Last week I wrote nothing changes if nothing changes and the journey begins with a decision closely followed by an action. That action must be closely followed by another, and then another, and another until we finally have moved. It’s so darn simple and yet we believe change takes monumental effort.
I first decided to get off the couch in 2010 with my first 5k where I almost passed out. Me. A 5k? Amazing. I fell in love with the finish line, with the feeling of doing something I believe was beyond my realm of possibility. I then aimed for a 10k, followed by a triathlon. After each accomplishment I aimed for something a bit higher, longer, tougher. For each challenge I was legitimately scared and it was that fear, in part, which got me out the door and training. I was hooked on the empowerment that came with pushing my boundaries. By 2015 I was crossing the finish line of my third Ironman race (Florida, Arizona, Lake Placid).
But training for three Ironman races in two years took a toll on me. There are plenty of people who do three in one year and then some. I have to concede I am not them. I got burnt out. By August 2015 I could not fathom training, I was tired of juggling my entire life in order to make my long workouts fit. I was tired of being tired all the time, of not having energy left over to do the many things I needed to do as an entrepreneur, mother, wife and daughter. By 8:00PM I was the grumpiest mom in town and would lose my patience with my boys only to sleep riddled with guilt that I was the worst mom ever.
Though burnt out, I knew if I didn’t set goals I would just stop. I ran the Miami Marathon in February 2016 and later rode 177 miles at the Pan Florida Cycling Challenge. But the fear was gone and I barely trained for either of those.
I rationalized: I know myself better than I ever have. I have experience with both failure and success. I have the tools to get me through these endurance events. I’ve proven to myself I can do it. So why do them?
I wasn’t learning nor challenging myself. In fact, I was sick and tired of challenging myself. My work was booming, there were some health issues, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we had to move … there was too much life going on for training to be a part to it. There was nothing that could possibly motivate me to get up and go train. NOTHING.
Until I read the Leanda Cave Foundation was looking for Ambassadors for 2016. If you scroll back to 2014 I actually met Leanda as she helped me push my adaptive athlete friend Kerry to cross the South Beach Triathlon finish line. Kerry has gone on to multiple races and is now even an Ironman, while ThumbsUp, an organization we co-founded, is now present at most Miami triathlon events serving an increasing number of adaptive athletes.
What I remember most about Leanda was her humility. This race was absurdly documented as we had two television crews and a major newspaper following us around; Leanda won her race, and then stayed around to meet us after the bike. She pushed Kerry during the run and I obviously could not keep up. Instead of just finishing it off, she waited for me and then ran next to me to get ME to the finish while the rest of the volunteers pushed Kerry’s chair through the thick sand. In the end, we all crossed the finish line together, with Leanda in the background as a supporter letting Kerry shine as the hero she is. I was already a fan and became her biggest fan at that very moment.
Team LC was founded to empower women through the sport of triathlon. I can understand that mission. Triathlon was the channel for me to become empowered, and I use many of the lessons I gained here to empower the children at my I’Mpossible Run Clubs. So I decided I needed to get back to training, and my first action was apply to be an Ambassador even if I am in no shape to do a race.
In all honesty though, the action of applying didn’t lead me to an immediate action of training. But when I received an email I was selected it added the accountability I needed to get me going.
Team LC, through it’s generous sponsors, is giving the team Ambassadors everything we need to get out there and compete. To show other women what we do and how we do it. To challenge them to believe in themselves, set goals, and reach them. I now have a reason bigger than myself to get out there and train and since then, I’ve been in comeback mode.
And boy does that feel wonderful.
So if you’ve been thinking of getting off the couch, or you just want to get that pep in your step back, I encourage you to do so. In fact, I encourage US to do it TOGETHER.
None of this would be possible without the generous support of our sponsors to which I cannot show enough love and I hope you will support them too.