As we were standing there discussing what I needed for my last massage, my massage therapist Todd, stood back and smiled. “Your energy is almost too much for this room.” he said. I smiled. It’s true. Right now I am brimming and bubbling and excited beyond belief for that starting line that will arrive in 9 days.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this moment, this place. One year and three months to be exact. It’s taken incredible patience, absolute belief, complete trust in both myself and my coaches and a lot of curiosity. Just now I am really beginning to feel it.
It’s that feeling so deep within me. It can’t be measured by a power meter of a garmin. Or anything really. It’s the feeling of curiosity mixed with confidence and overwhelming desire to find out what I made made of …. now. After five years away. In a different phase of life, a different chapter, a different athlete.
If I had to describe how training has gone…. I can only come up with one word. Love. It’s felt so full of love. It’s the cheesiest way I have ever described it. But it’s true. Love from my family, my triathlon tribe, my colleagues, my friends. It’s been overwhelming actually.
A few weeks ago an integral member of the Buffalo Triathlon Club, died. His name is Joe Rosati and to say he was the most generous and gregarious man is an absolute understatement. You will see many of us wearing an armband with his name and number on it during Ironman Lake Placid in 9 days.
I was working with Joe on a presentation I had asked him to do for our nursing students this coming November. He was going to come and talk to everyone about the role of athletics and endurance sports in his recovery, which he maintained for over 25 years. He passed from an unrelated event, not drugs or alcohol. He maintained that sobriety.
He was very emphatic with what he wanted his message to be. He wanted our students to understand that it wasn’t the Boston Marathon or the Ironman, or the medals or the times that made the difference in his life, those were the bonuses. He wanted them to understand that it was the PEOPLE. It was the people who ultimately became family. Joe, I will make sure they get that message.
He’s right. I have had incredible success in this sport. But at the end of the day through the victories, the medals, the records, the qualifications, right now I am back with the people who have BEEN my family for 20+ years. We pursue crazy adventures but at the end of the day….. we have one another. I will never ever forget that lesson. I will never again take it for granted and I will never walk away from this tribe ever again.
Ironman Lake Placid is going to be so incredibly special. For me it has zero to do with time, place, WTC or anything like that. This is the 20th anniversary. Whether you are a competitor or an athlete it’s a family reunion for all of us.
I have spent a LOT of time in Lake Placid this summer. I finally took a summer off working (as I work in academia) so I had the luxury of doing that. I did all the Lake Placid things I won’t do race week (too crowded and I am racing). I trained on that bike course so much that I know where every stone is. I love it there. For me it’s home.
I am arriving to this starting line the healthiest, happiest and most excited I have ever been. I am expecting about a 13 hour day. I have absolutely NO nerves but an overwhelming desire to GET OUT THERE!!!! I get to play all day long in a place I love. Feeling the best I have felt in a few years. Fitness has come around, I am so excited about where we can take it after Placid, and heck….. I have really held back on racing for this very feeling that I feel right now.
Come August though…. I am going to race my BRAINS OUT! Short races of course!
It’s amazing to be back. It took me a LONG time to get to today, and I am aiming to develop even further. I have proved to myself that I can be patient, consistent, and I can love the place I am right now. This chapter. This athlete.
I have felt so much love from so many different sources trough this journey. Thank you for that. My whole theme for this race…. is LOVE. I feel like I have gotten more love than I deserve, so trust me I am doing everything I can to pay it back and pay it forward.
Thank you for supporting this endeavor. I will definitely be posting updates from Placid on FB and IG. Some athletes thrive when they hole up and isolate themselves. I thrive when I spread my arms and share the journey. As Joe said, it’s the people in this sport that have the biggest impact on our lives. I am a better person today because of all of you. Thank you for that.
So here we go. Because we love it.