So, the day is almost upon me. 70.3 Muskoka is two nights of sleep away, and many have asked if I feel ready. The answer. No. But I am ok with that, because if I waited until I was “ready” I would never “do” anything.
The past week has been a whirlwind of emotions, mistakes, and tears that I would not take back if I could, because then I would not have learned and grown just a little bit wiser, a tiny bit stronger. This sentiment goes for the entire journey towards the day, which commenced months before training started in the bitter cold of Canadian Winter.
Along with that journey, I have many people to thank, because, without them, I might not be the wiser, stronger, inspired individual I am today. First, I must thank Sarah for introducing the idea of triathlon to me in the first place, and then being there to support and cheer me on in every race I have participated in so far. I must also thank Terri and Jenna for teaming up and convincing me to take the plunge into an adventure I did not think I was ready for. I want to thank Adrian for making me think long and hard about what my motivation is to train and complete this Triathlon. Without him insisting that we dig deep, and find what that is, I might not have made it this far. I might not have started a fundraiser for a charity, and I might have backed out of this weekend’s race in favour of taking on an easier, closer to home challenge. I want to thank Larry for his insight, kind words, and advice on what type of bike shoes I might want to choose. I must also thank Larry for selling his old road bike to Matt because then Matt let me use it to train and race in this Spring/Summer. Of course, I must also thank Matt for helping to keep my muscles in working order and giving me some pro tips on how to get started riding a bike with clipless shoes on. Haha, 3.5 falls later, three scraped knees and a couple bruised elbows later, I”m still peddling away with a smile!
Then, there is Karen, who made sure I strengthened all the right muscles, which I’m sure helped keep me injury free throughout this training adventure. She even put up with my whining when it came to arm/shoulder exercises, that we both know likely helped my swimming. Let’s not forget about swimming. Good Old swimming, my nemesis. I have many people to thank for my journey to overcome my hang-ups on swimming. I have several friends who joined me for a variety of open water swims, Sarah, Mandie, Rachel, and Laurel, all of whom helped me become more comfortable in the water itself, to the point of almost looking forward to it. An enormous sized thank you goes out to Geordie, whom without, I would still be choking on water while attempting to keep my head up, resulting in the worst swimming form possible. Geordie taught me to find my “zen” in the water and forced me to push myself harder than I thought I could.
Last, but not least, I must thank my friends and family for their support, and for making me feel like I am “superwoman” even though I always see myself as needing to improve or do more. Thank you for being my motivation. You inspired me to show you that anything is possible, it is never easy, and you won’t always succeed, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying, and you can’t be afraid to fail.
I have written this before the race because, well, I’ll likely be exhausted after the triathlon and I know I will be swamped and engrossed in my Summer work activities for a relentless two months. Aside from the expected reason, I might not get to this after the race, is that I want people to know I appreciate everything I have gained this year from them, regardless of if this race goes well or not. It won’t matter if I fail to complete the distances on Sunday, because I’ve already gained so much. I feel healthier than ever before. I am more confident than I was a year ago, six months ago, last week. I’m not afraid to fail that I’m prepared to work hard. I’m aware that each moment is filled with choices, and they may not always turn out the way I want, but they were mine to make, and there is a freedom in that.
So, I will end this letter with one more request. My race will not end with me crossing the finish line, but I will continue on to power through what is the most challenging yet rewarding “marathon” I embark on every Summer. Each Summer I get to spend my days organizing activities, mentoring staff, solving Crisis, handling meltdowns, and best of all, getting to know the fantastic children and staff that work at Camp Kaleidoscope. A camp for children with Autism. This camp is like no other, because they do not turn a child and their family down because their son our daughter are too difficult to manage. We take on every challenge at this camp, and we do so with open hearts and a smile. We go home exhausted and we come back bright and early the next day, next week, year after year. So far, I have raised almost $1,000 for this Charity, and although I can choose to look at this as another failure on my part, because I am no where heard the $10, 000 I enthusiastically sought out to raise at the beginning, I choose to see this as a success, because I’m $980 towards my goal, and I learned a heck of a lot along the way. It would mean the world to me if you could help me get a little closer to my goal while I race this Sunday. In Muskoka, starting at 7:00 am I get to take off on a challenge I never knew or thought I would be a part of, and I know there will be some tough moments to get through, and I’m sure I’m going to wonder at some points why I ever chose to do this in the first place. In those moments, I will be digging deep to grab hold of whatever and everything I can find to motivate me to keep moving forward, because it won’t just be one thing, it will be everything combined together that will get me through the tough moments I know are to come.
Again, thank you for being a part of this journey!