I spend a lot of time in stillness. Frenzied stillness. The sound of water splashing and moving, but no words, just breath.
The tires on road, the wind in my ears, no words, just cars.
My feet hitting the ground, the wind in the trees, no words, just my breath, strong and steady.
I have a lot of time to dream, to aspire, to think "what if?"
I have a vivid imagination, for myself, and for others. I am an only child, I had imaginary friends.
When it's quiet and still my brain goes places, mostly to Ironman finish lines, but sometimes to the mountains, to steep peaks, to wooded groves, along the beach.
Recently, it was always the finish lines. During my swims I was looking for those exit stairs, looking for the clock, on the bike I was always in aero, always with my legs pumping up and down, and my heart full of speed and joy, and wind, and it was fulfilled, in search of the dismount line. But the finish line appeared often, my trusty legs always got me there, and in my dreams, in the quiet frenzy, it was so sweet, I was always successful.
I have been known to put my arms up in training, in the middle of an interval, in mock celebration of the Ironman finish chute. I have gotten finish line tears on more runs than finish lines I've ever crossed.
The three Ironman finish lines that I crossed in reality this year have been finish lines that existed in my dreams, my day dreams. They were imagined so far before they ever became a reality. How I felt running down those chutes was exactly how I felt in anticipation of those results.
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible"
Running down the finish chute in Arizona was the first time I really felt like winning my AG at Kona is within my grasp. When we set goals it's really hard to understand what it's going to take to get to it. And winning my age group at Kona is one of those goals that is easy to make and hard to know what it's going to take.
Every year I felt like I was more prepared, and yet it's felt like the frog who jumps half way to the wall each time. The frog never arrives, he's always just getting half the way closer. But Arizona felt different, like that was the kind of performance it was going to take, but in hot conditions with all the competition in the world.
This year was a quiet year for me. The blog traffic took a hit, and the posts were fewer and farther between. Next year will be the same, if not even more quiet. I have started to understand what it takes for me to be at my best, and the constant time on the computer isn't on that path. Training with my friends and family in the sport is key, being around my coach is key. Leaving the training at the doorstep when I get back home, and shutting off in order to be a good mom and wife is essential for me.
Every person has to find their own balance, but once you find it, hold onto it dearly. Don't sacrifice your best you for social norms, or others expectations. This has been the most healthy year of my life. I was the fittest I've ever been, the most physically healthy I've ever been, and the most emotionally healthy I've ever been. But there is more in this girl, there are more finish lines that I've imagined. There are more adventures yet to be had.
"Adventure is not outside man; it is within"