I am way overdue for a blog post so instead of finding the perfect wording, I will give a snapshot of 2016 and line up the incredible 2017 ahead!
A very painful chronic Achilles syndrome brought me to the great Dr. Alfredson in Sweden who surgically corrected my 7-year-old injury. And now, 1 year later, I can confirm that I am joyfully running pain-free and am forever grateful for my wise Swedish doctor!
I was doing my first walk/run 6 weeks post surgery – 30 sec jog – 1:30 walk – and gradually progressed under the watchful eye of Steve Hill and Scap. By February, I was running about 60 minutes. In mid-April, I ran my first 5k at the Park Run in Clermont. In May, I ran the Sporting Life 10k and was 100% pain-free! I still get pain from friction. The most painful thing is removing my wetsuit and dragging the neoprene over my heel where the bursa used to be. The great thing about this injury and surgery is that I never ever miss a run. I missed 6 months of running in 2015. Every run is a blessing! I even got to win a few races and while I am not as fast as in 2014, I am not being held back by anything in particular.
Professionally, coaching continued to be a huge focus with 5 athletes racing in the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona – coached age group athletes Deb, Joyce and Brenda and the 2 athletes I manage – Alicia and Brent. Needless to say, Hawaii was a whirlwind but full of good living, training, coaching, advising and playing!
I had several speaking opportunities in 2016 – some corporate and some charity. The highlight was speaking at Robin Sharma’s Titan Summit in December in Zurich, Switzerland. Robin Sharma is one of the most respected experts in Leadership and Personal Mastery in the world and this 4-day summit brought together 200 leaders from around the world to listen to 12 speakers including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Starbucks CEO, Jim Donald, Dr. Greg Wells and others. I was honoured to be among these speakers and this audience of high achievers. My speech was titled “Transforming Adversity into Mastery”. It was a special 4 days for me because for 4 days, I felt “normal”. I was not this “nut” who gets up at 5 am to jumpstart the day with exercise. The hotel gym was packed at 4:30 am! I was not a “nut” who can pack a million things in a day. Instead, I could teach productivity and tools of achievement: how to turn a “no” into a “yes”; how to find a path where there appears to be none! I left Zurich with a clear plan: to put my tools of achievement on paper and guide others on the path to excellence.
And now in 2017, the “off season” has been busy with sponsorship work for Brent McMahon, Alicia Kaye, and Jarrod Shoemaker as well as for Ontario Triathlon events. Coaching continues to be my passion. I am organizing my speaking engagements with the help of my new agent and trying to find time to begin my book.
January brought me back to Chile for IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon. I raced here from 2002-2007 and was 6 for 6 in victories. It is a special place for me. I was invited back as an ambassador to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the key sponsor. I also raced – crazy eh? It was a blast with the highlight being a visit to the youth triathlon camp! And of course, getting across the line with my bionic achilles and 10 years older than my last finish here!!
And now we are in February. Our athlete camps have begun and always involve some sort of fun as well as training. I am trying to carve out time for holiday – 2 days every 2 months – so that might either be a trip to Washington, DC or Boston for the marathon in April. Fenway turned 7 but she is still a puppy. Health is good. August provided some challenges with a collapsed lung and in general, my lung function has been a bit down, but heck, I am going to be out of breath anyway when I run, so might as well get used to it.
And now that my blog is updated, I can begin to write the table of contents for my book which my agent says should be called “winKona”. Why – well you will have to read the book to know why! Happy 2017!