I know, we all do that whole "Good Luck this weekend" thing, and I love it. Really, I do! I mean, when you think about it, wishing someone luck is more like wishing them well. It's our way of saying, "hey, I hope you get what you want out of it and your bike doesn't flat, your wetsuit actually comes off in one try, and you don't fall on your bike or on your face anywhere throughout the race." That's really truly it. That's what we're saying when write it, say it, hug it, whatever.
However, as we all well know, it isn't really about luck is it. I once heard that success is where preparation meets opportunity (I'm pretty sure that was intended to get me to practice my clarinet more in Jr. High band), but it's true right!? We put in the time, we train, we practice, we visualize, we pack all the needed items and then, if taper like we are supposed to (I know there are offenders out there on this one - not me, I sleep 9 hours like it is no ones business!), and if our mind is in the right place - we succeed.
Success has many definitions though. No ones definition of success is the same, nor should it be. For me, success this weekend will be to:
A. have a good attitude, focus on the task at hand, and push throughout the race
B. Encounter problems or issues and find ways to overcome them without getting flustered or giving up
C. Learning things to take with me for the rest of the racing season & get fitter so I can become a better athlete.
That's it. End of story. I'd like to try and pretend I had some grand plan of placing this or that, or making this or that time. If I said I did, I would be lying. I've got nothin, zippo, nada. I thought I might at this time of year last year when I signed up for the ELITE category (not sure what I was thinking there). That's ok, maybe I'll push a little harder that way, maybe I'll get a little fitter or just learn what it is like to start in a different wave and compete against "all women" instead of "all women in my age group" which will be good for me.
I like to be prepared, I like to do everything I can to get ready and race to my full potential, but in case you hadn't noticed, this is life, and life doesn't always go the way you want.
Chrissy Wellington (who will be there this weekend and I hope I can get a pic with her!) didn't hope to have a flat during the Ironman, but when she did, she made mistakes, and then fixed the flat, turned her bike over and raced the rest of that race like her pants were on fire. She didn't miss a beat. She kept her head together and that is what makes champions.
It's not always about having the best preparation, or the most miles in, it's about working with what you've been given to the best of your ability.
I've been racing for most of my life. Why? Humm.. still trying to figure that one out a bit myself. I guess because I love it, because I feel God smiling when I'm using the gifts he gave me, because I love pushing and challenging myself in ways that force me to examine who I am and what I am capable of doing with the help, love and support of my family and friends. Well, and because nothing compares to the feeling of crossing a finish line. Sometimes these days my finish line is just making it through the day, or getting a full night's sleep, or eating the things I'm supposed to, so I have a chance to practice it daily.
Triathlon is not who I am, it's what I do, but I doubt I would be the same without it at this point in my life. I'm excited to see friends this weekend and have good, healthy, friendly, competition and see some high numbers on that heart rate monitor to let me know I'm alive, and that I'm thankful to get to do what I love one more time.
Many, Many Good Luck's to all those who are racing & to those who will be at Columbia, and other places this weekend. If I know you or not, please come by and say hello if you see me trying to figure out what I am supposed to be leaving in the transition area. It's been awhile and I might need a bit of help! We are all in this crazy beautiful mess called life together. I pray for a legal and a safe race for all of us.
In the words of Ricky Bobby in Talladega nights, "I want to go fast Daddy" Well, let's do it then! See you this weekend on the course!