The Adventures of Princess Kitty

I just have to blog about this today. I’m staying up late doing so, but it’s so worth it!

Do you guys remember Princess Kitty?  I’m not sure if she’s made huge appearances on my blog, but I know a few times I’ve mentioned her, or posted a picture?

IMG_6409

I travel a lot for racing and training. My daughter has grown up with this, and she considers it pretty normal, but in the last few years, especially as travel has increased, she started to express some of her concerns. Being a mom and chasing the goals that I had often times felt in opposition. I knew if I was going to find harmony in this situation, it was going to come from listening to my daughters concerns, asking lots of questions to really understand the root of them, and seeking unique solutions that met her needs. I knew that for me, this did not mean setting my dreams aside and just staying home all the time.

One of the many unique solutions we have come up with is the Adventures of Princess Kitty. When I travel, I take Princess Kitty with me most of the time. I take photos of her on my rides and runs, or with pretty backdrops, and I text them to Annie. Sometimes we get on FaceTime so Princess Kitty can talk to Prince Puppy. It’s just become a way between the two of us for me to have a piece of her with me, and for her to feel like she’s in on my experiences/adventures.

IMG_6225

And then we got to the point where Princess Kitty started coming on all our family adventures. And last weekend, we went to Washington DC for the first time (more on that soon). Annie brought her blankie, because that goes everywhere and doubles as a coat, and she also brought Princess Kitty.

IMG_3005

Well, on the way home on Monday, we had a tragedy. We were all tired, we had woken up at 3:15am to catch our flight (1:15am Denver time) and we were a little zombie like traveling through the airport in Denver. We exited the tram and headed to baggage claim when Annie said with panic in her voice “Princess Kitty!” We were out of the secure area and couldn’t go back. Annie said she left her on the tram and started to cry.

I must admit, I was super sad too. I lost an entire bag of my favorite clothes coming home from Kona last year, so I knew the feeling of “oh no, my prized possessions are GONE” plus I really love Princess Kitty too. I’ve toted that cat on some serious training days where didn’t have much extra pocket space!

It’s really important to me as a parent to honor my daughters feelings and refrain from shaming her. So we cried, we did not do any of the “see what happens when you….” or “why did you…” Nope. We felt the sad emotions for having left behind Princess Kitty. After some tears, we launched into “What can we do about it?” I find this is a good place to go as a parent. I start with one idea, then I ask Annie for the next one. We make a list. Here’s what we came up with:

1.) File a report with DIA for missing Princess Kitty

2.) File a report with Southwest

3.) Use social media

4.) buy Princess Kitty 2.0.

We decided against #2 since Annie was SURE that Princess Kitty made it off the airplane. On the way home, even though we had solutions in place, there were many more tears and a lot of whys? and what if’s?

“What if another kid takes Princess Kitty?”

“What if they never find Princess Kitty?”

“Why do I always lose things?” (that one made me sad, it’s hard being nine)

I remember at one point saying “Maybe she’s just off on a fun adventure and she will make her way back when she’s ready” It didn’t really help Annie, but made me feel better.

Upon arriving home, for the first time in Annies entire life she did not want to go to school. She said “Mom, I’m too sad to go to school” so I said “okay” and we did crafts and read books.

We filed the report with DIA, and I put a tweet out to @DENAirport (DIA has THE BEST twitter account, I have been following them for years).

IMG_3011

Two hours later I got an email from DIA saying they were looking for our lost item but hadn’t found it. That night I went online, googled my pants off and found a replica of Princes Kitty and ordered it…with 2-day shipping.

This morning another email came from DIA saying they still hadn’t found it, but weren’t giving up.

Then, later this afternoon, I got a text from my good friend Jen telling me to look at twitter.

And this is when I lost my bananas.

