Thursday, 16 September 2010


As the start line approaches, there is an uncomfortable place where I am still reaching for something I want and don't think I have yet. I didn't manage to drop a bunch of weight by the start date. My swim stroke leaves me nervous I'll not make the one hour time limit. Bike? I feel pretty okay on this one. I'm a little nervous about the distance and saving enough that I can run a half marathon with decent form and speed.

On the other hand, I ran a freaking marathon - well, gutted the whole thing out. So I know I can do the competition with heart. I've given birth to two children, survived septic shock, rescued two children from drowning in the North Sea, crashed my bike, survived the incredibly difficult Beach Challenge, and participated in some very challenging professional engagements. So next Sunday, while not a cake walk, will be a long, fun day of pure recreation.  Let's not make the day more difficult by focusing on what I wished I had accomplished on my way to the starting line.  Instead, I started changing my self-talk and appreciating that my body has done the training to prepare me for this race, and that I have wonderful support.  I have developed some great muscle definition in my legs that I never had before.  I feel comfortable in the water.  I run with ease and pleasure. Since May I've run more than 50 hours, cycled more than 1,000 km, and swam more laps than I can count.  I'm ready!

The craving and the wishing?  That's just fear talking.  Perfectionism. A destructive waste of energy. I let go and accept that I will race in the body I inhabit, with my big, healthy, strong heart, loving who I am, and who I was, and who I will become.

Why am I doing this?  Because I find a high degree of pleasure in pushing myself really hard to see what I can do - to the edge of my capacity and just a little bit further. Into the land of the Beyond.   It is a thrilling place to visit.

I will race for the boys I rescued. They are my heroes and their courage and love inspires me.

I will race in memory of Elham Mahdi. And in memory of fellow tri-athlete Elizabeth Bradley who was struck and killed by a car while on a training ride this summer. I will race to inspire girls to grow up and have goals that are so big they're scary and to still pursue them with passion and delight.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is going forward in the face of fear.  And what is fear anyway but a little conceit. There is nothing to be lost, and only ourselves to gain.

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