Can you believe my sister found this card for me? Love it!
Here are the thoughts that have been keeping me from getting what I say I want. Here are the boats I burned Saturday night:
~ I would suck at being a mom because I am so selfish
~ I would make a horrendous wife because I’m so impatient and quick to blame
~ I’m not really a team player
~ I focus so much on what I hope for that I never appreciate what I actually have
~ I’m terrified to get into a new relationship because it went so badly last time
~ If I do dare to get into another relationship I will eventually lose myself in it and everything I’ve worked so hard to become
~ I only attract unavailable men
~ No one would want to deal with me anyway
~ I’m better on my own
~ I have trouble trusting people
Going through that exercise while slowly reciting the Om Namo Bhagavate (108 times in the vedic tradition) cleared my focus for the race. Shedding useless weights I’ve carried for years gave me back the energy I needed to say Fuck you! to the fear and keep my emotions in check and on track, away from the belief that I would probably drown out there, away from the shame that maybe I was doing it just for the attention of a man who’s not even interested.
I trusted and leaned on my coaches through training but Sunday morning it was just me. I didn’t get a push from Coach C. I didn’t even see Coach J until after the race and Coach P was busy directing traffic and calling the shots at the starting line. I pushed myself into the water and I did just fine. And afterward we celebrated.
Time to raise the curtain on a new act, start telling the story about how open my heart is, how confident I am in my ability to give love, receive love, push, try, encourage, be present and care, love love love love love and appreciate in the moment.
I’m gonna be a great mom and a fun, enthusiastic, loving, trusting, joyful wife. I won’t suck at either of those things because I will never again lose this version of myself. I understand now how important it is, how beneficial to everything it is, to stay clear and strong.
Dear Universe I’m ready, so let’s go.
KILLED IT! Oh man I did so much better than I thought I would. I was hoping for 3 ½ – 4 hours and I finished in less than three! 2:54:00 to be exact.
I can hardly believe it but I did the swim in 36 minutes. My coaches said I had a strong bike time of 1:10:57. And I ran the 10K in less time (1:01:57) than it took me last year when I did my first race ever. I spent five minutes total in transition.
The swim was much less awful than I expected it to be. There was little pushing or pulling and I didn’t get swam over like I feared. Mostly it was a very large group of people who were just as bad at swimming as I was. The biggest problem was the T-boners with their heads down completely unaware of the fact that they were swimming perpendicular to the rest of the racers. I just treaded water whenever one passed in front of me then got back to swimming.
All in all I only saw one big fish who I imagined was pretty freaked out by the lot of us and I had absolutely no time or energy to devote to worrying. And honestly, swimming back and catching the sunrise over Magic Island really wasn’t that bad. The swim was over before I knew it proving once again that all the dread and anxiety of life exists in the preparation. Rarely does it ever surface in the actual doing.
Cycling was AWESOME! I felt strong the entire way and was only passed by 3 or 4 women. Everyone else who passed me was a man on a suped-up tri bike. I learned long ago not to compare myself to them. But I’ll tell you what else… I passed every kind of person and bike out there. Old, young, male, female, fancy bike with $2,000 wheels on it, you name it I cruised right past it, especially after the first turn around when we had a few small hills to go up. I hauled ass and had fun doing it!
I felt super slow on the run but was happy that I was able to keep going without taking any breaks. And I simply could not believe it when I crossed the finish line and realized I did it all in under three hours. Yaaahhhooooo!
Oh man I can’t wait for whatever is next!
Here’s my Team in Training team before dawn getting ready to dive into the ocean! Gail, to my left, is a lymphoma survivor and simply amazing to watch in action. I have to say that despite my earlier frustrations with the Team in Training experience, it all really turned around for me and I am so glad I participated and got to know such a wonderful group of people.
Hooray! Coach J is gonna do the race! Coach P is the organizer, Coach C simply claims to not be a triathlete, and Coach J is getting on a plane to Italy at noon and just wasn’t planning to race. But just now at the last minute at packet pick-up he changed his mind. And I’m so glad he did.
Coach J is so good natured and encouraging. Seeing him tomorrow morning will undoubtedly help calm my nerves. Knowing he’s out there in the water with me will help me feel so much less alone. Phew! It doesn’t make exact clear sense, but I feel so much better!
And now, thanks to some much needed pre-race pep talking from the wonderfully inspiring Andy Andrews, I will spend the rest of the evening attempting to burn the boats!
