Merry Christmas Eve! Currently I’m sitting Northern Michigan at my parents’ house reflecting on 2015. What a year!! It’s been such a fun training year. So many of our friends have really taken big leaps in their racing. Everything from training for and completing their first tri, to buying a new bike, completing their first 70.3 and of course some of our friends did their first 140.6! We also have those friends that finished Ironman number 10, number 16, and number 61!!! SIXTY ONE. That is IMPRESSIVE. But what I am really thinking about is how much change we endure every day and how we adapt. Especially since I’m sitting here, 6 weeks into being on crutches, and not being able to go outside and experience a nostalgic run. I love nothing more than getting up on a cold winter day, wearing lots of layers (too many since I can’t remember how to properly dress for cold weather), slipping outside before people are awake, and just running. No Garmin, no goal, no time constraint…taking lots of pics along the way. I love that. Even though I love the warm sunny weather of SoCal, nothing beats getting in a run at home. So….what do you do when you can run? You find a local poolJ I’ve went to 3 local pools since I’ve been in Michigan. I thinking running is comforting because you can do it anywhere and it doesn’t require you to step out and find a new place or people to help you get a workout in. But for swimming, you need a pool. So I found some! Local High School pools are awesome! I loved it! One was completely dead…only me and the guy working the front desk. The other one was bustling with people. Old guys that could barely walk were doing lap after lap, high fiving each other between 100’s. They were awesome. A guy was there with his 3 kids and it was obvious he was trying to get in a specific workout with trying to keep all th kids in lanes and focused for an hour. Hahah. He did good! He adapted to his situation and was able to get in his training, spend time with his kids, and his wife was able to wrap presents. I found out he was training for his first 70.3 and trying to figure out the balance of family, work and training. There was a lady next to me that was only kicking…opposite of me whole can only pull. She had surgery on her should 2 months ago but loved the pool. We made a good pair if you put us together haha. When I had surgery 6 weeks ago my biggest fear was not being able to train. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to handle it mentally. Training was my sanity, my hobby, my fun, my happiness. People were supportive of my fear, they were encouraging, and some were even a little harsh on me. They told me to relax! Enjoy it! But I was scared. I was honestly scared. The first few weeks were okay. I was either on too many pain pills to care, I was sleeping, or someone was there waiting on me and keeping me company. Then the first day of being alone came and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I broke down a few times but kept plugging along until I made it here…back to MI. On the flight I was worried…what am I going to do at home?? I don’t have my faithful pool that I have in Cali. I’ve been in the pool and at PT for 4-5 hours a day the past 3 weeks. So again… I was scared. How the hell would I escape the family craziness ????? But you know what?! I didn’t think twice…I just adapted. I found pools, I pulled out my parents Schwinn spin bike they bought almost 20 years ago! They paid $900 20 years ago for it and it still works great!!! I remember the day they bought it and I wondered…what the hell is a spin bike? Why is it soooo expensive?? It’s the same as the one I use at PT! So I don’t know why I was ever scared. Part of being an athlete is being able to adapt. Being able to make the very best of your situation and the most of your surroundings.
I’ve been thinking about all my friends this morning too. Wondering what they are all doing on this holiday and how they have each impacted my life this year and what they taught me. Strength, perseverance, loyalty, integrity, forgiveness, and passion. We all push each other in different ways. Mostly we push each other in a good way…sometimes we challenge each other too. But the fact that we get through the bad and come out stronger is what makes us REAL friends. We are from all over the world! Literally all over. We all have such diverse backgrounds. But we all came together through triathlons…or running. We all joined a MeetUp group with the intention of meeting people with similar interests because we were trying to adapt to where we were in life and we wanted to share our time with people like ourselves. Never in a million years did I think I would end up with such an AMAZING group of people. Now all of us are apart for the holidays, spending time with friends and family all around the world. Dom and Weston are heading North to Oregon. Weston, Dom’s boyfriend, just had knee surgery too! For like the 5th time haha. Marjan is working right now and probably did a half Ironman at the gym this morning J Seriously she is the most dedicated person I know when it comes to the gym. She has serious mental toughness! She will be with her Swedish family this holiday. Jen is spending her first Christmas as a newly engaged women!! You will hear more about Jen too. She starting doing tri’s about 1.5 years ago and had an INCREDIBLE year! I can only imagine how many times she will be on the podium in 2016. Her fiancé is also an incredible athlete. Catalina and Daniela are our Colombian Dynamite and Cata is our swim coach. Dani has endless energy and can get you through the toughest workout with all of her WUHOOOOS. Vero and Andrea are not pictured but we wouldn’t be complete without them! Vero is a seasoned athlete who got me to do my very first tri!! And Dea went from a 5K to a FULL marathon in 2015!! Oh and Jimena too! She is definitely going to do her first tri this year. And of course there is Graciela aka G. G is our tireless cheerleader. She comes to SO many of our events. She often trains with us and will hopefully do her first race this year! But honestly her dedication to cheering on her friends is incredible and appreciated beyond belief!
Bottom line is… 2015 was quit a year and 2016 holds so many new adventures. I couldn’t imagine a better group of people to share this crazy adventure, aka LIFE, withJ We refer to our tri team as family and for me that couldn’t be more true! These peeps are my family. I love to hear about stories about people coming together through hobbies… and I am so proud to share my storyJ Merry, Merry Christmas!! Enjoy every last minute of 2015…and get ready for a fabulous 2016!