Obviously, you all know that I am not blogging anymore. I did want to share the last one with you though. I feel like you all have traveled the journey with me and I owed it to you to tell you about it.
Recap, you know I have been training for a triathlon. As well, you know that I just learned to swim. If that is what you want to call what I do. LOL! If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I am well aware of my limitations. Swimming is definitely one of them. But I get up three days a week and go to the pool and punish myself. I did go through a time that I hated the swim portion so badly that I didn't train like I should have but have learned, it is not like cramming for a test. Lesson learned, got it train, train, and more train! Moving along....
When I started this idea, I registered for the White Lake Sprint II. I needed a goal. So I waited for registration to open and sat by the computer and got John and I in. We trained hard together and had a ton of fun doing it most days. 4 months later and here we are. Bags packed and we are headed to White Lake. Nerves are in check. I spent plenty of days during the week panic stricken. Sunday is creeping up on us. I watch the Half Ironman on Saturday and am in awe of the athletes. The day is hot and windy and they did it! It will definitely take a year of training for that. Saturday night is upon us and we all go out for a good dinner and lots of salt! I have never seen so much salt used at one table, ever. A good nights sleep under my belt and John and I are off. We park, we pump tires or so we think.... someone thought they put air in my tires when really they took care of their own bike and forgot all about mine. It was fine, they had a tent set-up for these types of things. Transition area set up and ready. Then they call the water temperature. Too warm to be wetsuit legal. DREAD! That is the only thing I can call it. I make the decision based on the fact I am not going to win any awards or points for this race. I just want to finish. Whatever that means in the USAT world, I am wearing my wetsuit. I am surrounded by people who have trained with me, loved me, and coached me! They are encouraging and all the while I am sure they are worried. Cause, I am....... I get in the water to warm up and I feel great. I get in the line (in water start) and my goggle strap breaks! I feel a little panic welling up but Jenn Harris calms me. The countdown is over and we are swimming. Slow steady strokes is what I tell myself, well bamb, I get kicked in the head. Bamb, someone runs into me.... I don't have to tell you what happened next. PANIC sets in and it doesn't leave. There were plenty of times (too many to count) when I said to myself just quit, you can't do this. For every time I said that, I heard my husband in my head telling me I could do it, I heard my coach Suzanne Duncan telling me I could do it, I heard Jamie O'Sullivan telling me I could do it, I heard Marisa Pirih telling me I could do it, Pam and John Connor telling me I could do it, my friend Jill telling me I could it, Christina telling me I could do it. Then I heard the man in the kayak ask me what my name was. He told me "Amy you can do it, if you get past the first buoy, your home free, it gets easier". I think I told him I didn't know if I could get to that first buoy. He told me I could. He said I looked strong. HE LIED! But I am glad he did. Then my husband swims up to me or near me I should say and offers to give up his race to stay with me. He didn't want to leave me out there. I cry as I type that! Because he had a special reason for racing yesterday. It was for his mom. Whom most of you know passed away a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't do that to him! I wanted him to go, if it meant leaving me in water that I felt like at times would swallow me up. You know your in trouble when the men in the rescue boat are standing up watching you and asking if your ok, waiting to jump in and save you! "Boys, I got it, it may not look like it or feel like it but I got it, Thanks". I am positive God placed angels in that water to help me. I round the second buoy and then there is the orange blow up man swishing in the wind.... I can do this, I can do this... who cares if I am last! I wasn't but almost! I get out of the water and of course I am mad at myself... but I remember what my coach said, there is no finish line at the swim exit. So I get started on pulling that wetsuit off and I run. Smiling that guess what, I got out of that damn lake and I can now move on to something I can do, ride my bike. Damian did not let me down. My friend Jill, Christina and I have named our bikes.... Damian, Lucifer and Delores. Jill is not as fond of her bike yet and Christina is just such a happy go lucky person we named hers a happy name! I get started on the bike and I say to myself, the swim is over, forgotten, just ride. I do just that, I passed plenty of people that I know got out of the water before me and that made me smile. I came on a kid that had 14 on his leg and I yell out,"hey kid, it is mother's day, let me pass you!" Look you do what you can...don't worry he caught me. 14 miles later, I am ready to run. I rack my bike, get my shoes on, water bottle in hand, because I drank no water during the bike ride because I lost my water bottle. Road was rough in some spots. So I know I need to drink, I dehydrate easily. I get started on legs that feel like they weigh 400 lbs. I tried eating some sport beans as well, couldn't open them and run with a bottle. Yes I walked. Got my beans in and started again. Then mother nature took over and I need the bathroom. I swore I was not going to stop to use the bathroom during the race. Lots of lessons learned for the next race. So I added a few minutes there. I wanted to stay at 30 minutes but oh well....but you know I didn't know how long I had been out there, I didn't wear a watch on purpose. My goal was to finish this race and I did!
When I came down the finishing stretch and all my friends where there with my husband and I heard them screaming my name, I knew I had arrived. It just didn't matter how long it took me in that lake. It didn't matter how long it took me on the bike or to run. I had FINISHED something I didn't ever think I could. In this lifetime I never thought I would get in a lake and swim. I have plenty of friends who can attest to this. I overcame a fear that has plagued me since I was a very young child. I DID IT! I cried! I have never felt anything like that before.
I have so many people to thank that I don't even know where to begin...You know who you are and you know what you mean to me..... THANKS will never be enough. I hope that I can be as supportive to you when you need it like you have been to me.
Signing off blog world!
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