“What is it in our lives that is still floating the excuses in our minds, that’s keeping us from getting what we say we want? What are the boats in our hearts… that we need to burn?”
~ Andy Andrews
There’s something I haven’t told you about all this “swimming” I’ve been doing, something I need to get off my chest before the race…
So far every time I’ve gone swimming at Ala Moana I’ve stayed about ten to fifteen feet from shore in water no more than waist deep. I haven’t been making full strokes with my arms because my hands would scrape along the bottom if I did. Instead I’ve been doing a sort of half stroke that I swing out to the side rather than pull beneath me.
To my physical credit, I don’t stand to take breaks. I “swim” the whole way without stopping. But in terms of my mental state, I’ve done almost nothing to quell my fears of drowning in deep waters or being attacked by the creatures who live out there.
On Sunday the race will take place in water averaging at least 30’ deep and I will have no choice but to circle the buoys and swim far offshore the entire way back.
So that’s keeping me up at night. That and all stuff Coach J told me yesterday about how I’ll probably get kicked in the face and I’ll definitely get “swam over” and pulled down in the frenzy.
My stress level is a lot higher than I’ve realized. It seems I’ve taken a break from my sadness over Coach C in order to concentrate fully on how incredibly scared I am.
One more practice Saturday morning followed by volunteering at packet pick-up and a whole lotta carbo loading. The race starts at 5:45 AM on Sunday. Wish me luck!
Today I did most of my procrastinating at home so when I finally made it to the beach I only stood knee deep in the water for 3 or 4 minutes before plunging in. I swam the entire length of Ala Moana and back feeling ever so slightly less weary of my surroundings. It was my final swim practice before the race this weekend.
I drove back home, made myself a snack and got on my bike to ride a 25 mile loop out to Waimanalo and back. The wind was so strong it was comical. I down shifted to increase my leg speed and moved my hands to the low part of my handlebars. Using all the techniques my coaches have given me, I stayed pretty strong up over Koko Head and Makapu’u.
Out past Sandy’s I thought about the first time I rode this far on my hybrid with the training group. How they left me in the dust and Coach P sent me home early on my own. I thought about the second time I rode out this way after I got my road bike. On my way home from a long training practice in Waimanalo I had trouble shifting my gears and my chain came off its derailleur. It was the first of many times and I didn’t know how to fix it.
I moved to the side of the road and took out my cell to call Coach J. He’d talk me through it and I’d be on my way in no time. But before the phone was even ringing another cyclist stopped and asked if I needed help. As I was turning off my phone I said, “Yes, thank you. I do.” He then turned to me and yelled with extreme impatience, “DO YOU NEED ANY HELP?!”
I calmly repeated myself. “Yes, thank you. I do. My chain came off and I don’t know how to fix it.”
[Pause. If I were to show you how to fix a chain on a bicycle you, like me, would think something along the lines of “Well that was easy! He could have talked you through it and you would have been just fine!” But no, this man gave me quite a show.]
There was eye rolling, sighing with a little grunting. There was gesturing of greasy hands in an I-hope-you-realize-what-I’ve-sacrificed-to-help-you sort of way. There were glances to his fellow riders so I clearly understood that a) he was losing time and b) he was the only angel willing to stop and help my poor pathetic soul.
Keep in mind, if you will, that I did not flag this man down, nor did I ask for his help. He stopped of his own accord and offered it.
Approximately 14 seconds later, when the chain was back on, there was lecturing about how he’d hoped I’d paid attention in case this happened to me again in the future followed by a swift dramatic wiping of his fingers in the grass.
Confused by the gruffness of this random stranger who stopped to offer help and was now scolding me as if I had ruined his entire ride, I offered little more than an “OK.”
After his hands were sufficiently cleansed he struck his final blow. He got on his bike, looked back at me and asked in the snarkiest tone he could muster, “Do you even know where you’re going?”
Yah jackass because accidentally jamming my chain has anything at all to do with my sense of direction. Never mind the fact that there’s one fucking road that goes around the perimeter of this island! I think I got it A-hole!
So I was peeved as I rode slowly through Kalama Valley, pondering why this facet of the population has such a tendency to be so impatient with newcomers, so holier than thou. But the disgruntled-ness didn’t last long. I cruised right past my savior on the way up the back side of Koko Head, miraculously managing to hold my tongue as well as my finger. Because despite my dad’s near constant insistence to the contrary, my mama taught me to be nice and now after over 30 years of living as a force to be reckoned with, I’ve finally learned how to embrace my softer side.
