Friday, March 8, 2013


“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.” 

Over the last few weeks I keep randomly starring at the scar on my knee from Lake Placid of last year. It feels like forever-ago and just yesterday at the same time.  In the end, I'm so glad that I have my scars.  From the scar on my hip from my very first road rash, to my Clearwater collarbone smashfest to Lake Placid, they each tell a story of my life.  A story that will never be forgotten.  Those scars are so much more than physical.  They are mental and coming back from each of them was hard, but was so worth it.  At one point or another, all of us are scarred, bruised, battered.  We have setbacks and things that come up that we have never envisioned.  What will we do with that information, with the event, with our life, our thoughts?  Will we be resilient or will we crumble under the weight of the world.

As we drove back from Lake Placid last year I felt pretty crushed.  My first professional race seemed on the outside like a total bomb.  Some people wrote me off, some people sent me text messages trying to bring me down and make me question my own coach, but some people, when I was down, they carried me.  They lifted me up, listened to me and made me smile.  They told me stories of those who overcame and helped me to focus on the positive things in my life.  I'll never forget how they helped me during that time when part of me honestly felt like giving up the sport all together.  My confidence was at an all time low and you know what my coach said?  He said "that was a fluke, that wasn't you Kim.  If you need me over the next two weeks at any point, I will be here.  You're in a fragile place and that's when I'm on call for whatever you need to talk about."  He meant it.  It was a game changer to have that kind of support.

On a ride somewhere in the middle of August with my friend Beth and Geoff, somehow the subject of conversation turned to Cedar Point which was just a few weeks away.  We laughed and both of my friends reiterated how much they believed in me and that they had no doubt that I was going to have the race of my life.  Geoff also was leaving the area, but as a chemical engineer he mentioned that one of the things he had access to the ability to mint certain items in different metals.  I thought that was SOOO COOOL I told him!  We all laughed and I said "Oh sure, how about this, if I place at Cedar Point and finally break that dang 10 hour mark, let's mint my first pro season Newtons!"  Without hesitation, he said "Deal!"

 Finally, it all came together and I had the one solid race.  That was all I needed..

The day came together and I knew I was right where God wanted me to be and that everything was going to be just fine.  What a relief it was!  When I came back my friends were elated and ready to celebrate with me.  It felt really really good!

Well and Geoff, he made good on his promise!  He never forgot our little conversation out on the road.  I couldn't believe it when these came in the mail.  He left for his new home of Portland, but took the time to make me this awesome plaque with my name, race and time.  I didn't win, I didn't even podium, but this was the best hand made with care and friendship award I could have ever received! It felt like a brand new start.

How lucky am I that I have all of these people who I know are there in thick and thin.  It's time to step up to the starting line again and I have so much to look forward to this year.

After connecting with Andres Douzogolu, the owner of Beyond Aero Sports Marketing, Sales and Athlete Representation, during our Google+ hangout which you can find HERE, I really liked what he stood for and was so thankful that he felt the same way!  So, this season I'll be working with his company to create synergies, bounce ideas around and see what we can't stir up to work with some great companies to promote their interests and develop relationships.  I couldn't be more excited about this new partnership!

Finally, I always want racing to be about more than just me because frankly, it is.  I race for so many reasons, but just a few are to inspire others, have a platform to reach out and do positive things and to use the gifts I've been given for reasons bigger than just my own personal gratification.  This year every single race I do will be dedicated to a special person who deserves it more than you can imagine.

In less than 10 days I'll be lining up at the start line of San Juan 70.3 for my first race of the season.  Two years ago in Cozumel 2010 I met Pastor Bob McCartney.  It was his first Ironman and we were staying at the same resort so we did some biking together before the race.  He had the amazing story of losing over 80 lbs over the course of his triathlon training and had such as passion for the sport.

He and his family were just a joy to be around and Kyle and I loved getting to know them.
We've kept in touch and this year he was going for his second crack at Ironman at Lake Placid this July.  Unfortunately, he found out he had thorasic outlet syndrome and was in a lot of pain.  Instead of Ironman Lake Placid, he would be getting surgery, not a great trade in my opinion!  I could feel his spirit crushing over his message to me asking Kyle and I to pray for him during this tough time.

My heart just went out to him and his family.  I know this was impacting all of them and although the road after surgery would be long, I know, because of my own history, that Bob can come back stronger and better than ever before.  The doctors are confident that after 2-3 months Bob will be back on his bike and he's even hoping to do a half iron later in the year.

At some point we are all struggling.  We all have scars and our own issues that arise.  It's what we do with the information and issues that matter.  When I think about Bob and how much he would like to be on a starting line it helps me to get over any issues I might have and just thank my lucky stars that I am able to compete and be healthy enough to get out there no matter the outcome.  My scars have shown me just how possible it is to come back from the darkest of days.  I know Bob will find that out as well.

So, Bob - KEEP THE FAITH!  I'll be rooting for you for 4.5 hours (approximately) next Sunday in San Juan!  Don't give up on your dreams.. they are right around the corner.  God Bless you and your family.

Kutless - What Faith Can Do (Official Music Video) by Kutless-Official

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.” 


Mon Amour said...

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome during my freshmen year of college. Before the doctors knew what was going on they told me I was having a stroke. I had to quit swimming but have since found triathlon. At the end of my swimming career I had three surgeries: TOC, rotator cuff, and a finger that got completely crushed during practice that I was told might as well be amputated. I bounced back from two of those surgeries and after the third I turned to running and triathlon. I look at my scars when I need motivation to push harder or when I need a reminder of what I have gone through and how strong I really am. You are an amazing triathlete and I truly believe that nothing but good will come for you this year :)

Brad E Holewinski said...

It is no wonder you are one of three that I credit for saving my life.