Thursday, October 6, 2016

The ugly makes you even stronger.

As many of you may already know I am currently in Hawaii to support and cheer on my husband as he competes in the World Championship event IronMan Kona on Saturday with the rest of the best of the best.  Ben tipped his toe into the triathlon world about eight years ago with a sprint distance then an Olympic...which lead to a half then his first full four years ago.  He was over his head in the sport of triathlon and loving it.

I have run the past few mornings we have been here and seeing these athletes running down the road that they will have to tackle on Saturday afternoon in the glaring heat with pure exhaustion beating down on them along with the Hawaiian sunshine, makes me happy and sad at the same is going to be a long day for everyone involved.  Knowing their scarifies and their commitment to the sport...just really blows me away.  As I post my pics of the beautiful sunsets and beaches we are lucky enough to take part in, I have to realize that we did not make it here on Ben's qualifying finish time alone...and that finish time came at a price as well.

For every time you see a picture of us with a smile, or a success, or a new personal record, or a yummy post workout treat, or a coordinated family picture on the beach, or a weekend get away with a fun race tucked into the activities...none of that came easy.  For every smile has a corresponding angry face resulted in frustration, our successes come with failures, our personal records come with Did Not Finish, our post workout treat is a result of many hours of biking or running and may have been a week in the making.  Our family picture on the beach probably had many minutes of Ben and I screaming at them to just stand nicely and not make that horrible smile, the weekend getaways are often filled with guilt of missing out on our kids actives and a true logistical nightmare.  With every "perfect post" there is more than likely something crappy leading up to it.

ben taking it all in at Kona
The reason I started this whole blogging thing is to show people that anything is possible.  That my family is really just like every other family out there.  We all choose to do things that bring us joy and happiness and we just choose to be crazy and focus our energies on fitness and try our best to make sure our kids understand commitment and determination.  We have worked really hard for this trip to Hawaii, literally and figuratively.  I started a part time job to help defer costs, hubby continued to work two jobs and coach a few triathletes as well.  Our families near and far supported our efforts of what IronMan meant to us.  Our friends locally created a fund to help us get there.  Anyone and everyone pitched in one way or another, if that meant watching my littles while I got a run in during the day before I headed to work or throwing a crazy send off party with pictures of Ben's bib all around the house with everyone decked out in leis, complete with Hawaiian desserts.  Every little part of those that know us best helped us get to this point.   

It has not all been easy, it has not all been fun, but it has all been worth it.  That is the lesson, as I watch these people to continue to train their butts off on Ali'i Drive and drench themselves in sweat, and have family and friends wishing them nothing but the best on maybe their first or fifth time racing at will be worth it.  This journey, although started with just a sprint triathlon, has ended with so much more.  It also did not end with my husband, it will continue on.  He has inspired me which lead to me tackling that half Iron distance last fall...and I will soon tackle another.  It has lead to friends giving it a "tri" as well and surprising themselves with a new appreciation for a sport they can fit into their lifestyle.  The sport of triathlon is competitive, but it is also a place where you can find yourself, just you, not compared to anyone.  It is a moment where you have goals for yourself and you rise to the challenge and tackle them, you may even crush them...and that is the exciting part.

For every good training day there is a handful of bad ones.  For every good nutrition choice I made today I probably made at least three bad ones.  I never thought this journey would lead me to perfection, and it has not, but I do hope it can lead me to a stronger, healthier, happier version of me.  One that knows what hard work feels like, one that wants to work hard because the reward is that much sweeter, one that understands you cannot do anything alone.  

the reasons why we try
If you take anything from my ramblings, please take that you can really do anything, hard is not impossible and everyone is watching, for the good and the bad.  Be sure to share the bad stuff too, that makes you more human, more real, more tangible.  We all know it's hard and we want to throw the towel in on many things, but be the one that doesn't...the one that sticks it out...the one that sees it through to the end...that is where your friends and family will be waiting to congratulate you and wipe your tears away...the happy and sad ones.

Embrace the suck....choose you.

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