I would love to start this post with "When I signed up for Eagleman in October 2013 I was a talented Triathlete with a bunch of sprints and olympics under my belt. I was very experienced and knowledgeable about all three disciplines and owned an expensive bike." As you probably know by now that could not be farther from the truth
In October 2013, I did not own a bike and I did not know how to swim but I had just been through the most tumultuous time in my life and was very deep in the marathon training process. My best friend's husband had completed an IronMan in May of 2013 and I had been riveted by his training and hearing about the race itself. My friend Jamie decided she wanted to try her hand at a half iron man and told me that I at least had to come cheer. I figured if I was going to cheer why not just do the race I had all the resources available to me to become better, Jamie was going to prepare a schedule of races to get me prepared and I had all the time in the world since work was my only distraction.
In October 2013 I was just learning to redefine myself and I had thrown myself in marathon training as a means to center myself and regain control over my life. I was feeling a little adrift and in the midst of major life changes of selling my house as well as all my stuff to make the move back to the city. Truthfully while selling the house was terribly sad the move was actually a freeing experience because I was able to start over in a sense. Plus the loss of that commute changed my life in so many positive ways (more time for training)!
When I explain to people that I signed up for a half iron man having no swim skills nor owning a bike they normally look at me as though I am completely insane or have two heads. Often times they will say "What was going on in your life". Many times I say back "well I got divorced." It is pretty weird but that seems to be the only thing they need to hear to make sense of my crazy choice, I guess divorce makes people do crazy things. If your life is headed in one direction and suddenly takes a drastic turn as I see it you have two choices; wallow in self pity and relive the past day after day or take charge and become the person you always knew you were. I clearly chose the later with a little help from my friends.
As I sit here, 6 days out from Eagleman 2014 I am nervous but I am excited. I'm proud of myself for taking a leap of faith in my own dedication and athletic abilities. I'm in awe of how far I have come since October but excited to improve even more over the summer. The past months have been filled with conquering fears, completing new challenges and coming into my own skin to be more confident and self assured. I've restored my own independence and control over my life. The sport of Triathlon is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle born out of dedication and sheer desire to better yourself to conquer fears and achieve goals.
I may not have a swinging social life and I'm sorry to everyone that I don't call or visit as often. I don't get as much sleep as I would like most nights and some days I really don't want to drag myself to the pool but on those days when I reach a new goal there is nothing better in life. I don't have quiet, relaxing weekends anymore they are filled with fun new friends and adventures.
The friendships I have made as a result of my interest and rather crazy choice to do a half Iron man are extremely valuable and important to me. The women of All Women's Triathlon team have become family to me and many of them have faced far greater challenges and adversities than I can imagine but we lift each other up to excel at this sport we have decided is our passion. My biggest fear for race day is not letting myself down but letting down the women who have such confidence in my abilities to complete this race.
I'm honored and extremely proud to be a part of an amazing group of women that strive to help, train, and assist other women. No woman left behind! I will make them proud on Sunday, June 8th although I think many of them are already proud to have participated in my journey. I will make my parents proud on June 8th although I am pretty sure my parents couldn't be more proud than they already are and my mom could do with less open water swimming ;-) I will make myself proud on June 8th although I am already so proud that I took a leap of faith to start this journey to discover a life I never realized I wanted to live until I was a fancy watch, a nice bike and multiple tri outfits deep in it.
Alright Packy, it's you and me buddy....let's ROCK this!