Ever since about 15 minutes after I crossed the finish line in Arizona people have been asking me, “So what’s next?” I have responded to that question with a resounding and emphatic, “Nothing!” The past few months of my so-called retirement have been blissful. I haven’t been in the water or on my bike at all since Ironman. And I am completely ok with that. I would say I’ve averaged about 6 miles a week in my running shoes since then. Maybe. Ok, so I’ve been on the elliptical and I’ve gone to boxing, too. But mostly I tell people I am now training to be a couch potato. And loving every lazy minute of it.
I went through a bit of a post Ironman, post holidays, January funk when I felt the pull to sign up for a race. But if there is one thing I have learned over the past years of self-destruction and trying to “fill the void”, it’s that no matter how many races I sign up for, no matter how many race tee’s I acquire and no matter how many medals I earn to add to my wall of bling, none of that will ever feel like enough.
Ironman was sufficient for longer than most races. But even still, the eventual longing set in and I started to wonder, “Hmmm, now what?”
So, I’m pleased to announce to my audience of faithful readers that there is a “what’s next” for Rambling Runner Girl. Though, I think you will be surprised by what I have chosen for my next event.
I turn 40 in October, so like I mentioned earlier this year, I want to do big things! In the world of triathlon, it doesn’t get much bigger than 140.6. So I am focusing my efforts elsewhere. Any guesses?
I’ll give you a hint. It involves water, but not swimming. There is transportation involved over hundreds of miles, but no bike. I will probably take my running shoes, but more than likely it will be a pair that have already put in the miles and aren’t used for running anymore. Are you confused yet?
Well, a few weeks ago, while I was sitting at Tae Kwon Do with Silas, I started talking to a pastor from my church whose boys also take Tae Kwon Do at the Boxing Gym. I said, “I’m looking into short term missions. Does the Crossing have any trips? Or do you have any info that would help me get started?” Randall directed me to an organization that I have become familiar with during my time at the Crossing. Living Water International drills fresh water wells in impoverished places around the world.
Over the next couple weeks, I looked at the scheduled trips, found one that could work with my schedule, sent off an email inquiry, authorized a back ground check, and emailed pictures of my passport to the trip organizer and Voila! I’m in. That was the easy part.
I still have many months to go. My trip isn’t until the end of November. Part of the reason I picked the dates I did is because December 2nd is typically a day of the year that I don’t look forward to. I dread it. It’s a sad day, the anniversary of saying good-bye to a father I loved, and still love, dearly. But this year, on December 2nd, I will be in Nicaragua. I’ll be on an adventure in a country I’ve never been to. I’ll be helping people gain access to fresh water, as a means of health and safety. I’ll be loving people I’ve never met. I don’t know a soul going on this trip. I have no idea who will be put on this journey with me. But I know this is going to be good for my heart. It’s going to be big! Bigger than I can even imagine right now. I can’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of my dad than this.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in shiny sparkly things like new bikes and all the latest techy running gear. But there is more to life than triathlons. (Tri friends, take a deep breath. I promise it will be ok that I just said that.) This doesn’t mean I’m hanging up my running shoes entirely. In fact, I just ordered my new Louis Garneau tri kit for the Swim Bike Run tri club. So I’m definitely going to be signing up for some races along the way. This just means that my main event of 2015 takes me off the race course. WAY off the race course. And will place me in a village in Central America, to once again do something that I never EVER expected.
PS-I am already signed up for my next race. But this time I’ll attribute running the Berryman Marathon part of my training for drilling a well in Nicaragua.
*To help sponsor my trip or to learn more about Living Water International, please visit my donation page at: https://www.water.cc/lindseyjacobs