Monday, January 05, 2009

Goals & Remembering This is Why I Tri

I met me goal for December, just barely. I made it to 2 Maramarc workouts each week (one bike and strength training and one Saturday brick) and in addition I ran at least one other day a week, sometimes even two. I just barely made my goals, because today, I found out I have strep and have had it for the last 8 days. No wonder workouts have seemed harder and I've been struggling to keep my head above water.

But, it's the workouts that keep me sane.

This week has been one of the toughest weeks in my adult life. I try to keep things in perspective but it is hard. I draw strength from my friends. From my incredible husband and my children. And from music. And, workouts clear my head and set me free if only for a moment.

This is not the first time that training and triathlons have helped me turn an important corner in my life. I try to remember why I swam across the Chesapeake Bay and why I've decided I will do an Ironman one day. It is because I can. I have the dream, the desire, and the drive to conquer my biggest fears. To be stronger than I ever thought I could be. And to always do the right thing no matter how much it hurts. Without triathlons, I'm not sure that I'd know how to bear this pain. But they have taught me to look to the finish, to see the big picture, to keep perspective and to keep my head up. They have taught me that my strength can be found in helping others and in confronting my biggest fears.

Tonight, I learned about another inspiring woman who feels the same way. And so tonight, I remember nothing is easy. And that challenges can be incredibly inspiring and an incredible source of strength. And that maybe things like this change you forever. And probably they should. And just because something hurts doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. And just because you feel alone doesn't mean you are. There is always room in a hurting heart for hope and for inspiration.

"The biggest fear I've ever had is dark water," she said. "And the biggest urge I had was to face my fear. That's why I decided to do marathon swimming. "... I imagined myself doing it. I believed."

.....[She], conquered the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim three times, using her fear of the ominous, murky deep as motivation to quickly churn through the 31-mile course along the Harlem, Hudson and East rivers.

When she first plunged into the chilly waters in 1982, she'd never swum more than two miles at a time. The water was so "black and yucky," she couldn't see her hands in front of her. She swam through old cardboard boxes, melons and rats.

"One of the other competitors ran into a corpse," she said. "They didn't finish."

But Clark did finish. Last.

She completed the course in 9 hours, 30 minutes and couldn't wait to try again. More than a year later, she posted a record time of 6:52.15, faster than any woman had gone before.

"I was that inspired," Clark said. "Marathon swimming isn't important, but the lessons are. One of the lessons I learned is that facing my fear is a parable to facing issues. Persevering, finding power in my weakness. My biggest weakness was dark water. That fear was the fuel made it possible for me to swim."


Nancy Toby said...

Great post! Just what I needed to read today!

SusieQ said...

Really enjoyed this post!
Very inspiring (I'm afraid of dark, murky water too)

TriGirl 40 (okay - 41) said...

Hey - sorry to hear you've had a rough time this past month.

Wishing you a much better 2009 - full of friends, family and great training!

Nikole said...

Sorry to hear this week has been so tough. Thinking of you.