Sunday, October 11, 2009

Inspiration for the long haul

I spend an inordinate amount of time mooning over all things tri- mostly gear and toys, but also race reports, other folks blogs, etc. It is all so addicting!

A site I recently joined,
GOTRIBAL, is promoted by a professional triathlete and women's world record holder, Chrissie Wellington. She is supposedto be hot stuff - well, she holds the record and only startedracing tri a few years ago. Nice.

Over last weekend I remembered that it was time for Kona - the granddaddy of triathlons, an Ironman event held in Hawaii. I found the website and got a live feed and athlete tracker, and checked in. In only knew two pro names, one of the being Chrissies. I saw that her name was not in the top 10 afterthe swim, and forgot about the race for a few hours.

I came back many hours later and found that she was notonly in the top 10 on the bike, she was leading the women's race! Wow, I kept checking in every few hours and had the ultimate honor of watching the last 20 minutes of her race, which moved me to tears.

This woman had a big smile on her face the entire time. She broke a world record in the process. When she won, she did not run across the finish line - she laid down and rolled, in honor of
John Blais, Warrior Poet. She cried, hugged her parents, thankedthe crowd, and stayed after for a loooong time to congratulate athletes crossing the finish line - AFTER WINNING A 140 MILE RACE!

Man, me sweating and moping over my nothing miles, and she grinning and encouraging others after 140. What a way to have your perspective adjusted - in a number of ways! A few minutes of viewing, a lifetime of inspiration. I looked her up, and found that she is not just an amazing athlete but a socially aware individual who practices the divine concept of
Paying It Forward ( I really really like her, now!)

so that leads me into crystallizing some stuff I have been thinking about lately....

I'm going to HTFU. As much as I can. And I do this because I love it, so why not let it show that I am having fun and enjoying myself even when sweating blood?

I am looking for ways to inspire others to participate too. Haven't figured that out, but I will start by trying to set a positive example.

Make racing mean something - for a cause. OK, I know about Team in Training. But there are other causes that are near and dear to my heart as I have loved ones who deal with daily challenges , and then other personal interests I have that I would love to support.

so my short list is

Heifer International

Why NOT make a difference? I already donate to these organizations, but maybe there is a way to raise awareness and get even more resources directed towards importantcauses - even in a small way. Oh, and smile while doing it.

Thanks, Chrissie!

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