I’ve been sick for over a week so I haven’t had a chance to blog. I have thought about the past year and the one to come, however. In this post I want to do a bit of reflection.
Due to my injuries and surgery in 2011, my goal for 2012 was recovery and to finish races. I was fairly surprised when I realized how many events I actually did in 2012. When I started pulling out shirts to take a photograph, I realized that I had participated in at least 15 events in 2012. I was pretty amazed. Some did not go so well while others were a lot of fun and I experienced a definite sense of satisfaction.
As I looked at the shirts, I thought about a question that I am often asked. Why do I do this? The events from last year reflect several reasons why.
This photo reflects my favorite events in 2012. Why? Because they were in the company of my She Does Tri team members, a very supportive group of women who are also good friends.
The Luray weekend didn’t turn out as I hoped because my bike broke down, but the thrill and fun of racing on a team with Vickie and Ann made up for that. I will be back in August 2013 and racing with Ann and Vickie again. I wrote several posts about Luray after I came home so I won’t rehash all of the details.
The Baltimore Half was another great weekend with SDT friends. I finished the half marathon, which is very hilly. My time was not great but I still felt like it was a major accomplishment since it was the longest distance I had run to date during 2012.
First race back
My first race in 2012 was the LJCC sprint. I did the Aquabike because I was not running yet at that time. My friend, Ashley, did the race with me. It was her first triathlon and it was fun to share the experience with her. I also met my bike coach, John Hanna at the race. John has been a tremendous help with bike skills this year and my riding has improved so much.
Where I learned the most
We don’t always learn the most from out successes. Sometimes we learn more from failures, or what seems like failure. My race for learning the most was Buster Britton. I DNF, a distinction that no one really wants but many people have received. Though it was my second time at Buster Britton, my swim start didn’t go well and I could not complete the swim. At John and Eric’s urging, I went out of the bike anyway and had a very good ride, which didn’t count but at that point doing the ride was what mattered most. I met several people there who have become friends. We don’t always know where we will learn the most.
Events for a reason
Most of the events I participate in have some kind of charity connected to them. That is fairly common for races. There were a number of races that raised money for charities that I participated in last year, but these stood out to me as I looked at the pile of shirts I had gathered.
Two raised money for tornado relief in Alabama, one for the American Diabetes Association, and one for mental health care. These are all worthy causes to me. None of these events had a competitive race (though don’t tell a bunch of people doing a century ride that). Each of these causes mean something to me personally. One reason I participate in these events is to do something good for others and I think the four in this photo succeed at that goal.
So, why do I race and continue to plan a calendar, train, work on eating right? There are many reasons that are entirely personal – feeling better, being healthier, adding years to my life. There are reasons that are beyond me – doing something good for others through participating in events. And I hope that I encourage someone else to do something good for themselves and others along the way.