So what’s next?
So what’s next? a question i loathe but find myself asking all the time. As if one achievement in a life time isn’t enough. When you get into sport of any kind though, when you really really love it, then is there ever such thing as enough? I’d quite happily run everywhere everyday if I could. I’d quit my job and just run things, anything, everything! For people who go out and do a Marathon one year, train for it, complete it, and say yep that’s it, checked off the list! That’s totally fine, more than fine, it is incredible. I’m just not one of those people, I didn’t start running to one day stop, I started, and knew pretty sharpish that I never wanted to stop.
So when I got injured earlier this year my world fell apart, I felt like the fragile lost puppy I spend most of my time trying to convince the world that I’m not. My biggest gripe was that running hadn’t injured me, life had, life once again got in the way! It was an eye opener to my resilience or lack there of, to my addiction, to the immense and unconditional love I have for this sport. So when I got it back I wanted to go hard after it, I did that! I ran a marathon, and then I ran another one a week later, and in 10 days I’ll run another, and I realised I was ignoring all of the life lessons not running had been teaching me. Mainly that putting all your eggs in one basket makes no sense for a healthy brain, and that actually although running will always be my one true love, I love being active most of all! But all that got lost quick! I forgot what the pool looked like, I let my bike gather even more dust, and I just ran.
Then I did something crazy. I messaged the only two people I know insanely powerful enough to do an Ironman and said can I do it? it’s a very similar scenario to how I signed up to my first marathon, after running a 10k race and emailing a friend to say “can I”? Except this time I’ve never actually done a triathlon…
Neither of them said “yes, oh my god you will smash it you incredible super human”, they gave me the brutal honest truth, which I needed to hear.
And then I signed up!
Not because I’m taking this lightly at all, it’s insane, stupid, unachievable, but I heard all the insane. I heard all of the hard work and terrifying moments I will have to break through just to make it to the start line. It sounded like it would (and probably will) break me 100 times over. The funny thing is after hearing all of it, i wanted it more than I did before I asked.
I have never done a triathlon. I use my bike as a hallway ornament currently, she’s beautiful. I can swim alright, but I’ve neglected the water for a little too long now, oh and I can do that run bit, if (and it’s a big if) it’s on it’s own. It’s a far cry from any comfort zone, and probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. There is 95% chance of failure, but that leaves a 5% chance I might just pull it off. I hope to improve those odds as we go along.
I wasn’t going to tell anyone, it seemed like a safe option. If I kept it to myself and failed then did I really fail? Well the answer is yes, I failed twice. Once because I actually failed and twice because I bought in to the worlds biggest lie, that there is something wrong with going hard after something BIG and falling down.
Anything could happen between now and July 28th. I want to talk about all of those things along the way, I want to be honest with how much of an idiot I am. I’ve used this space successfully to document all of those idiot moments thus far. I love reading back over them, seeing how much I’ve changed and adapted along the way. You don’t have to tune in. This isn’t for anyone else. This is for me. One of the few joys of the internet is the ability to ignore anything you’re not interested in.
I won’t go in to the why, but lets just say it’s been another odd year to be alive. I have had some dreams on my bucket list, and this is another one. Maybe I will be the type to just triathlon once (well hopefully more than once as I plan to do at least one in training) and then say nah not for me. Or maybe I’ll fall hard in love with it like I did the marathon. There are so many reason not to do it, but I like the one that lingers in my brain saying ‘go get it’, I need to, or at least need to try to do this and that brings me to my next part.
An open letter to my friends and family
I need to be selfish one last time, (that’s a massive lie I will be selfish loads more times). I need you to know that I will miss important things, that I will cancel plans, that I will be boring; in bed, on the bike, in the water or hitting the trails. I need you to know that if you want to see me you will probably need to take up one of these 3 sports in order to do so. I need you to know that I will be spending money on mostly kit I don’t need, and some very expensive kit I definitely need, and I have no idea what the difference is! I need you to know that I will only be reading books on triathlon, which means I won’t have much else to talk about. I need you to know that all of this sounds like I’m going to be the worlds worst friend, sister, wife, daughter and I need you to know that’s true, and I can only say that It’s going to get worse because the next bit is just so totally unfair…
Not only am I going to be totally terrible from this point forth, more terrible than running 12 in 12, more terrible than being a total run bore. The worst thing is I need to ask you to do this with me! I can offer you nothing in return, literally I can’t even promise that I can give you my time or attention or that the times you are with me I’ll be a joy, because that’s probably all a lie too (see i’m learning). I will most likely shout and grumble at you when things fall apart, blame you for things that are not your fault, and require you to be 100% there for me but then also 100% not there for me depending on which mood I’m in. Oh and you will have no way of knowing which mood that is, you just have to guess and deal with the consequences. You may have gotten used to me being a total run bore, but now you must listen to me become a trifector of bore! I will need you to talk me down when I say I can’t and pick me up every single time I fall (off the bike). I need you to research what the heck I’m doing, I need you to tell me I’m the right amount of crazy, and I need you to take me on super long bike rides (Hayden!) because i’m mostly petrified of that bit. Oh and also swimming in a lake and getting eaten by a large fish snake hybrid!
I probably can’t do this at all, but I definitely can’t do this alone. 9 of the hardest months of my life are about to start, and I know many of you would be hoping that 9 months would be spent cooking up something other than a crazy sporting dream, but hey as always I do things a little differently.
I promise at the end of this, whatever the outcome, I will love you so much, and I just hope you will be able to still love me.
So what’s next?
I guess this seals the deal that project IRONWOMAN is officially underway! Well actually it gets underway on the 28th October, happy 31st birthday you crazy little lady! (I talk to myself sometimes)
I’m sorry (but also I’m a trail runner and we’re massive liars)