"Most of the time we have to get in the arena before we think we are ready. That’s what courage is all about; we can’t wait to go for it until we think we’ve got it. Sometimes we’ve got to go for it and get it as we go." Kristin Armstrong
I have been thinking about this quote for the last couple of days and have repeated it to myself so many times that it could easily become my mantra. I'm not sure why I feel so challenged by this statement but I just can't seem to escape it. I've been going through some really hard stuff lately and if I am being honest, there have been a lot of days when I just feel like giving up. I'm not typically the type of person who gives up when things get hard but everyone has a breaking point. A couple of weeks ago, I was hit hard with a horrible combination of pink eye, flu type, strep throat kind of nastiness and was literally forced to just stop moving and rest for a couple of days. Although I felt like the grim reaper was dancing on my grave, I had a lot of time to think and reevaluate some of the things I was struggling with. After two days of laying on my couch, I did what any normal person would do and signed up for Ironman Florida 2014. That is normal, right?!? Yeah, probably not but there is an explanation for my madness.
In 2008, I crossed the finish line at Ironman and accomplished something that still makes me proud to this very day. Covering 140.6 miles in under 17 hours kind of makes you feel like a badass and changes the way you see yourself. For the first time in my life, I was proud of myself and felt like anything was possible. I knew at that moment, that I was capable of doing extremely hard things. Looking back now, I am so incredibly grateful for that experience because I had no idea that the next few years were going to be more challenging than even Ironman. Most of the people who are reading this blog know the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding my divorce but for those of you who need some background, I have provided a few links to part of the story.
I wish I could say that after Part 5 of that story, everything changed and life became wonderful but unfortunately that was only the beginning. I have spent the last three years struggling to figure out where I belong and what I am supposed to do with myself. This crazy journey has led me through three states, five homes, eight jobs and too many men that were just not right for me. To say I feel unsettled would be an extreme understatement. I never expected that this is where I would be at this stage of my life and sometimes it feels incredibly scary to be facing life and all of its challenges on my own. While I was laying on my couch trying to feel better, I realized that I was becoming a victim in my own life. I need to do something that is bigger than me and that will challenge me to remember what it feels like to accomplish something that seems impossible. On November 1, 2014 I will be lining up on the beach in Panama City, Florida to remind myself that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. When I think about all of the training time I am going to have to put in over the next year, I feel pretty overwhelmed because I know what this is going to require of me but I am determined and possibly just stubborn enough to make it happen. I'm not ready for this and I'm scared to death but "sometimes we've got to go for it and get it as we go."
I hope you will follow me on this journey. I am currently on week 2 of a 12 week base building phase and I am loving every second of training. I'm pretty sure that this training love is only going to last a few more weeks but I am going to bask in it for now and try to drag it out as long as possible. 353 days until race day!!! I got this!