I am less than a week out for my big race! I am officially in what "they" call taper mode. Its kinda crazy. Taper means, I now have time to cook, clean and do laundry. I also have an enormous amount of time to practice my finish line smile, or pose! Come on, you know you do that too.. I mean I always have an idea and then all of my pictures end up with my mouth half opened, my hair stuck to my head in awkward positions, and my shirt either pulled up so my muffin top is showing, or my shoulders slouched so I look a hunchback! haha I wish I could have enough energy at the end to jump, or have like this awesome accomplished look on my face, but the truth is instead of looking cool, or tough, I look like I am sitting on the toilet trying to ,well you know!
Anyway, as I look back at these last 9 months, I realized how much I have learned, how much I am ready for race day, and how many people it took to actually get me here. I thought this race would be all about me, and I have found even though it started out that way, it has become something so much bigger than that. I am amazed at the things you learn while training for any race, and how with each one, there is so much more life lessons to learn, about people, and yourself. I could not have done this on my own, and if it would have continued to be only about me, well I would have given up long ago. You don't realize it, when you begin ,but you are reminded of it at the end.
I could not have trained for this race without the love and support from the Captain and my kids! The time they have put into this has been insurmountable. From getting up with me to do long rides, to changing plans so that I can train, to going without a homemade meal, clean laundry or house, they have been my rock. I have witnessed first hand unconditional love, and feel grateful for the family that I was blessed with. I have a husband who continually surprises me on the depth of his love for me, and my children's selflessness has been overwhelming at times.
My friends and family that also have encouraged me, believed in me, and listened to hours of details on aches, pains, nutrition, and courses even when they want me to shut up, but wait patiently for me to finish. Even strangers that have somehow found out about it, the lady at the park in general conversation, the moms I run with, my swim group, my Augusta FB 70.3 page have all played a role.
Through this whole process, I have been reminded that we are all the same, only different. The interest, the encouragement, and the advice that was so freely given. I have seen people that look at me with hope, inspiration, and pride. Not because of me, but because of what I am doing simply reminds them, that anything is possible. Maybe it isn't a race for them maybe its going back to school, its a painting class, its a tennis club, staying single, getting married, or maybe just permission to be something other than what life decides for us to be. Whatever it is, I am happy that I have been able to allow other people, women especially, to see that the potential for us, the limits we put on ourselves for whatever reason, can be overcome. I am just an Extra Ordinary woman, living an extraordinary life, I am no different than anyone.
At the beginning of the race, I thought it was only about me and my personal reasons, but now it has become all about you, all about us. Everyone of us, that was told we can't, to settle, to accept, to endure, to submit. For all of us, that thought we couldn't , or we shouldn't. Those of us who believed the lies that we will never be good enough, fast enough, determined enough, or strong enough.
We are all in the bigger race together, this race we call life. We have one common goal, to get to an imaginary finish line, a job well done, a feeling of self accomplishment, an accolade, a renewal, survival. We need each other, we can not get through life alone, just like this race, life was meant to be shared with people. We are "in this" together. So thank you to all of you. Although,I will be the one doing the race, you are all there in my heart, and as I cross the finish line, I know that each one of you carried me along the way.