I recently returned from Madison, Wisconsin after an awesome weekend of being a spectator and volunteer for the 2010 Ford Ironman Wisconsin. Meeting friends and family of the competitors as well as speaking to a few of the athletes themselves was so incredibly inspiring. Cheering on the racers while passing out water and sports drinks at mile 22 of their full 26.2 mile marathon was amazing - and dang - even after already completing a 2.4 mile swim in Lake Monona and an 112 mile bike ride on an incredibly challenging course - they looked gooooood. Damn good. Seeing people at the finish line being embraced by their loved ones was so moving and I could only imagine what it felt like for not only the athlete, but for his or her family as well to have together accomplished such an amazing and life changing goal.
On Monday morning of this week, I stood in line with several other hundred people to register for the 2011 Ford Ironman Wisconsin. Many were accomplished athletes who have competed in dozens of marathons, Olympic distance triathlons, half Ironmans and even Ironmans. But I suspect many more were just like me: people who are not professional athletes by any stretch of the imagination, but rather ordinary people with ordinary lives who wish to embark upon an extraordinary journey to push the limits of what one's mind, body and spirit can do in hopes to learn more about themselves - and this amazing gift called life - along the way.
Registering for the race was the easy part. I won't lie - I'm a tad worried that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but what can I say, that's just how I tend to operate. Go big or go home. Not trying wasn't really an option because I figured I'd have to spend the rest of my life thinking "You know, more than anything, I really wanted to try to complete an Ironman during my 40th year on earth, and I didn't." I'm the first to admit that making a decision based on the question "How would I feel if I didn't do it?" versus "How would I feel if I did do it?" isn't always the most rational, but again, that's just who I am. I'm the first to acknowledge that this goal for me seems akin to climbing Mt. Everest without any oxygen, but it's what I want to do and I'm hell-bent on giving it the best shot that I can. (I guess some things never change - in my referral papers, I was described as "a determined and almost stubborn little girl". So much for the 'almost' part!)
So there you have it. I'm an aspiring Ironman in training. And can I just say, I now know where the phrase "Ignorance is bliss" derived its meaning from. Racing 140.6 miles in 17 hours in theory sounds like fun, but breaking it all down and seeing what the commitment really looks like in terms of how many hours I need to train each day, well - it still sounds like fun, but in a work-really-really-hard fun kind of way.
To that end, I've decided that something - okay - lots of somethings - need to give. I'm still working part-time in my kids' school district and was just hired to be an advisor for an incredible after-school program for middle-school aged girls. It's not that I'm any busier than anyone else, it's just that I know myself and know how much time I can (or cannot) allow for a certain endeavor. This is the exact reason I'm not on FB. My plan to spend "just 15 minutes" on it would too easily turn into one, two or even several hours. Sad, I know, but I just know myself too well.
While I don't mean this to be a good-bye as in forever, I do feel it's necessary to say that I'll be on an extended vacation and that I don't know when I'll be coming back. I'm not sure how often - if at all - that I'll be checking this blog or any other of my favorite adoption ones - not because I don't enjoy them, but because I just don't think I will have the time. I know how selfish and arrogant this sounds, and I promise I don't mean it to come off as such, but these parameters are being drawn for my own well-being and the tough love in my training program has to start somewhere. :)
I will still be checking email, so please feel free to find me there if you'd like to stay in touch. Fellow adoptees, please know that I will always have time for you. :)
Until the next time.