Monday, November 10, 2008

Hurricane Holiday and Back to Reality

Were back in one piece after 4 days of  what I'm calling a "Hurricane Holiday".  Hurricane Paloma didn't hit Jamaica but the spectacle that she left in her wake was pretty destructive.  12 to 15 foot seas outside our beachfront room, damage to the beach, two obliterated piers, one broken up wedding gazebo plus a shoreline littered with debris made for a vacation like no other..

Steve and I played in the puddles...spent some time getting massages and watching the waves from our patio just a few feet from shore.  I believe vacation is what YOU make of it.  No, it wasn't perfect.  I would have much preferred to come home with a suntan but the most important thing is that I got to spend time with my husband.  

Its kinda like my race experience..

I would have much preferred to come home with a medal and the "glory" of being called an Ironman.  I won't lie.  I sat on the beach and cried.  I am disappointed.  But the most important thing of it is: What did I learn?  What did I get from this experience? Who did I meet? Who enriched my life? Who's life did I TOUCH (if anyone's)?  What will I do differently? How will this make me stronger?  What POSITIVE things can I take away from Ironman Florida 2008?

I meet the most amazing people.  Approximately 40 people from BeginnerTriathlete.com ran Ironman Florida and I got to meet most of them.  What an incredibly inspiring group of people. I meet Ironman veterans who gave me loads of advice.  I survived the swim start, the nerves at the sound of the cannon (which believe me, if you have never seen an Ironman start, its terrifying).  I had a woman who I have never met with a sign at Transition as I left for the bike course "Melissa...you're my hero".  Oh my god, how unbelievable is that. And at mile 12 and 23, small lonely signs that read "Melissa...#55...we love you" .  My friends got up in the middle of the night and put out those signs.  I'm so lucky.  I have learned so much.

Its more than a medal and tears are normal (or so I'm told).  For some people, the road to Ironman is shorter.  For others, the road is longer.  For Sarah Reinertsen (the first female above knee amputee to run the Ironman World Championships), the quest for Ironman took 2 attempts.  For Scott Johnson, a double lung transplant patient, it took 3 attempts.  For a good friend of mine, Jennifer, who suffered from an infection just 5 days before the race and got out of the hospital a few days before the event,  her first "official" finish took 2 attempts (she completed Ironman Florida 2008--you go girl).  I look around and there are so many people from which I can learn.  There are so many people who's journey is so inspiring.  I need to embrace the fact that I am going to be an Ironman ... its just going to take a little longer.

While I was away, my business partner took a call from a local news station that wants to do a story on me.  My first reaction was: why?  I didn't finish.  The reporter said the fact that I wanted to try AGAIN was a story in itself.  Most people would walk away.  Most people would just admit that its too hard.

Its not too hard. Anything is possible if you believe.  It just requires more work on my part.  Bottom line: I gotta get to work!!!

4 comments:

The Running Girl said...

Sorry that the hurricane affected your vacation, but it sounds like you have a great attitude in life and did not let it bother you. You have a great attitude about Ironman as well, and you WILL finish.

Sarah said...

You have the right attitude. You will be an Ironman. Hell, I already think you are, but now it's just semantics of crossing that damn tape ;)

I have a couple shots of you getting on your bike out of T1 if you want them, let me know!

Angelina said...

I have been wondering how it went and was waiting to hear news from you but then someone pointed me to your blog! I'm so sorry that you didn't get to finish but you will get it next time. You are such an inspiration!

Kathy said...

Way to go - great attitude Melissa!