Friday, July 10, 2015

What's next? Post Ironman what nows no more....

And, without further ado, I announce what is NEXT.  I have a million reasons why I'm doing this, but I'm super excited to continue pursing my dreams, and doing it for an amazing cause all at once.  While I had a near panic attack with both nerves and excitement as I pushed submit on my own personal donation, I can't wait to begin this journey.

I'll try to be better about training updates, aches and pains and progress, but in the meantime a huge thanks to those who have already promised donations, but most of all for your overwhelming belief and support for me.  I have no words!

I know this may come as a shock to some of you (ha!), but I'm doing another Ironman! The beginning of this year was quite busy, and as I was trying to put in my last training block for Ironman CDA, life handed quite a few lemons my way. I got through and performed to the best of my ability, but when the race was over I didn't quite feel... DONE.

Let me back up to the days leading up to the race. As I was standing in line to register I was talking to some people about the upcoming heat forecast for the day (record breaking 106degs!) and mentioned that I was from Arizona, and while I train in the heat, nothing could prepare us for doing an entire Ironman with that kind of heat. Someone overheard my conversation and asked if I wanted to race AZ. My reply was something along the lines of, "let me get through this day!" I'd be lying if I didn't have this gentleman's voice in my head for the hours out there in the heat, or the days after the race. Unfortunately, I lost the guy's business card, but remembered he was an ambassador for the race charity, SmileTrain.

As my legs began to recover and my mind was certainly clear, I started to ponder if I were up for another Ironman. I did a little research on the charity and was overly impressed by the message and what raising funds could do for children born with cleft pallets. If I were to race and fund raise for this charity, my contribution alone would provide TWENTY children with corrective surgery. Pretty cool to imagine that putting my heart and determination and the generosity of others could provide this.

I began talking to friends about my thoughts on racing with the charity and was overwhelmed by the support. Honestly, I had no idea that so many people believed in me and my dream to not only continue to improve in this sport, but also to hopefully achieve my goal in the near future of qualifying for the world championships in Kona. There, I said it. My goal! The confidence and support of everyone made the decision pretty easy, however, it was the act of one very generous individual offering to donate a very large portion of the funds for me to do this.

So, this coming November I'm racing IRONMAN Arizona and will raise funds for Smile Train to help give children around the world not only new smiles, but a second chance at life.

Smile Train is an international children's charity that provides free surgery to poor children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Children born with cleft cannot eat or speak properly, aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job and face very difficult lives of shame and isolation, pain and heartache. Some children are even abandoned or killed—all because of the way they look. Their clefts usually go untreated because they are too poor to afford the simple repair surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250 dollars. Yet with your help, we can save these children and give them the life changing surgery they both need and deserve.

Please help support in any way you can, by donating to my Smile Train fund! I promise you, I will do everything in my power putting my heart and soul into that race making you all proud!