2 weeks out. Some have asked me to capture my thoughts. To be honest, the pain of surgery and the pain of dropping out of the end of the season was more than I could capture in the moment. The last weekend of the season has come and gone and now I feel as if I have some perspective. Funny thing about this mode of transportation called Ironman I have chosen to get through life – as much is revealed after as is during; a sort of hindsight magnified. As I watched them cross the finish line of the race that was to be mine, I was sad and angry and frustrated. Yet, somehow I know there is a method to this. In this process I have become hungry again. In fact I am freakin’ starving. The fear of having something that answers my questions of who I am taken away from me has made me fiercely protective of it. It occurred to me that my spine resembles all the twists and turns of my life – literally. The curves of my spine are like those of a life that has been taken and shaken. The cracks of forcing something not to be forced are the same as those caused by a young man driving too fast and the tree that seemed to magically appear. So while the surgery was minor to some, like any serious endeavor has caused a time of reflection. Forced slow down, has allowed, in fact screamed for evaluation. I noticed some things I never noticed before. I may only be able to walk on the same streets I have always ran on and now I notice the houses and trees. Afraid of losing the feeling of freedom as I run and ride, I notice the same butterflies, bunnies and deers are still out there watching me. “Now you are noticing us” they seem to say. While I would much rather “race” them, there is something to be gained from standing still with them. Appreciation is received from both. I realize I have rarely stood still. I realize that with any goal I have set, there has been not only the call to action, but also the call for reflection. Whether having babies, getting married (again), running marathons, getting my black belt and then the second; I have always been called to grow by the very thing I thought I was controlling. As such, Ironman has done the same thing in the largest way yet. Even when they said the vertebrae was crushed, they would not operate. Yet because of my hunger for the island and my never-ending frustration with being just below the line; the spine caved just enough for the soul to give. Enough to stop me, enough to force me to ask, “ Ok what is it I am to learn?” As has been my experience, Ironman not only holds up the mirror, but a giant magnifying glass as well. There are times that I dig my heel in and refuse to budge and Ironman graciously moves me to the place I must go. Now it is patience. Never one to be patient, I realize that perhaps this is my Achilles heel. Is this the way it will be? I would not wait for my heart rate to settle, so I pushed to over training. I would not wait for the recovery time, so I would get sick to force recovery. I would not trust the path, so I would tumble. And so on, until Ironman said sit down and own this. The watts faded and the pain grew and the docs all said it was time. So now I sit and watch Ironman and races and know it is not my time. If I don’t learn from this – Ironman will make me sit more. It will not be forced, controlled or manipulated. I chose this, I called upon Ironman to forge me and it was up for the challenge. So I will find out how to be patient- for now. I suspect I will continue to do life like the bulls of Spain. I will run over some, charge the roads and forge new paths until the time comes to be controlled long enough to learn and then prepare for the next step of the journey. I am corralled for now, in preparation for the next step as Ironman will take me by the hand and say it is now time. The cannon will sound again.