I am often asked what keeps me motivated and going. My journey started as a way to deal with my grief, but it has evolved into so much more.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I strongly believe this to be true, in my life I have had the blessing of an amazing support system, starting with my parents and stemming out through the rest of my family, to my friends and co-workers. When taking on big goals like Ironman or trying to qualify for World Championships, there have been many times when I have had to say ‘No’ to invites
out on a weeknight, or had to leave an event early or miss a special occasion. My family will
sometimes not hear from me for a week, my friends even more. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how they all still ooze support and encouragement and even more so understanding. The type of person that I am, losing touch with those I love is sometimes pretty heart wrenching, it makes me second guess why I am even doing all of this training and at what cost? And then just when I think I am all alone and that this training and racing thing is maybe not a great idea, I’ll hear from a friend or I will have that one free night where I can catch up on phone calls, or be at an event and I am beyond grateful for the support and encouragement I receive. I always get asked how my training is going, I have people tell me that I inspired them to go out for a run, or just someone telling me that they are excited or proud of me- even though they haven’t heard from me or seen me in weeks maybe months- I can’t even begin to express how this makes me feel. To feel the support from everyone drives me forward, it lifts me up.
Moving to Calgary in September I’d be lying if I said its been an easy transition. In January and February I felt lost and unmotivated as I tried to figure out what to ‘do’ in this new city. I found my way back to an amazing company that I used to work for- lululemon and started part time with them. Being surrounded by a company and group of people that believe in goals, fitness, and sending out positivity was exactly what I needed and felt I had been missing. A couple weeks ago at an event for the company called ‘Get Quiet, Live Loud’ I was blown away when they not only recognized my efforts as an athlete and an employee but gifted me with funds to put towards another Ironman to help me realize my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of qualifying for Kona by 2017!! I was floored! I am pretty sure I floated through the rest of the evening, and into the next week. The gesture was again another testament to my village and the people that surround me. I found even more motivation to keep pushing towards my goal, feeling like I have this new support network to carry me through here in my new city.
On top of feeling support from those around me, I also garner inspiration from them. Many of them may not even realize how much they inspire me, but daily I quietly will dedicate a workout to one of the amazing people in my life. I will think of my girlfriends (Alison, Kate, Mischa, Ariel etc..) with young children that are amazing mom’s and work so hard to keep their children happy, healthy and loved. I think of my dear friend Cynthia that has fought one of the biggest battles anyone can fight, and kicked breast cancer’s ass, not to mention running a 1/2 marathon while she was in the midst of it all. (Cynthia will be presenting medals at this years Ironman and I can’t wait to see her face at the finish). My beautiful strong friend Taryn, who has been battling Lyme disease for 6 years now and keeps fighting with all her might, defying doctors and even herself whenever she can!
My Mom who has overcome so much in her life and is still and always will be my rock, my Dad who has taken up working out every day (If he can be in the pool at 5am so can I!) My brother Jacques who saves lives for a living (NBD) and is an amazing athlete, My sister who is probably the hardest working person I know, with an even bigger heart to go with it. My boyfriend Jason who will never settle for ‘good-enough’ and pushes himself every day at work and at the gym… The list goes on…I have so many amazing people around me that have had life try and kick them down and they have gotten back up each time, saying ‘is that all you’ve got?’.
I guess what I am getting at here is that at the end of the day we all need a little support and encouragement for all the big, and small goals in our life. We don’t always realize it at the time, but I can say this- That I wouldn’t be able to do what I do each day without knowing the amazing people that surround me, they inspire me with what they do and who they are and its with all of them in mind that I find strength to push on with my goals.