Everyone faces challenges. I don't care who you are...they find you at work, at home, in your personal life, in training...this is the nature of the beast.
I enjoy blogs because we get to learn a little about what challenges are facing other athletes and members of the blog community. We share their struggles and we identify with what it feels like to DNF, to go into a race sick, to fear we aren't prepared, or to just plain step up to the plate of a hard workout, stare it in the face, and beat it down with a very large stick.
It gives us more confidence at times to see that others have been there before us, trained for their first Ironman and survived, learned how to swim, or jumped into their first elite wave and still lived to tell about it.
Realizing challenges are all part of not just building our character, but revealing it is so important. I don't want a life free of challenges, what type of person would I be at the end of this journey if I had nothing to share with others about my struggles and battle scars. There is nothing more compelling than someone standing up in front of a group and saying, I've been there, I know what it's like and here's what I've learned, here's how I can help you deal.
Right now, I could use a little less, but I guess that's where faith comes in. Either we believe these challenges are part of the plan, or we don't. Either we believe they are created one of two ways - by us being rebellious and headstrong and bringing them on ourselves, or by a higher being deciding that we need a little rough patch to bring us back to the things that matter and make us examine who we are and where we are going, or we think everything is random.
If everything is random, then I'm not sure I could go on another day. This world is too complex, people are too complex, and the thought that we are all aimless floating, well, that just doesn't appeal to me.
My biggest challenge these days is trying to understand how I got to the path I am currently on and where I'm supposed to be in future while trying to be thankful that the challenges have a purpose and will ultimately make me a stronger version of my current self. Sometimes I can only think one day ahead, or even two. Sometimes that's all the strength I can muster.
Looking to the things that make me happy and fulfilled is only one aspect. I am trying to look to the things that I know are good for me and will make me better in the end...and that's dang difficult.
Is triathlon part of the scheme..who knows. I surely don't. It's become a large part of things that make me happy, but it is ultimately relationships, helping others and becoming the person I know I can be that I want more than anything. So, I'm not sure how all those come together yet, someday I hope the answer is revealed.
All I know is it can't be just about podium places or getting to the IM World Champs or something like that. I'm all for setting goals, but what happens when you reach all of them? I know it's about the journey not the desination, but there just has to be more. After twenty years of doing triathlons, is that how I'll be known, as a triathlete who made this and that place or this and that time...that's it. It's a notable thing, but I just have to have there be something more and I"m trying to figure out what it is. Standing on the podium is great, but I want people to know the story behind it, how I got there, what it took not on my own accord but where the power came to reach that spot.
Sorry this post is so random...a lot on my mind these days I guess! A good friend and business assoicate passed away this past weekend and I'm sure that has something to do with it. He lost his battle with cancer and he will definitely be missed. To his family and friends - I am thinking and praying for your comfort and hoping in the midst of all this sadness you can remember all the wonderful things about John and how his life touched many.
I leave you with pictures of my favorite place to run and train - North Park. It's located in Wexford, Pa about 7 mins from my house.
Pre run in my new camo pink sports bra. I was having a rough day on Sunday so I decided to break it out and then ran 15 miles. I guess it did the trick!
They have a great bike lane and run/walk lane and on a nice day on the weekend the park is pretty busy with both bikers and runners. We always meet to start out but don't stay in the park long, too crowded for our fast wheels!
They have Speed "HUMPS" instead of Speed Bumps.. not sure what to say about that. Feel free to draw your own conclusions on this one.
You run around the lake the entire time which is beauiful and sprawling. People fish, but no swimming!
There are water fountians every two miles or so which is much needed and appreciated on a hot day!
If you're ever up for it on Sunday mornings I hit North Park around 7-9am! See you there!