Monday, June 22, 2015

How Did We Get Here?

Do you ever feel like someone is pushing the fast forward button on your life, like each day passes more quickly than the last and you have no way of slowing things down? That's how the last few weeks, maybe even months have felt for me. For so long, both ironman and grad school were these things that were so far in the future that they didn't feel real. I knew eventually the time would pass but now all of a sudden I have sent in a security deposit for a studio by the Art Museum in Philly and ironman bib numbers will be posted later this week. 2014 was by far my hardest year and one of the ways I got through it was knowing that better things were in the future. All I wanted to do was leave. And now here I am less than two months from moving and I am terrified. I went from desperately trying to run away, to escape, to being the happiest I may have ever been.

I blame Father's Day for causing me to be so pensive over all this. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my dad but some days are harder than others. As I'm checking off the weeks of peak ironman training I'm missing having him as my support system. Saturday I did my longest ride of 100 miles. I was riding along, happy as could be, thinking about how much I used to hate biking and now I can't seem to spend enough time on two wheels. I was thinking about how far I've come and how hard I've worked to get to where I am. And that's when it hit, like a wave in the ocean you don't see coming and temporarily drowns you. I felt like I was gasping for air and just burst into tears because the one person I wanted to share my successes and hardships with is gone.

100 miles later

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how much you like being on your bike) I still had more than hour before my ride was over. I started thinking that while I never really had a plan or idea of what I thought my life would look like at this point, I certainly didn't think it would look like it does now. And I couldn't be happier about that. I've been through a lot and I am stronger because of all of it. If you had asked me five years ago about racing an ironman, or even doing a sprint triathlon, I probably would have told you there was no chance. I would have laughed in your face at the idea of biking 100 miles. Yet here I am, practically begging to spend more time on my bike. Hell I even traded a trip to the beach for a new bike. And yes I did strategically look for apartments in Philly that were easiest to leave the city for riding.

I think part of the reason I'm struggling so much lately is because ironman was not just my dream. It was a dream my dad and I came up with together late one night, probably either watching a baseball game or puppy walking. Every crazy idea I had, and trust me there were a lot of them, he supported and encouraged all of them. We were such a good team because I was always trying to push boundaries and limits, waiting for someone to stop me, and he let me go as far as I wanted to push myself because he knew I could.

Post-100 miler drinks

On Saturday while I was riding through the middle of nowhere, crying because I missed my dad, I remembered why I was out there. I love triathlon, I love riding, I love going fast, I love pushing myself, I love beating the boys, I love being challenged, I love surrounding myself with badass people, I love feeling fearless and free, and I love that I am doing this for myself because I want to. As I was finishing my ride I wanted to shout "I'm baaaack" because after losing my dad, having my heart broken, and repairing it with the help of some amazing friends I finally feel like I'm back to my crazy self. And it feels fucking amazing.

1 comment :

  1. I love everything about this. I'm so glad that you are feeling good and more like yourself. I can't imagine everything you have gone through, but I can tell you it's been inspiring to watch the journey. You are amazing- keep your chin up and keep on going, do what you love and love what you do. Big hugs lady, big big big hugs.