the unpredictable journey

the words we choose (and why we’re all badasses)

The day after I wrote my CdA blog post I saw a comment online from someone I follow. The comment basically stated that we shouldn’t be using the term “badass” to refer to anything triathlon related.

I used that term in my blog post under a picture asking if my bike made me look badass. (my bike is undeniably a badass rocket ship and I stand by that comment) I’ve spent some time since wondering if it was pointed towards me, or someone else. I let it get under my skin a bit when I probably shouldn’t have. It may be a little side remark, but the thing is, I deeply disagree with the comment if it was pointed at anyone, not just me.

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The possible offending picture. And I still think the bike makes me look badass, or maybe it’s just my legs which helped me climb over 7,000 feet in elevation. I see a journey in this picture of starting from scratch again and coming back stronger than ever.

For some of us, the ability to move for long distances is a gift. A lot of things have to come together to be able to train and complete an Ironman. You have to be financially secure enough – triathlon is a damn expensive sport even without a nice bike. You have to find or create the extra time to spend on athletic endeavors, which can include balancing a myriad of different responsibilities like jobs, families and relationships. It also takes a lot of food and laundry on top of the obvious points above.

Even with all of that hard work training, having a day come together is an incredible gift. It is never a guarantee, regardless of your training, or bank account or how bad you want it. A finish line is a gift. One of my favorite things is hanging out at the finish line as long as my body will allow post race. Seeing the look on people’s face is magical when they make the final turn and the entire day, the entire training cycle is worth it. I stand in a constant state of goosebumps watching these athletes achieve their goals.

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Merriam-Websters definition of a badass.

I would argue that truly racing an Ironman is incredibly hard, but I think the people who have to fight the whole way through are even more badass. Giving up is easier than continuing to fight when it isn’t your day. Or those battling the cutoffs but giving every effort to keep forward momentum? Those are my heros of the day. I stand in impressed of the people who win them, but I stand inspired by those who figure out how to get it done and make it happen. It’s the formidable strength or skill that gets us all across the line.

But you don’t have to be an Ironman in my mind to be a badass. I think anyone challenging themselves is a badass. It doesn’t matter if it’s taking the first steps and signing up for a couch-to-5k program or running 100 mile ultra marathon. If you are out there challenging your boundaries, you inspire me.

You see, it’s all relative. Just because an Ironman maybe doesn’t impress you, doesn’t mean it isn’t an impressive achievement. Lots of things require a formidable skill.

In this current climate, I think we could all do a little more to spread kindness and support to each other. And maybe a little less judgement.

ironman coeur d’alene: a return to long course racing

I returned to racing the full Ironman distance this past weekend. The last full I had raced was Ironman Arizona in 2014, so it was almost a three year break. In that time I moved across the country, completed my masters degree and broke my ankle (among other things).

Lake Coeur d’Alene

In the training, it felt good to be using my body again. I added more strength and yoga classes on top of the normal swim/bike/run. While it was a heavy load, my body felt strong and my fitness was coming along nicely, especially considering I was starting from zero again. Before I knew it, it was time to head to Coeur d’Alene.  Read More

endings & beginnings, it takes a village

My life the last two years has been off the charts crazy. I started coaching, earned three different coaching education certifications, started (and now finished) grad school for Kinesiology, finished my third Ironman, moved across the country, fractured (and recovered) my ankle, lived in a hotel for two and a half months, bought and sold a house, and started a new full time job. These are just a few of the highlights. When I list these things out, they seem like a whole lot of crazy. How on Earth did I survive that? Read More

do not pass go

Two weeks ago I was running my first race in about 18 months. Ironman Arizona in 2014 was really the last time I toed the line. I started grad school, took on triathlon coaching, and since then moved across the country. I knew that I couldn’t also handle consistent workouts, so I dropped my fitness. I found a good chunk of weight and had planned to spend this summer getting back in shape and racing again. I am slated to finish grad school by August so I figured starting to run again in the beautiful PNW was a good first step in that direction.  Read More

New Adventures: Goodbye Texas

About a year ago I asked a question on twitter: If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I got lots of different amazing places. My response to all of the answers was, why aren’t you there? Each person had their reason, but mostly it was because they couldn’t leave family, their bond was too tight. Which I think is amazing, but for me, that doesn’t hold me back. I crave adventure and the new.

For the past year my husband and I have looked into different places to move. Texas has been my home for the last 8 years, and it has been darn good to me. But it’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and chase new adventures. We tried a few different locations but in the end one stuck and it came all together.  Read More