Every day that you wake up and are breathing, you are given another opportunity for an adventure. Some days the adventures are hidden and you have to search for them among the mundane. However, sometimes the adventures jump out at you from behind every corner. We never really know what the day has in store for us when we roll out of bed in the morning. Or in my case, as I drag myself out of bed in the morning. I am not exactly a morning person. Until I’ve had coffee, I don’t think I’m actually capable of a coherent conversation, at least not a very pleasant one, just ask my kids. Trust me, I don’t jump out of bed everyday, throw on my explorer’s cap and head out in search of an adventure, but sometimes adventure just has a way of finding me. Today was that kind of day.
I got up today thinking I would head to the pool for a swim, but for some reason I showed up at the completely wrong time. Oh well, I went home, ordered a Bridesmaids dress for Farrell’s wedding and went about my day.
Last night I was over at Farrell’s house for a bit, before I met Steve to see the movie The Internship. I found it hilarious, I’m pretty sure Steve went just to humor me. Anyway, while I watched Linds cut up brussel sprouts (yes, really) she was telling me that this is the week to sign up to volunteer for Ironman Arizona 2013 in order to earn a “speedpass” which ensures registration into Ironman Arizona 2014. Why in the world would I want to do that? Nope, not happening.
Well, something happened between last night and this morning. At approximately 7:17am, I got the following text from Teri regarding IMAZ: Leave your options open—sign up and get a volunteer spot and cancel if that’s best.
At 7:38am, I sent the following text to Farrell: Ok, I’ll sign up to volunteer. I don’t have a clue how this is going to work. Going on faith…
Volunteer registration didn’t open until 2pm our time, so I went off to Big Shark to join the Monday morning women’s ride. Ok, so that might have had the tiniest bit to do with the fact that there is a boy who works at Big Shark that I kind of enjoy looking at…I mean talking to…alright, both. But, seriously, it was mostly for the ride. (And the boy, let’s just be real here) Anyway, I needed to get a solid ride in, so after a quick stop at the post office, I was parked in front of Big Shark waiting for the others to show. There was only one other person who showed. He was not a woman. So, my ladies ride of 18ish miles, turned into a 46 mile ride, through some crazy intense hills with my new friend, Greg. Side note, when Greg said his name, I thought he said, “Grey”, so that will become his new nickname from me since I spent our entire ride thinking he was named after a color. Why I thought he said this, is beyond me, maybe I’ve been reading too much 50 shades. (Shrug) Greg started to take off solo, so I asked if he minded me tagging along since I’m still a rookie. He said sure. We made a quick stop at Mobile on the Run and then we were off into the hills of Wildwood. And Oh my goodness, he definitely did not take it easy on the newbie! Those hills are ridiculous. On some of those climbs, I seriously wondered if I was going to fall over from lack of forward motion. And I think I need new brakes from trying to spare myself a wipeout of catastrophic proportions on the way down. Of course, by the end, I wasn’t riding the brakes quite so hard, I was almost starting to enjoy the rapid decent. It kind of started to feel like I was flying. Or maybe I was just really happy to not have to use my legs to propel me uphill anymore. Climbing hills makes me feel powerful, but after that long, they just made me feel tired.
For about 3 hours, Greg and I rode and talked about all kinds of stuff…our families, my kids, school, work, etc. At times all I could hear was him encouraging me up a hill along with the sound of my lungs about to explode from my heavy breathing. Greg kept saying he didn’t really think I was a rookie. My response, as usual, was, “What I lack in speed and ability, I make up for it with determination”. I’m all heart, I know this about me. He called me “Supermom”, I said I must have left my cape at the dry-cleaners. I made it 46 miles. Now, I know I have a half Ironman in 3 weeks so I should have been up to at least that many miles on the bike already, but here’s the thing…that was my longest ride to date. Victory! (Don’t judge me. I’m a working, single mom. Who has the time to spend 3-4 hours on a bike multiple times a week?!) And that longest ride ever, did I go flat? Oh, no. It was flipping hard with those hills mixed in. So, how do I feel about a 56 mile bike ride in Racine sandwiched between a 1.2 miles swim and a half marathon? I feel like I’m gonna crush it! Today’s ride was a huge boost to my confidence and I needed it. I got in a great ride, and I made a new friend. And the scenery was absolutely fantastic. At one point, we were on a ridge up high, looking down into a valley of trees and I said it felt a little like being on top of the world. (Cue the Carpenter’s song…sorry, it’s stuck in my head too) So, my day went in a completely different direction from what I expected. But, that’s not unusual. Just like Forrest said, Ya never really know what you’re gonna get.
When I got home, Farrell and Nicole were texting me about what aid station to sign up for in Arizona so we can all work together. I’m not sure what supernatural force took over to temporarily eliminate my excessive fear at the thought of a full Ironman, but somehow I managed to sign up. Nicole and I agreed that as scary as this is, it just feels right.
Like I told Farrell this morning, I don’t have a clue how any of this is going to come together. But when do we ever know how things are going to come together? Even the stuff we think we have figured out doesn’t always go the way we plan, but ultimately things just have a way of working out. And here’s what I do know…I know that I love an adventure. I know that I can tackle a challenge. And I know that I’ve got a story to tell in all this. My life is my story. And I’m gonna keep telling it by living out loud. After all, when has anyone ever known me to be quiet?
Let the adventure begin…