I am Lucky
17th July 2012 | Megan
I am readying myself for my 7th Ironman competition, which is happening in 6 days and a few hours. Most “Ironmen” ready themselves by packing gear, checking nutrition, evaluating pace charts and predictive finish models. As a “Run Like a Mother” Ironman; I am still driving summer carpools, packing kids underwear, preparing the dog for her staycation, putting the newspapers on vacation hold, making refried beans, loading the rice cooker and making sure there is a surplus of wine and snacks for the pre and post race vacation. Never-ending. Oh, and we have relatives visiting. Truthfully, I am lucky and wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are many reasons why Ironman is what I like to do. Mostly because it is the icing on the cake of the training that I love so much. I used to feel I needed to train with Ironmen to be one, now I feed off the training time with my friends, knowing that it can’t all be the easy, comfort-zone effort but that the largest portion of it should be. Don’t get me wrong, most of my friends possess the ability to push me beyond comfort…it’s just I am talking and laughing so much, I don’t really realize it.
Every time I have done Ironman it seems there is a deeper meaning to the race. This year is no different. In fact, in so many ways, I am driven to work my hardest out there on Sunday. I am so lucky to be able to push my body in this extraordinary way and while it is happening draw a lot from what is happening with my friends and family. If there is some way that I can exhibit perseverance, it may be enough to encourage others to stand-up, push on and conquer. As trivial as Ironman is, compared to what so many are up against, it is a symbol of what a mind and body can do.
This year in our little circle of friends; children have lost parents, friends have been diagnosed with cancer and others with incurable disease. It is devastating. None of these obstacles can be corrected, cured or resolved by crossing a finish line, nor will endless training make them disappear. It is a helpless sort of feeling, when situations such as these are out of our control.
Since January, I have logged nearly 5,000 miles for this race on Sunday. I am lucky and prepared. My friends did not have time to prepare for their challenges, rather plunked right into the middle of them. Not fair. Though, each one of them is an athlete, a warrior and competitor; it is as if the gun went off while they were still lacing knotted shoes.
I keep all of them on my mind constantly.
The father that was lost this year was an amazing, loving Dad and also an incredible runner and lover of the outdoors. When I struggle in my run, I yell to him for help. I pray that his kids understand that their Dad is working for all of us in so many ways. Both of them will be with me on race day and see me across the finish line. I am lucky.
My dear friend’s husband, was just diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease. He is robbed, as his body begins to fail him. A former triathlete and active guy, I push ahead for him, knowing that he would have loved to be competing. I think of him often as my body moves, wishing I could transplant some healthy cells from my body to his.
One of my training partners, and bestest friends recently received the BIG C diagnosis. She has a mountain to climb, and I don’t doubt for a second that we will see her standing on top triumphant, but her path to get there is daunting and precarious. I worry for her, then I snap to it and realize that worry is not what she needs. She needs to see courage, strength and stamina, to keep her spirits in the right place. She is a mother and a runner, two vocations that are tested time and time again, though her “Ironman” journey will test her even further.
So I am lucky. On Sunday, I chose my challenge. It is a daylong event that can’t even begin to change the world, bring back a father, halt or cure a disease. But maybe for a brief time, I can help lift the spirits of those affected, and some healing can happen.
Sometimes we choose the challenge
Sometimes the challenge chooses us.
Running prepares us for life’s challenges in its own way.
Through training good days and bad, we learn to push through mentally and then the physical part follows.
Learning to persevere on the road is priceless during the difficult curve balls that come our way.
You are prepared for this challenge you didn’t choose.
You are a runner.
To learn more about the partners that help me get to the start line and continue to support me and all of my crazy ventures please visit their websites listed below.
My Bike Shop- Bethel Cycle- www.bethelcycle.com
My Coach- Eric Hodska- www.hodska.com