IMG_2995

This is the photo they posted:

IMG_2994

And then another:

IMG_2996

And look what they did with Princess Kitty:

IMG_2997 IMG_2998 IMG_2999 IMG_3001

At this point I am crying. Can you believe how precious those photos are. I called Annie right away and told her they found Princess Kitty and to go look at Twitter to see the adventure that she got to go on. Annie flipped out! The sweet ladies at lost and found called me and I said I would bring Annie to come pick her up. We brought flowers and chocolate to say thank you!

Annie gets reunited with Princess Kitty.

IMG_3002

I can not say enough nice things about this whole experience. For someone to take the time to treat this experiences in this way literally melts my heart. Princess Kitty was sitting right up high on the window in lost and found, not on the shelves with the coats and umbrellas. She had a tag around her neck, and had been loved and cared for. The ladies at lost and found asked us to come back by on our next trip and say hi. They too fell in love with Princess Kitty.

I can’t help but think about the amazing things that continue to happen in my life when I embrace what comes my way and don’t judge, shame others, have unrealistic expectations, or a bad attitude. Being able to parent in a way that feels authentic to Annies feelings felt really good, and then to see that Princess Kitty did indeed go on an adventure, and came back when she was ready, well, I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

I can’t thank DIA Airport enough, they are truly the best airport on the planet. I was told that the story of Princess Kitty went all the way up the chain, and for that, my heart smiles. I have so much gratitude!

Princess Kitty now has a twitter page. If you would like to follow along on her adventures, she’s @PrincessKittyCO

Also, I would suggest following @DENAirport they are a wealth of knowledge, with lots of humor, and kindness too!

IMG_6258

Cobwebs… and Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching

Wow, I had to dust off some serious cobwebs to get this blog updated. I didn’t even remember my password, had to do the whole password reset thing.

This blog looks like the floor underneath my couch, dust bunnies galore, but also some loose change, a few cat toys, oh and my favorite sunglasses that I thought I lost. I always shake my head when people return to their blog and do the whole apology for not posting anything. I know as much as anyone that nobody has been on pins and needles, nobody really remembers if this blog disappears into oblivion and there are a million other options for online entertainment. I used to tell my story fairly frequently, and then I stopped.

I can’t issue an apology, because I’m not sorry. Over the last year, blogging has not been a gift in my life. I started this thing to talk about being a mommy to Annie and to share the fun stuff with some of my thoughts around it. Then I got into triathlon, which made a good story, and then I had some success in the sport, which made for an even better story, and then I had a great race in Kona, which felt like the end of a story. I don’t know when I swapped over from talking about my experiences to telling a story, but somewhere in there I got a sense that people only wanted to read certain things, and I started talking about those things.

But this is my life. And it’s messy. And to even touch on the mess pisses off other people like no tomorrow. So most of what I had to say just felt like dancing around a huge elephant. I hated that, so I stopped. I tried to get up the race reports, but even those have fallen by the wayside.

So I took a break. And I’m glad I did, because I got to missing it a bit more, and wishing I could write about this and that, and now I’m back here to do so. I think it’s important to go with the ebbs and flows of life, and to ask questions when you are feeling “duty” or “responsibility” calling. Sometimes the best action is no action, to just let things rest for awhile to see if you can get some clarity!

So, a quick little catch up, so I feel like I’ve dotted my Is and crossed my Ts. Oh and a kinda big announcement at the end!

I got second in Kona (can I just say that a few more times). I thought my life would be better after. It wasn’t better. It was the same awesome that it was before (and the same not awesome too). I took a break, because I was burned out. Well, not really burned out, but more just wanted to sit and soak in the pseudo completion of a goal. Yea, yea, I wasn’t first, but second is close, and Amy Farrell is a total bad ass! So, it was close enough to celebrate for awhile.

IMG_2002

It’s strange because I love riding my bike, but suddenly I did not want to ride my bike. And I didn’t. In fact, I did the Coast Ride on several hours of biking (like 11 total…ouch…not recommended) and then I didn’t ride my bike after the Coast Ride for another few months. I started riding a few weeks ago. I essentially took 6 months away from my bike. And it felt good. I fell in love with my dolphin pod (we have matching dolphin suits), got a knee injury running in Hokas in the trails (too squirrely for me), recovered from that, and put in 8 weeks of training for Boston. Honestly, I was happy to be on the line, but aren’t I always?

