To say it has been a “full” 2018 would be an understatement. But this picture was a moment of calm in April. Dave and I took a 2 day holiday to St. Pete Beach and tried to unwind from the winter of creating a book, training for Boston, coaching, managing athletes and events and formalizing my professional speaking portfolio. It was a big ask for me to unwind but playing with Fenway in the Gulf of Mexico off of Pass-a-Grille Beach is always a sure way to live in the moment.
This winter I self-published my first book, An Unlikely Champion.
That means every single decision about creating and selling a book was ours. We applied for the IBSN number, we hired an editor, got a cover made, hired a layout person, found a printer, proofed and re-proofed, edited and re-edited, thought about how to best ship it, decided on the number of pages, figured out pricing, found pictures, got permission to use the photos – and of course, wrote the content! I did not realize how much internal stress there was until the printer pressed print. From January until March 5th, I woke up at least 5 times a night in a sweat. When decisions had to be made, I would break out in a sweat. And then, when we proofed the last copy for the printer, I slept through the night. Dave could ask me a question and I would not sweat. Yes there was clearly stress but I really cannot say that I felt “stressed”. I functioned well. I exercised everyday. I walked Fenway 3 times a day as usual. I did all of my usual work as a coach, agent, author, speaker. But something magical happened when we did our final proof-read and the printer pressed print. My dream of sharing my tactics to be your best self were finally on paper to share with any reader wanting to learn to be their own Unlikely Champion.
We did a book launch at the 2XU flagship store at Vaughan Mills north of Toronto at the end of March. 2XU was a long time partner of mine when I raced and I am wearing a custom 2XU uniform in the picture on the cover of the book. Then I did another launch with my Florida family at Gear For Multisport at the National Training Centre in Clermont. We are having another at the end of May at Spirit Tree Cidery at their SPIRITed festival from 12-8 pm on Saturday May 26th – https://www.spirittreecider.com/get-spirited – 1137 Boston Mills Road, Terra Cotta. Hope to see you there.
I also joined ProSpeakers which is a professional speaking circuit. You can find the link here – https://www.prospeakers.com/speakers/lisa-bentley/
And then there was the great Boston Marathon. I was hesitant to commit to racing until February when I realized, if you can run, then why not? I was pretty excited to get to run with some of the athletes I coach and with some friends. On race day, the weather was horrific. It rained from start to finish. It was 3 degrees Celsius but with a 40 kph headwind making it feel like sub-zero and clearly slowing everyone in this point to point marathon. But in spite of the extreme conditions, I really did love it. I was happy to be running and my only goal was to keep moving, stay warm and get to the finish line. One of the biggest challenges was negotiating my PowerGels for nutrition. That process required removing my neoprene glove, holding it in my other hand, reaching for Gel, putting my glove back on using my teeth careful not to drop my gel or the glove. Either scenario would have been a nightmare – my hand would have frozen without my glove and my energy would have failed without the gel. Pacing was the least of my worries. I truly did “run happy” and while it was my slowest marathon to date, I did the best I could with my deck of cards – soggy cards – shivering cards – chattering cards! I finished 5th in my AG and both Kimberly and Ivan ran really well and within minutes of their goal times.
And now we wait for summer and a great season of racing! I look forward to seeing everyone at the races and hearing about your goals!
But I want to leave you with an update about Makena who I mentioned in an earlier post. (parts of this are in my book and parts of it are brand new since this is happening now!)
I met Cameron and Makena, 2 children with CF, in New Zealand in 2002. This led to a connection with their mother, Tracey Richardson and Tracey raced Ironman New Zealand to raise money so that children with CF would have access to sport. As it ends up, she was then invited to race the Ironman World Championships in 2004 and we raced together. It was an incredible turning point for me in my career since I desperately wanted to win the race to put an “exclamation point” on this fundraising campaign. She raised $800,000! (this is all in my book).