I started in triathlon when I was in massage school. I was definitely on the path to a more awakened state but still very much buried in my ego at the time. In accordance with my plan to be the best massage therapist ever known to man I set my sights on the Orthopedic and Sports massage specialty. I decided that I wanted to focus on athletes and in Boulder, Colorado there would no shortage of clientele. My husband BJ who had just completed his first triathlon and his coach, Craig were my first victims. I started practicing on them while I was in school, applying techniques that I was learning along the way from Shiatsu to Normalization of Soft Tissue and Sports massage. I would give them both pre and post race massages. One time that meant flying to California for less than 48 hours just to make sure they got their sessions. It was exciting to work on these guys and I loved seeing the benefits translate to their sport. Although I understood what was going on in their bodies when they raced there was a part of me that wanted to experience it first hand so that I could be even better at my craft. I was getting closer to triathlon but at that time wasn’t feeling it suck me in, at least not just yet.
The first triathlon that I attended was to cheer on BJ at the Boulder Peak, an olympic distance in July 2004. As I sat on the sidelines with a stack of Anatomy and Physiology flash cards I memorized the Krebs cycle and vowed to ‘never, ever do a triathlon…ever‘. I know somewhere down the line I’ve written about this before because this was a defining moment in my life. I can still hear my voice uttering those words with a heavy and sure footed accent on the final ever. At the same time, as I heard myself condemn a future in multi-sport there was an undeniable something that told me I would go back on those words. For a girl at the time with a yet to be tamed fiery core and I mean fiery, there was a finality in that statement that did not feel right to me. It was self limiting but I was screwed, I said it with such conviction that I couldn’t imagine going back on my word. People heard it, what would they think if I changed my mind? I didn’t realize this then but that was just my silly little ego pushing me around. You’re not good enough, you need to stick with your decision and plus you’re going to look like crap in a tri kit.
Thankfully my ego lost well at least until it realized that it could thrive in this sport (a post for another day) and the idea of never ever, did not stick around too long. A short 2 months later I competed in my first triathlon in Ft. Collins, CO. A pool swim, fast multi-lap bike, flat run, aluminum road bike with clip on minis, a super cute skirt from SkirtSports and my support crew – 2 dogs and a husband. We have a picture hanging on our wall in our home of the 4 of us after that race I look tired, happy and hooked.
This year I completed my 9th season of triathlon and I’m at a point where there are too many races to count but I can recall many very specific moments that have played a significant role in shaping the person I am today. I have found that a big part of my love for triathlon is learning to embrace whatever is around the next turn and not worry too much about what’s to come. My story of being a triathlete continues to evolve. Once an avid racer, almost every weekend some summers I am now settling into the comfort of going long a few times a year. With one full Ironman and two half Ironmans on the schedule for 2014 I couldn’t be more at peace.
Just shy of three years ago I adopted a consistent meditation practice. This work has profoundly influenced my experiences as a triathlete and in my ability to race with heart and not from my ego. It’s been the perfect addition and in hindsight the missing link for so many years. The combination of the two have allowed me to be more open and unafraid than I ever have been in my life. Two key concepts in living my truth. I cannot be afraid of failure or success. I must be open to my potentiality and detach from outcomes. And even though I said never ever, ever, about being a triathlete I am forever grateful that I didn’t create a rule that would have prevented me from discovering one of the biggest passions of my life. A passion that continues to open doors and guide me down a divine path that is undoubtedly paved just for me.
So I guess what I’m saying here is don’t ever limit yourself ever no matter what you may have said especially if it doesn’t feel right in your heart.
Namaste mes amis!