There's been a lot of time spent putting in the work. This isn't always documented.
Part of me adores documenting the process and derives immense much joy from sharing the beauty of those moments.
Part of me loves the process so much, I want to BE in it. Not sharing, simply being. IMMERSING. 100%. Because of the life it gives me. I soak it in, am one with that, as it feeds my soul, rather than capturing it all.
Then there's the part of me that loves the opportunity for education. The knowing of the value to my experiences and sharing; the rigor and education I've dedicated to areas; the platforms enabling me the ability to empower communities, connect with others, mutually raise each other. There's a balance to it right? I've never really been the best at that (I've accepted I'm better at the extremes…but even the extremes balance one another out). Slight tangent. Continue on. *so that's something maybe that will be eventually shared - the programming, the scheduling, the growth, the knowledge, the intention, the journey…but that's not what I'm going for now*
What I want to share now:
My dad told me this story from when I was young - for some reason it's stuck. I was probably about four. We had the dishwasher repairman over, and doing the only thing I know how to do, I went over to strike up conversation and show him my Barbie.
"Oh my daughter has lots of those too!" His comment left me in shock.
Unaware of my possibilities, I ask what any other child living under a rock would - "You mean, you can have more than one Barbie??!"
Somehow, up to this point, I was unaware of all that could be, yet entirely content with what I did possess. Still, I had no idea what was possible. A simple conversation, and I was soon awakened - the possibility of more than I had ever realized.
Last weekend - I had a Barbie moment. Let me get to that later
(TL;DR: scroll to the bottom)
I'm still on a race high.
Training and competing leaves me elated, ecstatic, my thoughts come quickly and together, there's this energy in my veins where I effortlessly create, everything flows and connects. It's the most euphoric feeling. This mind-body-soul-energy alignment.
It's not always this way - to reach these points comes with it emotions, injuries, disappointment, pain, commitment, but damn that's what makes it so sweet. I've learned to embrace it all, feeling gratitude to experience the spectrum of putting your heart into something.
Short and sweet race recap: (skip if sports are of no interest)
- Simply put, I signed up for the half ironman in the winter because I felt like I needed to be a better person. I'm all-around more focused, excited, energized, and harder working when I'm committed to an athletic pursuit. It was time to light my ass on fire. I had a nice rest and I was ready for the next project (usually my intellectual creation is followed by athletic goals). This then translates to other areas of my life (for another time - further reasoning of why I train/race).
- Most of all, while physically I went into this at a great place - not racing to finish, but to actually do business - I was naive as anything. That's the best part about it... I didn't really know what to expect or what my goals should be, I had areas to improve and "beginners mindset", but that's the adventure/keeping the fun in it (honestly, I still don't know a lot)
- I had some pretty severe knee pain that was bumming me out going into this..so there was that fear I'd be in agony for 70 miles...fear that I put in all this work to be not be able to give it my best..which all-around hurts. Up until every component of the race I was unsure what would this would entail, and so fortunately I was able to put that behind me and leave nothing undone without pain being an inhibitor.
- Focus #1: I knew I wanted to have a balance between being super competitive, but having fun. Putting everything into it, but being relaxed. Not take myself too seriously, but also doing business.
- (the lesser) Focus #2: Let's be real. There were splits I wanted, numbers to hit, places to get.
- Swim: Expected it to be a lazy river as the current would carry me to shore. Well, the current changed and we ended up fighting our entire way. Warm as hell - 85 degree. Open water was freeing, freaky and fabulous. Watch clocked a 1:14 swim, which felt smooth and putting me first out of the water for women and 4th overall (but that means nothing, as swim-wins never win).
- Bike - Unreal ride through the plantations and farms of Williamsburg. Finally hit the numbers I wanted. Usually get smothered - which wasn't as bad as usual so that was nice. Couldn’t wait to get my ass off the bike and hit the run. (Huge area of improvement and now I'm itching for a new bike hehe)
- Run - Felt like I was flying. Fueled like a maniac - drinking at every mile, salt, Gu's every 4 mi, serious flooding of nutrients as I wasn't about to let that be my breaking point. Max and average HR within 10 bpm. Super steady, went my 1/2 marathon PR (~7:50 pace). Realized how much I missed the hell out of racing, kept great pace, and was impressed how much I could do without music.
- Traveled alone, made some cool buds, a nice little adventure (and racecation in RVA with Kase!)
- Recovered incredibly fast: account that to foam rolling, stretching, napping, Normatek and Chipolte. Back in the game by Tuesday.
- Ignorance is damn bliss.
- I went into this race asking two things of myself: give it my best and stay positive. And damn if nothing else, I would be happy if I accomplished those two things. The balance between being competitive and giving my all, but staying lighthearted and fun has been a personal focus of mine - to not take things too seriously. Needless to say, I did just that.
Now, getting to the sweet point of all the "OH HELL YES":
I really took this past year of life on a whim, yet very intentionally. So much (too much) time was spent (...ok still is) dwelling on making sure that there was a purpose to every action. So many wtf moments…where I was just moving in directions of where I felt pulled, but didn't have a plan. This often results in guilt for lacking purpose…as I wasn't doing everything I could to better the world and do my best..like I was possibly wasting my time.
Looking back though, this wasn't wasted and I was preparing myself for better (and I know I'd feel this way in hindsight..but I couldn't help it at the time). It's hard to know the output, but I've really become OK and trusting of uncertainty.
Do I wish I was a little less hard on myself - yes. But would I have made it here if I wasn't?
Do I sometimes wish I wasn't so hungry to hustle - yes. But this previous break of "hustling" like I usually do was experimenting with balance, learning how to be "off" and growing differently.
Things started mattering to me that didn't before - rest, down time, time with friends, pausing, doing less.
So organically though, everything unfolds perfectly and continues to compound on my passions - truly a testament of going after what you love with 100% heart and conviction, knowing when to let things come, but putting in that WERK in every way. While I'm never certain what the future holds or what's next, I know for damn sure I'm going to keep following those tugs, as it always leads to living the fullest experiences of life and serving others. At this moment, there's this indomitable belief that these experiences will continue to build on each other.
In the purest sense - I'm going after what I love and it's led to developing my lifestyle - as I go in every direction so fully and deeply, and racing being one part of that. I'm excited to unravel this more.
Now, as I promised - the return of the "Barbie moment":
Well...Nationals BABY! It just so happened that Rev3 Williamsburg was a regional qualifier for Nationals this year - and snagging a first place age group finish happened to score myself a spot.
The beautiful naivety of it all. So here I am 2.5 weeks out equally excited to keep training and programming as much as I am about the food scene in Cleveland. Traveling, racing, and getting after something. The best part - until this point, like when I was four, I didn't even realize all of this was "a thing".
…it made me think..what else is out there I'm not doing or I haven't pursued because I didn't "realize it was a thing"?
So here I am, not waiting to be shown and told what's possible - but making all I want "a thing". Mostly, because everything I've desired in life has consisted of "things" that don't yet exist. Barriers broken.