New job, new apartment, new friends, new experiences, new pair of running shoes, you name it. The purpose of this challenge was to find something every single day for 100 days that could make you happy. It started out with a girl’s night out and has taken me through injury, frustration, people moving away and disappointment. But that’s not the point. You can focus on the good even when there is bad. Some days, I struggled to find what could make me happy. We can make endless excuses not to be happy. But you can also find just as many, if not more, reasons that you should be happy. There are so many things we surround ourselves with every day that make us happy: family, friends, pets, boyfriends/girlfriends, running paths, the smell of gasoline when you pump gas into your car, trying a new food for the first time, throwing yourself off a mountain (paragliding), discovering where you fit in this world. It’s recognizing the happiness in you that is the real challenge.
This experience took me out of my comfort zone of sharing many day to day things and struggles throughout my every day life, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. So, to keep recognizing that happiness, I am going to continue the journey of another #100happydays. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go with a theme or not, or just let every day lead me to happiness. What makes you happy?
For the past few months, my life has been a bit of a roller coaster. I got tired about writing about my knee and shin injuries. I got tired of having knee and shin injuries. It was so discouraging to see other teammates and friends around me being able to do work outs, while I was stuck in no man’s injury land. I felt isolated and scared. What if my injury doesn’t heal in time for Ironman? What if I can’t do Ironman? What if I can’t run like I did before? It plagued me and chewed me and spit me out.
Then, finally, last week I started running again. Without pain. For the first time since March 1, at Ironman New Zealand, I started running again. I can’t even begin to describe my elation at being able to just run. Oh god, how I missed it. Running has sort of become the reason I love doing Ironmans. Swimming has been ingrained into me. Biking is a constant challenge that I haven’t quite figured out yet. But running….man, it makes me feel infinite. And I had forgotten what that happiness, that joy, felt like to run.
Now, I’m still scared as hell that I won’t be ready for Ironman Lake Tahoe on September 21. It’s barely 3 months away. When I run and bike, I can still feel my legs there, wanting to go where they have been before, that there is some kind of base that they haven’t forgotten what they are supposed to do. But I think it is my mind that is still holding me back. That deep, dark place I have been stuck in for the past 3 ½ months. Questioning. Questioning. Doubting. Aching to run again. But that doubt, that fear, that questioning if I am capable of doing those things is the only thing holding me back. But I can’t let fear affect my destiny. So screw it.
This past weekend, I went to support my best friend, Julia, and other past Team and Training friends at the Escape from Alcatraz. As I sat in the bleachers watching people cross the finish line, there were some things I reflected on and realized that are some of my race day pet peeves.
- When people wear the race gear from the expo for the race. Sorry, but you’re not allowed to wear the Escape From Alcatraz tri kit during the race, because well, you haven’t finished the race yet! Not to mention that very familiar mantra that is ingrained into our tri brains, “Nothing new on race day.” Can you say chafing? Ouch.
- That annoying team who are not considerate at all. You know who I am talking about. There’s always that one team that just seems like its full of jerks. And it might just be a generalization because one person passed you on the right side during the bike and cut you off, and another person from their same team also ran you over repeatedly during the swim. It just happens, but sometimes it’s hard not to take that stuff personally.
- That person who passes you in the finish chute. You’re chugging along at your race pace, feeling the glory as you are about to cross over that finish line, and all of a sudden, someone comes sprinting up behind you and ruins your race photo and your moment to shine. (I may or may not be one of those people. #yougotchicked)
- The person who is doused in sunscreen and looks like the walking dead. I know it’s for protection from the sun but sorry not sorry, you look like a zombie.
- I’ve mentioned this before but it is probably my ultimate pet peeve of all time is the person cheering who yells “You’re almost there!” Unless I can see the finish line and it’s less than a 200 yards away, don’t even say this. Better yet, just don’t ever say it.
What are your race day pet peeves?