Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Women of Strength

A Strong Woman Versus A Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out everyday to keep her body in shape. But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn't afraid of anything. But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.
A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her. But a woman of strength gives her best to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future. A woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God's blessings and capitalizes on them.
A strong woman walks sure footedly. But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.
A strong woman wears a look of confidence on her face. But a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey. But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
I received these wise words in an email yesterday from my church back home, and they have been resonating with me ever since.
My journey to my first tattoo was embarked upon because four friends had become very close my freshman year and we wanted to permanently mark this time with a seal that would bond us together (what I thought, forever - not a surprise, we've lost touch). I decided on a butterfly because I really like them at the time. It was turned to the side and a pretty unique interpretation. Looking back, honestly, I didn't really give much thought to the fact that I would be wearing it for quite some time!

During my sophomore year I traveled to spring break in Atlanta. As if my first tattoo wasn't enough for my poor Mother to handle, I decided it was time to go round two. This time, I thought a bit more about what I wanted to be on my body specifically.

I gave some serious thought to what I represented as a person and what I wanted my life to be about (at the ripe old age of 20). At this point, I was well into my first year as a walk-on to the Penn State cross country team, and I was excited about what it meant to be part of something bigger than myself again. I had missed that camaraderie and testing my abilities in an athletic sense. I was putting myself on the line daily in practice and trying like crazy to prove that even as a walk-on, I was supposed to be on this team and would someday contribute to it's success.
So, I looked up the Chinese symbol for strength, and in half an hour, I walked out with it on my right thigh.

I've always liked both of my tattoos though. Most of the time I forget they exist until someone comments on them during a swim or a run. You really can't even see them unless I'm in my suit or running shorts.
Over the last two weeks Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 has been looming in the back of my mind. No matter where I go, or what I would do, it was always there - as were the questions. How would I do? Was I ready? My life was such a mess, how could I think I would do well?
At some point I decided none of it really mattered. I needed to get over myself and just go down to Texas and do something I loved to do, end of story. We all would love to know we're going to have great results or that we're completely prepared going in. Actually, in the last two days I've picked up a bug so I'd just like to go in feeling healthy at this point!! I'd settle for that!!
On Sunday, the most important thing is to be thankful I made it to the start line. That itself will be a victory for me.

I'll be traveling to this race alone. This will be the first time I have ever done such a thing and I'm scared. I'm not sure of what - eating alone? being alone with my thoughts? My bike being in pieces and not knowing what to do? I'm sure it's all of the above.

A women of strength will not get scared though. Or if she does, she'll know how to deal with it because she's been given the tools to handle it. I have great family, friends, bloggers and many more people praying for me and looking out for me from all over the country. Healthy or not, scared or not, I'm going to do my best...end of story.
Through even the scary parts, I'm hoping to show that I believe I'm supposed to be there racing on Sunday.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey. But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

I don't believe I'm there yet, but maybe someday I will be and maybe this part of my life is a part of that process.

I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to race once here we go! Thank you to all of you who have been there for me, are there for me now and will be there in the future. I couldn't do this without you.

I'm drinking ecinecha tea, taking vitamin c and trying like heck to get over this bug!!

Good luck to everyone who is racing all over the country this weekend! Great Job to Marit who did her first Ironman last weekend at IMCDA! You're amazing!
See you in Texas!

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