I had a pretty big grin on my face coasting down into Hawaii Kai though. Mama has a sarcastic bite beneath that smile. Maybe I can’t do bike maintenance on the side of a highway just yet, but I can climb the shit out of any hill you put in front of me.
If that same guy saw me today – decked out in my tri-shorts and jersey, clipless pedals, Giro cycling shoes – and the same incident occurred, I bet he’d be respectful and kind. It doesn’t make any sense to me; I’m the same exact person. But people see what they want to see and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Today I rode strong just like Coach J always says. “So strong! So strong!” I basked in the evidence of how far I’ve come then I ran two miles around my neighborhood to end the day’s work. I can’t believe the race is only four days away.
Thank you Thank you Thank you a million times over to everyone who has donated to my fundraising efforts! You are amazing life saving beautiful wonderful rock stars and I adore the living crap out of each and every one of you!
I’m getting closer to my goal but I still have a way to go and only TWO DAYS to do it! If all of my FB friends and everyone who follows this blog donated a few dollars we could really knock this out of the park!
Thank you to all of my friends and family who have already made a donation. Thank you too Anonymous Donor! Together we’re making an important difference and improving the lives of many people who truly deserve our help.
It’s not too late to join the fight against blood cancer:
My dear sweet Arugula Roo suffers from lymphocytic leukemia, a chronic blood cancer without a cure. She has endured multiple rounds of chemo and staggering weight loss but she’s still truckin’ - plus she’s uber crazy adorable and the sweetest happiest thing ever. A donation to LLS would mean the world to her and to me!
I only have THREE MORE DAYS to fund raise and I’m $800 short of my minimum. Please help me out with whatever amount you can. EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!!
Click here now: http://pages.teamintraining.org/hi/hnlulutr13/jenniferlynch
Thank you and Meow!
Or sit on the couch eating Newman O’s drinking PBR. It’s just that kind of day.
In my defense I did ride the 24 mile loop from my house to Makiki, up Tantalus and back this morning, shaving 4 minutes off my climb, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Not enough to erase the sad anyway.
Tom Petty got me up the hill.
It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down…
I felt so good, like anything was possible…
There’s something good waitin’ down this road…
But the chorus got to me, so much so that halfway up the hill I was almost in tears.
I’m runnin’ down a dream that never would come to me…
I couldn’t help but wonder is that what I’m doing? It’s not as though there’s been even an inkling of the possibility that anymore will come from the conversation had over beach park beers a few weeks back. And frankly that’s pretty much all I can think about.
So I’m moody and lonely and sad today.
Everyone keeps saying I’m doing the right thing but that’s not what it feels like. I feel stifled and stuck behind a wall of my own making. Boundaries are one thing but what if I made them unscalable? What if he took “this will never happen again” as a black and white statement not meant for re-interpretation based on a change of circumstances? What if he didn’t understand that I meant “this will never happen again so long as you have a girlfriend but if you’re not happy and you love me like I love you and you want to break up with said girlfriend then this will definitely definitely happen again”?
I don’t enjoy these feelings of unease, dis-ease if you will. They don’t sit well. But I’m not one to let this sort of shit become toxic rotting me from the inside out. I’d rather purge it to the blogosphere via admittance of simply being human. Some days we just fail a little more than we’d hope and our insecurities get the best of us.
What if this doesn’t resonate with him? What if he didn’t mean it when he said the love in his relationship was gone? What if his brush with infidelity scared him straight?
All the uncertainties. Whatifwhatifwhatif…
Tonight I’ll let the sugar and the carbs and the alcohol dull the sad. But tomorrow, I promise, I’ll get back on the bike and turbo train as best I can.
If you’ve enjoyed following the blog or if you’re just looking for a way to be a rock star super hero, please don’t hesitate to CLICK HERE and make a donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!
But that’s no excuse for you to not donate!!
Check out this ridiculously adorable kid:
Leukemia is the #1 disease killer of children and she’s got a rare form of it. Help her out with a donation to LLS – every single dollar helps saves lives and improves the quality of life for patients, survivors and their families. No amount is too small. It only takes a minute, CLICK HERE NOW: