Hot Bike for a Snowy Monday
I curl up and moan. It hurts. Everything hurts. My breathing is short, my chest is tight and my gut is in knots. My arm extends and reaches for the pillow; I pull it to me as if my life depended on it. “Get up”, I say out loud, “get the fuck up”.
My first half-ironman was the catalyst for some of the biggest change in my life. It came on the heels of positive self-discovery, unprecedented focus and was born from pure joy. I had a great swim, a really decent ride and a slow, sloppy run, but I finished with a big fat smile and loads of pride. What that race did for me I could never repay.
Almost a year and half later, I am 5 days away from racing my second 70.3. This is a very different challenge and my life is in a very different place. This race could break me, or it could finally convince me that I’m tougher, stronger and braver than I ever thought possible.
My mind is in no state at all to be racing. It’s in pyjamas –red wine-ice cream -deep in my sofa- mode, but I’ve pushed and pushed and pushed and kept training. Physically, I know I can finish. Though I know I’d like to finish faster than my first, I accept that for this specific race, just showing up to the swim start in one piece, will have to be a small victory. I’ve focused on my run, my hip is doing well. I know I’ll be carried by the atmosphere of it all and supported by my friend A., who by the grace of all things holy will be there to catch me at the finish line.
“This too shall pass, this too shall pass”, tears stream down my face, as I try to convince myself that this moment in time will not define me. I defiantly stare myself down in the mirror, “Get a grip”, I scold, “Enough”.
A few people have told me to cancel, “be kind to yourself”, they’ve said. They might be right; I don’t have to do this. I don’t have to put myself through this grinder. Most have said, focus on your race, it will get you through to the other side. The process has kept me afloat, even though there is a good amount of water in the boat, it hasn’t sunk.
I’m going to do this. And I’m going to be OK. I won’t be the fastest and I won’t be the happiest, but I’ll be my bravest on that day. If it breaks me, than I am meant to break and will build again. But I don’t think it will. I don’t think anything can…