Welcome to 2018! It is always fun to look back in the rear view mirror and recall some key memories from 2017. When I raced, I would make a list of my assets prior to race day. That way, I had my best qualities front and centre as I entered the battlefield of competition. They included simple things such as “I am loved. I have great support. I never quit. I am a good problem solver.” These were qualities that were independent of racing but were good reminders of why I would be successful. Likewise, today, on January 1st, it is wonderful to recall 2017’s learnings, breakthroughs and celebrations.
Muneeb Ali said the following (as quoted in Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss) “When I’m old, how much would I be willing to pay to travel back in time and relive the moment that I’m experiencing right now?” This was a key “mindfulness” lesson in 2017 and it makes overwhelming or uncomfortable situations easier to deal with. Yes, running the Boston Marathon in April was humbling and painful but in 20 years, I would pay handsomely to feel that burn again. And that admission, in itself, makes it tough for me to decide whether to race Boston 2018 or not? Enduring long flights for work related adventures is always a challenge but in 20 years, I know I will hunger for those opportunities. And so that simple quote is a blessing I will carry with me into 2018. Even today, January 1st, I feel a bit bored but I know that I will wish for a “boring, lazy day” soon when life gets back to full capacity.
The gift of time with family and friends was a 2017 highlight. When I was younger, everyone was younger. Yes, that is obvious but as I age, I cherish every birthday celebration, reunion and holiday. I am grateful for my independent mother who is so full of life. Grateful for my brother’s reprieve from cancer. Grateful that my sisters are healthy and happy. Grateful for my friendships which have lasted over 35 years, my triathlon friends from the early days, my triathlon family all over the world and the new friends I am blessed with each day. Triathlon Canada’s November triathlon reunion bringing together my training and racing friends from 1989 and onward was one of the most epic days from 2017.
Running the Boston Marathon was a wonderful highlight. It was my slowest and toughest marathon but finishing was as sweet as victory. It was a privilege to share in that world class atmosphere and race with the elite women. Yes, in 20 years (or sooner, like “now”), I would pay handsomely to be invited to race with the elites again. Cramping from a lack of muscular resiliency wrecked havoc on the last 11 miles of the race but I got the job done with my deck of cards. Considering that I feel as if I am still recovering 8 months later from Boston, I am not sure if I will race there this April but never say never.
Being named as one of the captains for the International Team at the Collins Cup reignited my drive to make triathlon more professionally recognized. Modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, the Collins Cup will be a head to head to head battle of the 12 best European, International and American athletes on a big stage with big money. Our sport needs this and I am excited to be part of the team making this happen.
For 9 years, I have wanted to put pen to paper and write a book. I had a publisher request back in 2011 but life was busy and I did not seize the opportunity. But 2017 saw the completion of my manuscript An Unlikely Champion. It is not a biography. It’s about winning in life, about how to be the best you can be with the deck of cards you’re holding. It is about finding a path to fulfillment even when every path looks impassable. It is about having the courage to get out of your comfort zone, to be an eternal student and to turn seemingly inevitable failure into victory. It will share how your attitude trumps fact no matter what that fact is. So 2018 will be the year I officially call myself an author and can dedicate more time to speaking.
My 2017 health was good. I had many chest infections but no collapsed lung as in 2016 and no hospitalizations as in 2010. My achilles health was and will continue to be a “work in progress”. Sometimes it will be perfect and then all of a sudden, it will get grumpy. Fish oil. stretching, core and strength are my friends.
Coaching and management work continues to fire me up. Dave and I are blessed with a wonderful crew of athletes who inspire us. They are our friends and our clients and we would not have it any other way! Teaching and coaching are innate to us and we are grateful for another year of being entrusted with our athlete’s goals and dreams.
As a high achiever, I am often looking for what’s next. I thrive on goals. I am sometimes never satisfied. I want to do it all. I want to be the best wife, doggy mom, daughter, sister, coach, speaker, manager, author, athlete – and when that is all done, I need and want to do more. But as I reflect on 2017, I am grateful for my blessings and find fulfillment in just letting things be as is .. at least for now! Here is to a healthy and peaceful 2018.