Friday is just about at a close over here in the frozen Chi-town, and I would like to end the work week with some thoughts.
First, I have to say that the last two days have been filled with uber-support and warm feelings. Not just for me, but for a lot of us who are struggling with tough training plans, upcoming races, high expectations, injuries, and basically our own minds working against us. This thing called triathlon, and it's beast of a mother, Ironman, can bring out the best and worst in us. It can give us super highs, but challenge us with painful lows. What looks, on the outside, to be simply a physical endurance test, turns out to be a test of will, determination, self-exploration and confrontation, and mind-wrestling that can bring even the grandest narcissistic to his/her knees. But yet we come in droves to toe the line, give it a shot, prove our worth. I can honestly say that I never anticipated the emotional investment in this monster, and yet it is turning out to be the best part (well, that and my rocking new arms and shoulders).
Second, I have read a lot of sites in the last few days, in part to avoid my work, but mostly to help manage my own anxiety and feel like I am not alone in this. And it is amazing how brutally honest people can be in identifying their issues/fears/weaknesses. I even hesitate to use the word "weakness" because we are far from it. I appreciate the honesty, and all the things people give me to think about (lifetime IM's, my "people"). My mind never stops, and in this regard, its a good thing.
Finally (here comes the cheese and sap) I am very grateful to everybody who actively participates in my progress, mental and physical. To those who listen to me bitch and moan, meet me at the pool at 6AM, run next to me on the treadmill (even if not for the full two hours), ride with me in the living room, let me project my disappointment onto you because I can't yet admit it in myself, indulge my "me, me, me" tendencies when all I talk about is me, don't roll their eyes when I post pictures of my nephew that make me laugh and pick my spirits up, and just ask me how things are going. It means a lot. So while I will be the only one in the picture they snap when I cross the finish line in AZ, the background of that photo will be filled with all those who got me here, real or virtual.
Lots of big sloppy, GU-and-Gatorade-flavored kisses,