Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fulltime triathlete

How do I love being a full time triathlete? Let me count the ways:

1. I don't have to deal with jackasses anymore. There are many sub-headings under this heading but if you want the whole scoop, look back at my blog at the beginning of this month. (God, has it only been a month?) What a difference June makes. Anyhow, the main point is no more verbal abuse/making me doubt myself. I am strong now and getting stronger.

2. I am not being drowned in the sea of corporate "culture." I don't have to wear a hat with a name tag. The only thing close to that is when the number gets painted on my arm, pasted on my bike and my helmet and put around my waist. I don't have to fill out forms to request time off for my life. Now I am with my peers. There's a song called Galvanize by the Chemical Brothers. That is my theme song. "There's a party over here - so you might as well be here - where the people care." That's the swim start. "Push that button." There's my fingers on my bar end shifters on my bike about to turbo it into the big ring.

3. I chose with whom I surround myself. It's not that I'm being careful. It's a really easy decision, actually. If you make me cry, you're outta here because Ironmen don't cry. We exhaust ourselves and hurt to the point we're wincing and sometimes wonder why we do this to ourselves. But when I'm on the podium next year at IM Louisville in front of my entire family, there is nothing, nobody who can convince me that it's not worth it.

4. I am physically/mentally stronger everyday. Epilepsy who? Coma what? There was a time in my life when I was strong enough to remove myself from unconsciousness. Call it what you will but I had a choice as to where I went. When it was dark, I had a decision to make. No bright light in a tunnel. It was simple. I could live or I could die. Dying would be comfortable and cozy in its simplicity. Living, on the other hand, would mean seizures to fight, walking/eating/reading/speaking to learn again. Previous years that are no longer in my memory. These are things I fight to this very day and I'm not going to say I don't feel sorry for myself sometimes. But with every stroke of my arms in the water, every hill I pedal up and every mile I run, I'm confident in my decision to remain here to hear, "YOU are an Ironman!"

So, how do I like being a full time triathlete? I couldn't ask for anything better.