A little less than a year ago, over some martinis and a weekend in Flagstaff a plan was made to race Ironman Canada. Community Fund slots were the only spots open, with the exception of a possible Team Newton/Athletes for a Cure entry, that I had heard about.
At the time I didn't realize what a whirlwind my year would become. I decided rather than just write a check over to the Ironman Community Fund Foundation, I would try to do a little bit better. I decided to be part of something bigger and try to raise more money.
I always seem to go back to the "when life gives you lemons," saying. This year life, God, whatever it was threw me a whole bag of big fat rotten lemons. In March just a few weeks into training, and just after announcing I was going to be part of Team Newton/Athletes for a Cure raising money for prostate cancer, I received a phone call that I will never forget. My sister called me saying that my mom was…. gone.
I honestly can't remember much after that. I remember hyperventilating. I remember crying hysterically. I called a friend to come pick me up and the next thing I knew I was facing a situation that I never in my wildest dreams or nightmares would have imagined being in. Out of now where. With no signs, no warning, my mom was taken from me.
For the next few months I felt like I was living in a bubble. I was functioning, working, training, planning and living on pure adrenaline and determination. Some of us don't get to choose the things we can do. Some of us make poor choices and live lifestyles that shorten or lives and hurt not only ourselves, but others.
I truly believe that where there is a will, there is a way. I started facing my fears. Pushing through walls that in the past have knocked me down. I stopped mentally defeating myself. I worked harder, and longer and smarter than ever in the past and I did it with my heart. I did it because I AM healthy, I choose to live this active lifestyle because it makes me happy, it makes me feel GOOD.
I've come to race Canada as part of a team that are all racing for a cause. I'm racing with the CEO of Newton, prostate Cancer SURVIVOR and, Ironman. I'm racing with months of hard training, with a heavy yet also half empty heart. I'm racing in honor of those who fight, who fight for the lives.
If this past year has taught me anything, it's perseverance. If there is one thing that the sudden loss of my mom opened my eyes to, it's to NEVER give up. It's not fair to me, it's not fair to all the many people that believe in me, that have supported me, that love me.
I know that tomorrow, when it gets hard, when everything hurts, when I want to stop, walk, cry…complain. I will push past it, I will FIGHT. I will not give up on my hard work, or myself.
I will move on.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of my amazing friends and biggest fans. To my sister, who has been the most incredibly strong person this past year, and who I have gained nothing but the utmost respect for.
To my momma, with all my heart…you will be my inspiration tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will make a big fat batch of the best tasting lemonade.