There are few things I like more than pushing boundaries. The best way to get me to try something is to tell me I can’t. I know that is why I was drawn to Ironman. It seemed something impossible to most who knew a girl like me. But in the long run there would have no other way for me to be the woman I am without it.
There was a time when I was told by many doctors that I could not/should not do Ironman. When I was 18 after being in a car accident that resulted in my already crooked spine being crushed that I was given a list of things not to do… don’t run long distances, don’t ride roller coasters, don’t ride horses, don’t jump out of airplanes. Well I am pleased to say that I have done all of the above and lived to tell about it. Then came the time when I was told to stop racing, that I only had so much in my body and that I was wearing it down and to “think of my grandchildren”. What? What grandchildren? I felt fairly certain that by the time I had grandchildren I would be just fine as long as I lived my life to the fullest and dared to have big dreams.
So I set to work with some big dreams – like doing an Ironman, like qualifying for the Ironaman World championships in Kona and over time I started to think of doing something a bit more defiant like doing many Ironman’s in one year. For some time I had adopted the idea that there was only so far I could take the vessel. I had “sorta believed” what some of the “experts” said about limits. I couldn’t, however, deny that little voice that said more is possible. I couldn’t shut out the “what if…” when I looked at what my Coach had accomplished. The fact that Hillary was all about doing epic stuff was what made me want to be under her coaching. Hilalry’s “why not” attitude was what I wanted to learn and live.
So here I sit on the plane on the way to do number 10! More importantly – this is number three in six months! I am not in a boot, not a single bone is stressed to the brink, not a single muscle is yelping at me to stop, according to the life insurance dude – I have the best blood pressure he had ever seen. I am healthy! I am not broken. I am strong. I get to go do something that I love to do with some of my dear friends who will also be out there seeing what they can do. We will be pushing each other to see the best in ourselves. We will be playing the ultimate game of chase just like we did on the playgrounds of our youth before we may have been told “girls wear dresses” and “girls don’t get dirty” and “girls don’t fight” or “girls aren’t strong” and we will experience our strength. How cool is that? How fitting to be contemplating this on Thanksgiving on the plane to the race. I have much to be thankful for – 3 beautiful and talented teenagers that I get to be mom to, a brother and sister that are always supportive of me, Mom and Dad that love me unconditionally, a plethora of friends and family who accept me for me even when they don’t exactly get it, team mates that are always raising the standards by which one would think the body and mind can do ( one of my team mates is doing the Ultraman World Championships- double Ironman distance this weekend), a coach that has taught me more about myself than I could have imagined, athletes that trust me so much that they share their most valuable dreams with me and ask me to share my experience strength and hope with them. I am certain this is just the tip of the avalanche of blessings and honors I have been fortunate enough to have in my life. All of which I will defiantly carry with me the entire 140.6 miles of Number 10! So to Dr. so and so… I can’t do what? Watch me!