Friday, September 12, 2014

Why do we Race?

The answer to this question has changed over the years for me. In the beginning I wanted to see how fast I could go. I wanted to prove I belonged in the pro ranks, and I wanted (maybe needed at times) to believe I was good enough. At anything - sport, life, gritty downright hard work.

I honestly feel I have grown up in the sport of triathlon. I learned to believe in myself. I survived getting divorced and feeling simultaneously completely alone and surrounded by some of the most amazing friends that I made through sport. During some tough times I raced because it was the only thing I felt I was good at. Riding my bike or running was the only thing that made me smile for a while.

Through racing I've learned we are all WAY stronger than we think. Today I race for different reasons that I did five years ago when I first turned pro. I race because I love the thrill of putting myself on the edge, at the limit, and seeing how long I can hold it there before the wheels fall off. I want to win. But I also know racing is about way more than winning. It's about the people we meet along the way, the long days spent with friends on the bike as we solve the world's problems, and being satisfied at the end of the day that we gave our best effort. Racing brings a lot of crazy and wonderful people together and I love that about triathlon. Whether I'm racing in my back yard or halfway around the world, without fail post-race I will be able to find someone to laugh with me about our own personal race day spots-of-bother stories.

Sunday will be my 18th Ironman. I am racing to win. But I'm also racing to enjoy an entire day that celebrates the culmination of a ton of hard training. I know I will want the pain to subside and the day to go quickly, but at the same time I want to savor every minute of it - because it is not every day I get the opportunity to race in a foreign country.

My family will be celebrating my grandma's 100th birthday in the states while I race around Weymouth - this one's for you Grandma! Thank you for showing me that being stubborn and incredibly independent isn't always a bad thing. You inspire me more than you will probably ever realize.
Happy 100th Grandma!