The experience was liberating. Without the “average pace” or “time” stats to bludgeon myself with, I returned to a mindset that I haven’t experienced in a year. I felt really proud of my workouts. And proud, simply, because I laced my shoes and up and completed them. Without judgment.
That tiny spark – like so many tiny flames do when they brush against and ember of ‘what ifs’ – alighted for me a passion that has been dormant. I have been ambivalent about my Ironman Canada ’12 entry. I initially signed up thinking that I’d join the Los Angeles TNT IronTeam and train/fundraise toward that goal. However my plans changed mid-December when I was offered a new team and new season to coach for the TNT Marathon Program. I chose to coach this summer season (Feb-June), and therefore put my IM return on hold.
But I never contacted the WTC to revoke my entry. And in the last three weeks, I have found myself, once again and finally, in love with exercise again. But this time – unlike my IM Coeur d’Alene journey in 2010 – much less strict and obsessive with the idea of training.
So here I stand … well, sit for the moment … at the final decisive point. It is far removed from the flip-flopping fear and self-doubt that has littered my brain for a while. With my reservations booked, my gym member (indoor pool!) renewed and my bike tuned for the saddle time, I declare to myself (and to you all, blog reader), that I am Penticton, BC, Canada bound. On August 26, 2012 I will toe the starting line of Ironman Canada. And as contrary as it may seem, I will do so without judgment. To cross that finish line and hear Ironman Announcer Mike claim once more, “Emily, you are an Ironman” is all I look forward to.
A reminder of what the IM rewards its warriors with:
Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself--expanding and learning as you go--you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip.
As a running buddy once said to me: Life is a not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW!! What a ride!" - Dean Karnazes