironman is one week from tomorrow.
My emotions are on overdrive.
My body is trained.
My mind is churning.
The bags are packed.
My kids are prepped and packed.
Their Grandparents are taking deep breaths.
The house is clean. Ok, sort of.
The schools are notified.
Monday morning I will board a plane with my patient and supportive husband. Kona bound.
I'm living the dream.
I feel lucky in many ways. Many many ways. I have this fabulous opportunity in front of me. I am lucky that I have a husband who supports my dreams. I am lucky to have parents and in-laws who are very willing and able to take wonderful care of our children while we are away. My goodness, they all said, "we'll take the kids!" as soon as they heard I was 2nd at Ironman Lake Placid and earned a Kona spot. Seriously, That night. Before I even signed on the dotted line. Thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you Al and Mary-Alice. I am lucky that my little boys are so well behaved and well, just plain awesome. I feel fine leaving them for over a week with their Grandparents. (well...fine isn't the right word. I DONOT want to say goodbye Monday) But I trust that they will be good boys for their Grandparents. They are such good kids. I am just a lucky woman for all those reasons and many more. And I plan to savor every single moment and to remember just how lucky I am to be able to go on this trip.
But it wasn't luck that got me here in the first place. Not at all. I have been working towards this in some ways, since I was a young girl.
I am going to spare you all my athletic history. It's just what it is. That's not my point. It's not about the years of HS or College swimming. It's not about the 6 marathons.It's not about the countless hours of practice at all the sports I did. No, that's not it.
It's about desire. And determination. Consistency. Perserverence. And basically, a total refusal to quit. You must have that. You must. It's necessary to achieve Any goal. Any goal in life.
I don't care if you're trying to write a book, knit a sweater, open a new business, secure a new job, feed your baby at 2 a.m., or earn your college degree. It doesn't matter what your goal is-you must not quit. Every now and then, something will come along and work out perfectly. It might not require much blood, sweat, or tears. But if that's the case, do you appreciate it as much? Probably not. It's that tough stuff....the things that make you work harder than you thought possible, the things that make you dig deeper inside than you knew you could, the things that make you scream and fight inside just to get-it-done. Those are the things that make you who you are.
Nine weeks ago, I raced in my first Ironman. I had no idea what to expect. I only knew what people had told me, what I read about, what I imagined based on my hours of training.
As I moved through the 140.6 miles, there were moments that I wanted to stop. I Needed to stop. I Had to stop. Many forces were against me. Whether it was the headache, the stomach pain, or the legs that were completely drained of energy, I had many forces telling me to just stop.
But I didn't. I refused to quit. I had set out on a mission and I was going to do it. No Matter What.
I learned from a young age to push on. It doesn't always feel good. Sometimes you must fight all the demons inside that want you to give up. You can't.
Triathlon is just a sport. This is a long swimbikerun event. Some may see it is as a frivolous hobby. As a distraction from my real life. You know, "how can you take care of your children if you're always training?" That's my favorite.
Yes, this is a sport. And no, it is Not the most important thing in my life. Not even close.
However, there are a lot of life lessons I have learned through this and my other sports. That's another post.
I know that I will face many many hurdles next Saturday. I know in my heart and in my head that I will suffer like never before. I am not trained to race in hot Hawaii. I am trained to race in Maine. That said, I am trained to be tough. To hold on. To stay focused. To believe in myself, in my strength and in my total refusal to quit. This, after all, is how I got to Kona.