I may be an aspiring author, but writing from a place of pure vulnerability is not something I practice all that often. Tonight, I’m exercising that right to let my walls down. Tonight, I’m taking the time to speak to my shortcomings and my strivings, to be still when hours of training and mental challenges have kept me in constant motion. This is the promise of a future Ironman.
To my friends and family, tonight I look out from your eyes. I see myself and know that you’ve been there for me, side by side: through encouraging texts, with a hug and a laugh, or maybe a moment of quiet awe mixed with just a dash of worry. As a triathlete, no amount of training will ever make me so overloaded that I overlook your support. I’m sorry I haven’t been as present with you as a friend, or a brother, or a son. We’ve lost some time together. But I’m still with you. That time is coming back full circle. I know that our bonds are unwavering. Every silent and spoken cheer from you has made its impact on my heart and lifted my spirits. In a sense, I’ve already crossed that finish line in Tempe, Arizona, with all of you.
To my teammates, I have to say this: what we do is so damn wonderfully bonkers. There’s no greater adrenaline rush than the sport we’ve thrown ourselves into, and yet somehow I feel more balanced, calmer than I used to be. Triathlon has smoothed out the rough wrinkles that life has dealt me these past few years. With every lap swam, mile ridden, and yard run, I’ve found the strength to know when to be serene as a counselor, and when to let nothing hold my ferocity back. I’m happy you all have been sweating it out with me through the good training days and the rougher ones, too. Nothing like suffering together!
And Albert. Albert, I’m light years beyond grateful for you. Every weekend we could have spent lounging around all day and venting about our jobs, you’ve been there to prod me out the door, to help me keep my eyes on my Ironman dream. Together, we’ve pushed each other to grow by leaps and bounds, not just in our professional lives, but in our personal lives, too. Plus, all the boba tea and red bean buns we’ve devoured make excellent race fuel! With a heart this full, I’m racing even faster and loving deeper than I imagined I ever could. Thank you for sharing in that love with me.
So I march on, juggling these aspirations of writing, racing, and working, all because I know it’s what I’m meant to do. Sometimes I fall, sometimes I cry. It all matters in the end. To the ones who have never left my side, who balk at my Ironman hurdle and still scream for me to keep on pushing, striving, and enduring, we’re in this together. I promise we’ll make it.
Ironman Arizona, here I come.