I've wanted to write this post for awhile, but it's been a "struggle" to even get started (haha). No, really though, its undertones have been ringing through my mind for awhile. Some weeks they are more subtle and other weeks, they are glaring.
We all have our own struggles to face in this life and my life is no different. The struggle I'm more specifically referring to in this instance is the constant push and pull of dreaming big, loving my life and where I am right now, really wanting to "go for it", so to speak, and the urge to look to the next phase where things are a bit more settled, less travel, a few thousands of dollars less spent on triathlon and, hopefully, a little one to sing to sleep at night.
I feel so very blessed to have had the journey I've been on thus far. I've seen the world traveling for races. Kyle and I have had many a "race-cation" that have allowed us to explore Cozumel, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Lake Placid and so many more wonderful places. I've felt the thrill of victory and the very low times that come with any longevity in the sport. I've set extremely high expectations for myself and lofty goals and some of them, I've even reached. My mind tries to wrap itself around the next goal, the next big thing. My heart often feels a twinge of longing for another life on the other side of the extreme dedication to the sport I've been lucky enough to find as my release, my outlet and my passion.
At the beginning of this year, my Coach and I discussed goals for 2013. We thought that this year would be another learning year and that next year (2014) we would attempt to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As a pro, I have to meet a different set of qualifying standards by collecting points at each race. The top 28 women at the end of July will be chosen as the first qualifying group for Kona and the second 7 women will be the final remaining group to qualify at the end of August for the race in October.
Somewhere during the QT2 camp earlier this year, I realized I may be able to qualify this year and we readjusted our goals and possible schedule. Much of if there was even a remote possibility depended on Ironman Texas. If I did well, we would be in the running. If not, then we would readjust accordingly and go after other end of season goals. Ironman Lake Placid was the original plan, but after placing third in Texas, I was bumped up in points to be hovering around top 35 women and we knew we would have to go all in for the next two races to see if I could break into the second group of women to qualify. As of today, I'm in 50th place in the world among professional women with KPR points. Ironman Lake Placid isn't a very high points race so it would not longer make sense to go there if we were going after a possible Kona qualification. Instead I will be doing Racine 70.3 on July 21st and Ironman Mt. Tremblant (also known as the North American Championships) on August 18th.
I'm excited about the possibility of making it to the World Champs this year, but I also have a very healthy reverence and respect for how tough it will be to close in on these final two races with enough points to go this season. I watch other professional women with aspirations of doing the same racing often and very close together. Sometimes I even feel a slight twang of jealousy as I wait patiently for the next race that my coach and I have designed to provide me with the best opportunity to peak at the appropriate times for this season. I love to race so sometimes it's hard to be patient. Trusting Coach Jesse's judgement is paramount and without his help I wouldn't even be entertaining this option. Therefore, I'm putting my faith in the plan that I believe has been designed just for me from the man upstairs and by my coach. The goal is to think less and just execute and see where it lands me at the end of August.
It's hard sometimes because, like everyone else, the closer I feel to something the more I want to see it come to fruition. In my heart I do believe I'm capable of doing well enough to be on that starting line this October if things fall into place. At the same time, I realize that I will probably only spend another 2-3 years at most in the sport as a professional so the sooner I can move toward my goals, the better. However, as many of you know, putting additional pressure on yourself usually doesn't yield the results that we often hope to achieve.
In the end, there is only one choice and that's to trust I'll know. I'll know when I'm ready to move on to that next phase of my life because it will be very apparent and that the amount of dedication and level of commitment that this pro life requires is too much for me and that Kyle and I have other goals and things we want to do. He's making so many concessions along side me in all aspects of our life and that isn't something you can ask of someone forever. It's simply not fair. For now, I'll know that I'm right on the cusp of something pretty special and that even the opportunity to think I might be able to be with this elite group of only 35 women in the entire world is pretty special. Just to even ponder it is something I would have never dreamed when I set out on my first sprint triathlon 8 years ago, barely able to swim 25 yards.
The struggle will continue I'm sure. In the mean time I'll be working away, day by day, putting the time in and believing that if it's supposed to work out, then it will. My faith is strong and my belief that I've been placed in this particular situation for a reason trumps my fear that I'll be disappointed or disappoint others.
It's been quite the journey so far and I can't wait to see what's to come over these next few months. Thank you for your support and for sharing with me via email, facebook, comments and tweets. I'm incredibly blessed to be healthy and able to race at this point in the season when so many are injured and wishing they could be lining up at a start line so it's not something I ever take for granted.
Thanks for the cheers and support! Until then..