11150242_463025393845579_9101745431202066445_n

I went skydiving at Mile High Skydiving and I absolutely loved it. A small part of me wanted to quit triathlon, sell my bikes, and start taking the fast track classes so that I can jump on my own. I decided against quitting, but, I am going to take the Level 1 class as soon as I can get a free Saturday to do so. I was in love, and I will at some point be jumping on my own. It’s for sure!

11081240_10205234902525573_1651036934454109053_n

I ALSO, found a really great new book club group here in Denver called Real Life Book Club (they are on facebook, newer company, many different groups around town). Through this I met some new amazing women that have lead me to other amazing women, and I’ve actually had a social life. That’s been a really nice and needed change for me. Also, I feel like I have gained this expansive wealth of resources by connecting with women in many different vocations. It’s been really cool! I’m speaking at the next Real Life Book Club social and if you are in the Denver area, you should check it out (ladies only).

11183453_10207181235195182_5186214757145696679_n

Book Club has lead to a lot of reading and self introspection over the last six months. It’s been really hard at times, and really good at times. I entered a fun 10 week course called Skinny Dip Society that has been such a blast…okay, and sometimes a lot of tears. But for the first time in my life I feel like I’m digging to the bottom of some deep muck, and really gaining valuable insight on how I plan to live the rest of my life. As much as I would recommend this sort of work, I would suggest all new bedding and a calm bedroom, because I spent a lot of time in bed, licking my wounds.

And, the most wonderful thing has been born out of the last six months. Taking a break, and looking inwards really helped me to hone in on “what’s next?” The clarity always seems obvious once it’s revealed and this has been no different. So, without further rambling, the other huge thing that I’ve been up to, to which a real time commitment has been dedicated, has been creating a new coaching business. Cue: Applause!

Drum-Roll-Please: Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching

Facebook Link to Rising Tide where you can sign up for the newsletter (infused with fun and helpful mental skills tricks)

Website in development at RisingTideTri.com (but hey, there’s a pretty landing page).

Twitter is up and going too @RisingTideTri

I have been coaching for 4.5 years now, ever since ChuckieV really urged me to do so. He was genius, because it’s what I was made to do. How nice to have someone else reveal to you what you were put here to do! I take it very seriously (okay, most the time) and I feel honored to be able to work with such amazing individuals. I still have 3 of my original 6 athletes in my stable (Errrr my regatta…haha).

In the past I have always stayed small, many people have said “I didn’t know you coached” because I just took the number of people I knew I could individually help while still running the business, and training. Sometimes I overextended myself and sometimes I found the balance. In my heart though, I’ve always wanted to expand and have the ability to guide more athletes. I’ve had several women through the years want to coach underneath me or be mentored by me, but I never had the structure in place to do so. I’ve always loved teaching and mentoring, especially other women who want to help others find greater health. When I set up Rising Tide, it was important to me to set up a structure where I had the capacity to do that in a formal manner.

I’ve always loved the mental side of sport. Can you tell? I know that my deeper calling is in this area, and I wanted a company that will allow me to put some unique products out into the world in this capacity. I’m still knee deep in what that looks like, but so far it’s looking really exciting/fun/productive.

As I formed my new business I got a lot of insight by project mapping my current coaching business and assessing where I rock and where I need support. Then I went about finding support for most of those areas. This, to me, is the most exciting process because when you start pulling in people to do what they are great at, things start to get really fun and I saw my time open up, which means I can be available to more athletes! It’s a symbiotic system! Most excellent, and tons of FUN!

So, there you go! Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching is open for business and I’m having a total blast at it!

As for the blogging. Well, I’m turning a new leaf, beginning a new story of sorts and I would like to share it along the way. Stay tuned….

fb-post-1