What a difference a year makes.
I am writing this from the plane as I am headed to Cairns to race the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships this weekend. My suitcase is packed with the usual race gear (wetsuit, bike, runners + a ton of CLIF Bars), but one thing is different than prior trips I have taken. My heart is full and packed with massive gratitude. I GET to race an Ironman tomorrow.
This Ironman preparation has been different than years past. For one of the first times ever, I have been filled with a precise focus on the process vs the outcome. Since my first race in January (Panama 70.3) I have let the fitness come to me (vs forcing the fitness) and enjoyed seeing progress each day, each week, and each month.
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time I was on crutches and staring down my third MRI tube of the year. I was filled with frustration + hopelessness. Grasping at anything and everything to get back to who I am. I had some unfortunate bad luck last year combined with the fact that I made some stupid & impatient mistakes. I felt discouraged & hopeless at many times, all while trying to maintain a positive and hopeful front. Injuries and the struggle that comes with are straight up the pits.
I am so grateful to have come out the other side and be on my way (knock on wood for smooth sailing the next 24 hours!) to RACING. Something I doubted could happen again. For me, Ironman Cairns is about doing what I love.
I had no major heroics I can brag about in training leading into this race and I am 100% okay with that. Instead, it was just day in and day out of logging consistent training and really enjoying myself along the way. I smiled through the hard sessions. On the days where I felt like donkey kong, I said to myself over and over: Thankful for opportunity.
In a recent interview I was asked what my “ace in the hole” at Ironman Cairns will be? The answer is that I GET to race an Ironman. I am healthy, happy, I did the work. Tomorrow is about getting out there, enjoying the opportunity to get the most out of myself & having fun flirting with that fine line of pleasure and pain.
See you on the course. Ironman Cairns, let’s do this!