What Drives Me.

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 428956_841228265876_1857275023_nblessing 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 1234096_10151624921972496_1433234800_nme 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.
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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 obaby G team amyf 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!
1235060_997749610846_465577939_nMy 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.

 

Balancing Act: Triathlon Training in a Nutshell.

They say life is all about balance, well when it comes to triathlon training I find it tends to look more like a juggling act. Especially when you are training for Ironman. I am currently 2 months out from my 2nd Ironman and my calendar is starting to look like one big block of commitments with little to no white space to fit in anything else. This isn’t an opportunity to complain about my commitments but rather a moment to speak to some of the habits that I have found have helped me be successful in fitting in all that I need to.

BEING STRATEGIC WITH YOUR WORKOUTS:

For starters, I don’t have a typical 9-5 job, which some people think opens up a ton of time for training, but in reality some days I am going from 6am-8pm with clients and teaching classes and the maximum break I will have in a day will be 1-2 hours sometimes less. What I have learned is,  to not stress about getting in the exact number of hours of training in each day that my schedule requires, but to be strategic with when and where I place my workouts. This is where the juggling really comes in- I move workouts around at the beginning of each week based on time slots I have available.

For example: I know I can easily crank out a run at any time, so I tend to place these workouts in those smaller time frame windows. The longer windows I reserve for my swims and my bike sessions.

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At the end of the day, having your loved ones by your side at the end of a race is one the best parts!

BEING REALISTIC AND OPEN WITH YOUR LOVED ONES:

For the age group athlete you are most likely already juggling your training, and your job and family, having social commitments on top of that can be tough. Getting real with those around you that, you are not going to be able to make every single gathering is important. Your weekends have now become sacred training days. This is a tough thing to do, but I have found ways around it so that I can squeeze in the extra commitments as well. This is where the mental commitment and dedication comes in.

For example: I don’t sleep in on weekends, I get up early and out the door to get that training session in before my family and friends are even awake. Getting my training done by early afternoon and having the ability to still have a day ahead of me helps with feeling balanced. As long as that day doesn’t end up on a patio sipping brews all day, because Sunday is long run day :).

BEING REALISTIC WITH YOURSELF:

You are not getting paid to do this, you have obligations outside of triathlon that require your time and focus, whether it be work or loved ones, and they are important too. We all know that if we dropped everything and focused on triathlon we would probably see some serious gains in our racing, but at what cost? My advice- make a plan, stick to it, and be kind to yourself. If you miss a workout, don’t turn the next day into a mini triathlon trying to fit it all in, take it in stride and focus on tomorrows workouts. Listen to your body and your mind, if you feel exhausted a couple days in a row, you probably are- so sleep in, take a nap, relax. At the end of the day triathlon training needs to still be something that lights you up and ignites a passion and fire in you, that alone will keep you going and will help you see success!!