Do Things!

Wow, it’s amazing where life can take you! Two years ago I wouldn’t even IMAGINE I’d be getting ready to do my first Half Ironman next month. I’m also just blown away by the great people triathlon has brought into my life, the joy it brings, and the opportunities that present themselves seemingly out of the blue. This has been an amazing two weeks…am I overusing the word amazing? Amazing is a common thread in my blog, is even in the name of my developing website, trimazing.com, and my twitter name (TrimazingCindy), and it truly describes my state of awe!

With ultrarunner Scott Jurek

The day after the Blue Lake Olympic Triathlon I had an opportunity to meet an amazing athlete (this is my celebrity encounter I teased about in my last blog!), Scott Jurek. Scott is a record-holding ultrarunner, in that he runs a minimum of 100 mile events, primarily primitive trails at that. He’s also vegan.

I received a Facebook invite from the Herbivore Clothing Company to meet Scott at a reception they were holding for him. It was a great intimate venue, complete with vegan snacks from his new book Eat & Run. When I arrived, there were four of us! How awesome to have one on one time with him to talk and really get to meet him.

I hadn’t read his book yet, so I got a copy and approached him to sign it for me. Scott was absolutely approachable and down to earth, and not like any celebrated athlete I’d met before…he wanted to talk about me, not himself. Our conversation was him asking about me. We talked about endurance events, running and triathlon, he wanted to know how long I’d been vegan and why, and he was really interested in the fact that I was a firefighter. He asked excitedly, “Do you know Rip?!?” meaning Rip Esselstyn, the vegan Austin (Texas) firefighter who authored The Engine 2 Diet. He was really looking forward to meeting him and then said, “You could totally be the female counterpart to Rip!” Cracked me up!

After searching for the perfect pen, Scott signed my copy of his book, and I love what he wrote—”Do Things Always!!” A theme running through his book is, “Sometimes you just do things,” it is his mantra, used to get him through tough times, to pull from deep inside, to take advantage of unexpected opportunities that present themselves, to make hard decisions. Little did I know I would need this just a few days later…

My message from Scott Jurek

I have been formulating my plan for next year’s racing season…yes, already! I had been planning on doing the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Ireland August 2013; everyone around me knew this, I’ve told everyone I knew, started designing my tri kit for the Olympic distance triathlon I’d be competing in. I’d been tossing around the idea of doing a full distance Ironman too, after seeing how my Vineman 70.3 goes, but had nothing specific in mind—it was kinda on the back burner. Last Friday afternoon, however, threw a monkey wrench (yes, Dad, a left-handed monkey wrench!!) into everything! As many of you know, the World Triathlon Corporation announced Friday the inaugural event of Ironman Tahoe (IMT), September 22, 2013 and that registration would open MONDAY at noon. Wow, did the buzz start immediately!

I felt excited and nauseated simultaneously. What an opportunity, to participate in an inaugural Ironman event. Moreover, it’s being held three days after my birthday and would make up for the Irongirl sprint triathlon I had to cancel the day after my 40th birthday last year. It seemed like a sign.

I was at work when I got the notification. I went outside and sat on the bulkhead behind the station in the sunshine to think. My crew came out and inquired what was up and we talked about the pros and cons, my concerns, and they encouraged me to do it. I was still not convinced. Walking back into the station, I decided to do one of my favorite summertime things…sit on the front bumper of the fire engine in the apparatus bay and watch the world go by. As I sat there, I thought about all the tough things I’ve done…the firefighter recruit academy, starting triathlons, etc and how I overcame challenges, both physical and mental. I kept hearing Scott Jurek say, “Sometimes you just do things.” I was worried about the bike…it’s a tough hilly course at high elevation; the swim wasn’t a worry, and the marathon is an unheard of flat course. Suddenly, in my peripheral vision, a very old Hispanic man appeared, pushing his bicycle up the hill in front of the station. When he was directly in front, he looked over at me, flashed a great big smile and then gave me a thumbs up, pumping his arm in the air as he did it! That’s a sign! He got to the edge of the driveway, put down his bike and gestured for me to come over to him. I thought, “Oh my goodness, he looks just like Ketut Liyer, the Balinese Shaman from Eat, Pray, Love (a pivotal book for me)…he has something to tell me, to guide me? He searched though his bags…he couldn’t talk. I waited, it had to be a sign. He searched and searched and I patiently waited until he found what he was looking for and thrust a business card for his landscaping business and pointed at the fire station’s front lawn! Boy did I get a huge laugh at myself! But, I still think it was a sign…I was worried about the bike and his appearance was important.

I decided over the weekend, with help from Portland Triathlon Club friends, swimming friends, and Mother Superior, to sign up for Ironman Tahoe, my first full distance Ironman. This decision means postponing the Police and Fire World Games until they come to the US in 2015, but that’s ok. I will need to really work on my bike skills, will get a tri-specific bike at the end of this season, and work with my many friends also going to IMT on cycling and do altitude training around the Pacific NW. Mother Superior had the stressful task of registering for me and I’m in! Woo Hoo!

A couple of things to share about the Blue Lake Triathlon two weeks ago…

This  YouTube video came out this week, it’s really cool. They had these little remote control helicopters at the event filming everything, so it’s a great birds eye view of the course.

And just an image to remember to take in the joy of triathloning…my friend’s 10 year old son doing his first triathlon at Blue Lake. What JOY on his face, and it was there for the whole event!

My friend Glen and his son coming into T1

May you continue to be amazed, Do Things, and remember the joy of the event…ALWAYS!

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