Starting lines and finish lines: How to be Grateful

Sunrise before Ironman Boulder 70.3

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

Here’s my confession: I haven’t run a step or biked a mile since Rev3 Knoxville two weeks ago. I’m going a little stir-crazy.

I took the normal week off that I always take after a 70.3 distance event and this week I’ve been recovering from a minor surgery. Two weeks. That’s hard for me. I’m not used to laying around that much. I know it’s good for me to recover, but I’m the kind of person who has to be active. I have to be striving for something or at least releasing my stress through activity.

It occurs to me though that despite my discomfort with all of this rest, that it’s the best thing for me. I trained hard all winter for Knoxville. The relief and feeling of achievement were great when I finished the race, but I was tired. Tired in a lot of ways. I needed the break. But here I am in the thick of that break and I can’t get comfortable. I’m squirming and resisting it mentally. I know stillness is good, but  knowing doesn’t make it any easier.

Yesterday I stayed in bed all day – never moved. I’m fairly sure I was battling a case of food poisoning that I got from a salad I ate for lunch on Wednesday. Nothing humbles you like being completely helpless and weak. Body aches, cold sweats, pounding headache. Your mom brought me Gatorade, Sprite, and saltines throughout the day and you kids occasionally peaked in on me to say Hi.

As I laid there I thought about how blessed I am to be strong and healthy, most of the time. Over the years, I’ve seen and done so many things in life, because I’ve been physically strong enough to get to them. The views from atop Flagstaff Mtn in Boulder, Wayah Gap in North Carolina, Lookout Mtn. in Chattanooga, Mt. Cheaha in Alabama, starting lines across the country, and finish lines too.

So, yesterday I was hurting and weak. I couldn’t even get to the stairs to come down. And you guys, my family, were my strength. You took care of me and in that I appreciated the beauty of both a healthy body and a healthy family.

Yesterday I was thankful for rest, my strength when I have it, and our healthy loving family. I wish everyone could have these things and I’m certainly grateful that I do. I’ll rest a little more and then it’s time to start training again for the rest of my season.

Here a few pictures from this week:

Max, here you are striking your best “bike hero” pose. You’re refueling on Cheez-Its. Thatta boy! Keeping it real.

Izzy, you got a haircut this week. After a few years of wanting to grow your hair long you finally decided to go back to your signature hair style. I’m not too proud to say that I cried when I saw it. My baby is back! You were cute later that evening as we discussed how you’d do your hair during gymnastics. You suggested pinning it back like that “triathlon girl with yellow hair.” I showed you a picture of Mirinda Carfrae in a magazine and you said “Yeah! Her!”

A few days ago I came outside to find this scene. You two sure look guilty. This is your idea of deck graffiti on our newly stained/painted deck. It’ll wash right off, but you two weren’t so sure.

Are you kids ready for a week at the beach?

Je t’aime mon bebes,

– Daddy