Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Gift

Last year I was given a gift. Now all my friends will swear it was not a gift and that I earned it, but I see it as a gift. I raced IM CDA, had a blast, finished 8th and was happy as could be. I had knocked time off my PR and had a great race. I went to the roll down just because "YOU NEVER KNOW", but had no expectations.

There were five slots and awesome triathlete Rhae Shaw didn't take her slot (well that's also because she was so good she already had a slot). So #6 and #7 didn't show up for rolldown and what do you know - Rhae Shaw gave me a gift!

I was elated, excited, shocked, terrified (what if I blow off my bike or the heat kills me in the lava fields??) and amazed. I thought this happened when you turned 50 and everyone else in your age group wasn't fast anymore?! And then there was the "OH JEEZ, now I have to keep on training til October" thought.

Chance of a lifetime so I figured I better grab it and jump in with both feet. That gift was more than a slot though - it was confidence. Confidence that I can do more than I thought possible, confidence that I'm strong enough, have enough courage and enough ability to laugh at myself in this crazy sport.

Kona didn't kill me last year - I loved every minute of it. Loved it so much I wanted to go back. This year I earned my slot without having to use the rolldown, which I know it really doesn't matter how you get there, but I am proud of this.

I'm grateful for that original "gift" and excited about the opportunity to have the Kona experience again. Even though last year at mile 90 on the bike I'm pretty sure I was swearing up and down I never wanted to do another (edited for language) ironman ever again!

15 days til departure day!