Mary Eggers


Making it

I touched the wall and looked up. “Did we make it” I asked Christina.

“We did.” and she told me the interval. I smiled as we pushed off again. We had 9 X 100 to go and we just swam that first one in a pace I haven’t’ seen in a good 18 months. We had the pace clock on deck… yes I am THAT girl. The one who brings her own clock to the pool. Christina is just a bit faster than me so by default she leads the sets… and by default… counts. She’s the perfect training partner. Exactly what I have needed and what I have missed since Kim got married, moved and got pregnant!

Good training partners are hard to come by. Many mistake me. I like to put my head down and hang on. I am in charge of so many things in my life that when it comes to training, I just want to follow.

Two weeks ago we did this set on an interval five seconds slower and struggled to hold a time five seconds slower as well. We knew on that day that within two weeks we’d be here. We are swimmers after all. It just takes a few weeks of focused swimming to get us back here. We don’t swim high volume but that’s what’s great about being a swimmer. Just a little focus and it comes back.

Two weeks ago I am pretty sure I left a lung in the gutter. Today it felt like I was cruising. That’s the cool thing about fitness. When it comes back it doesn’t get easier to go faster per se…. it gets more doable.

My fitness is coming back and it’s taken damn near a YEAR to do it. To get to the point where I believe my personal bests are still before me. A YEAR. I often laugh out loud at these folks who write about a comeback after a two or three month layoff. HA. I wish. It took me a year to regain enough fitness to where I am now and I am still far from where I am going to be. That may come in 3 months, 6 months or another year. It’s been one hell of a long road back, but I have been patient. I have worked smart. It’s coming.

Earlier that morning I found myself in the middle of a set of descending pushups with Steve. He mentioned how much they have improved and I flashed back to sometime in the fall… when I really really struggled with them. There won’t be any descending push up contest at any point during the Ironman, but the strength component of my training this season has been critical. We are only as strong as our weakest link and strength training … more than anything…. especially the type I do with Steve….. not only highlights your weakest link it makes it bright freaking yellow.

The work of the past 12 months is finally beginning to come to fruition. And to be honest … like I said before…. there is still a long way to go. Now I see though, that it’s reachable.

Believing is the biggest step. Most critical part. Believing in the middle of winter at 4am when there is no end of the tunnel to see. I always say that the longest distance you will ever need to travel is the space between your ears. That’s the God’s honest truth. Take a lesson from the playbook of Jens Voight…. have confidence beyond your abilities. Let no one shake you, let no one break you. If you can nail THAT down, you have found the secret to all of it.

You can’t imagine how many people have doubted me. For whatever reason. It’s been going on my entire life. I am from Buffalo, we lost four super bowls and the Stanley Cup in the infamous “NO GOAL”. You know what that makes me?

No one is a better underdog than I am. No one in the world. It’s the position I thrive in. I salivate for. I dream of.

We hit all the 100’s in a time I worried I would never seen again. Which allowed me to believe that the next five second interval was within my reach in about another two weeks. Roll the ball and it will keep rolling. Keep chasing the ball Eggers. Keep chasing. Because this isn’t the end point, not by far…. this is just the beginning.