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What I Hope for You in 2014

I started writing on Swim Bike Mom on August 26, 2010 with a simple post. One line, no pictures. Just this:

I have decided to become a Triathlete.

And at that time, what a ridiculous statement that was.  Me.  So tired, so fat, so clumsy (okay, three things that are arguably still true… I digress.)  Still, I was a completely unlikely triathlete.  Even my parents—who have always been supportive of me—were like, “WHAT?! Triathlon. Like swimming, biking and running?”  It just made zero sense.

So I had decided to become a triathlete.  And three days later, I wrote a post called, “I Quit.”  And I was kind of serious, writing stuff like, “You will have to pardon my lame terminology because, as you know, I am so ridiculously new to this sport that I know nothing except wheels, seat and handlebars.”

This triathlon stuff was hard!

Some of you are beginners to the sport.  Some of you are old pros–and I don’t mean old–I mean “ole” like in the jolly sense.  Regardless, I can tell you that I have NOT forgotten what it’s like to begin something new, something terrifying—especially something as awkward as triathlon.

Yes, triathlon is awkward. Wetsuits. Spandex.  Come on. Awkward is a kind term.

As we roll into a New Year (and man, thank goodness… 2013 was awkward!), I want to express my gratitude to you—my friends and blog friends and “Army Members.”  We all joke around here on Swim Bike Mom and in the Tri-Fecta group on Facebook, but I want to thank you all for making these last few years so meaningful.

I had been searching for purpose for such a long time.  Always running from one thing to the next. I had no idea that purpose could come from swimming, biking and running—that I would be blessed with a forum such as Swim Bike Mom to not only tell the entire world entirely too much about my personal life, but also to create a place that women and men could come—see my shenanigans—and say,

“Well, hells bells. If this crazy woman can accomplish these things… then I can too.”

And that is the meaning to my life, I’m convinced of it.  I was put on this earth to not only be a wife and mother and daughter (and attorney? Are any of us put her for that? Ha. Come on, we love lawyer jokes – we do!) —-but I am convinced that I was put here to be goofy ole Swim Bike Mom and to say “Just Keep Moving Forward” until everyone wants to stab me with an ice pick.

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After I finished Ironman Coeur d’Alene- this summer -I felt a million things. Really, the emotions are actually impossible to convey. Even for a jabberbox like me.

But a week or so after the race, I really took the time to scroll through Facebook and Twitter and read each and every one of the posts from you guys—posts that happened during the race—while I was out there plodding along a very long race course.

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When the race got really hard (and it did a few times, ya know)—I could feel you guys pulling for me. It was amazing.

As I was reading through the posts post-race, I came across one from a SBM named, Katie.  And it was on the page, and she wrote something like this:

I decided that I would pack up my things and my two kiddos and drive to Coeur d’Alene to watch you race.  And we did!  Congratulations! 

I messaged her on Facebook, because I was just so incredibly humbled by that comment.  She packed up her family to watch me race? (Then I felt incredibly bad that I took so long to finish. 🙂 )

She wrote me back.

“Ironman was an amazing experience and has had such an impact on my 9 year old daughter. She believes that she can do anything now! She runs harder at soccer and is willing to try any new sport. My son, on the other hand, is non-verbal with Autism and he now claps whenever he sees anyone ride their bike or run past us – it is hilarious!”

I seriously boo-hoo, ugly-cry face every time I read her message.

Then when I go back and read all the others—knowing my experience during the race—and then seeing the support that happened behind the scenes. Well, it’s just amazing.

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(Then I cry some more.)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for being a part of my life.  I know some of you already know— but I hope that ALL of you will know the joy that triathlon truly can bring. The friends and experiences are remarkable, yes.  Ironman was monumental, yes.

But the everyday change and joy from making a decision to become a triathlete… that is the real gift.  And it’s my mission to make sure that I can somehow return the gift.  🙂

“You can be a triathlete! You can be a triathlete! You can be a triathlete!”

(Okay, so that’s not quite the same. 🙂 )

So really…

For 2014, I hope that each and every one of you know the joy of finding yourself.

In the past few years, I am closer than ever to knowing who I really am.  I still struggle with it, and I am a serious renovation in progress.  But through this wonderful sport, I have been through a process that has healed me, strengthened me, and made me a better person.

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Happy New Year, friends.  Thank you for being a part of my life.

*And a very happy birthday today to the Swim Bike Girl child 🙂

Now. #BringIt2014 !

17 Comments

  • Cris

    December 31, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I both admire and envy you – and I love your wit and energy. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings (hopefully my first 1/2 IM)!!!

    Reply
  • Geni Wright

    December 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I want to thank YOU for everything you do. Your sweaty hug on the run in Augusta was the highlight of, what was up to that point, a painful race. I’m encouraged by your posts and look forward to my Swim Bike Food experience…and my own IM year!

    Reply
  • zoe

    December 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    thank-you to you, so much for all your inspirational and honest posts. I watched the feed of you crossing the line at Coeur d’Alene and cried with you and all the other SB army that had been wishing and praying you along for all those months. Happy New year to you and your family and I hope 2014 brings you everything you wish for xxx

    Reply
  • Mo

    December 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks Mere! You are an amazing woman, awesome cheerleader and best of all….outstanding on-line friend!!!! I hope to make that a “personal friend” this year if and when we finally get to meet!!!! You bring me back up when I’m down, you can relate to so many of us, and you have made me laugh at the times I’ve needed it the most!!!!! Happy 2014 Mere!!!! I can’t wait to see what fun and adventures it brings!!

    Reply
  • Laura

    December 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for all that you do for those of us out there who are motivated and inspired by you. YOU are the reason I decided to get a coach (well, OK, it’s you) and to up my game and get out of the “just finish” mindset. And, like everyone else – so jel-jel over the new bike!!! To 2014? I say bring it on!!!!

    Reply
  • Adriana Restrepo

    December 31, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    It is awesome to see how we relate to so many of your posts and following you this year has helped us encourage each other on our journey to become an IronCouple. I’m hoping for a great 2014 both professionally (have to pay the tri-addition) and in our tri-world. 2 iron distances will be epic! Happy B-day to the swim-bike-girl and Happy New Year to everyone! Cheers

    Reply
  • Susan O

    December 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Mere- thank you for being YOU. I have cried or teared up at so many of your posts (including this one!) because they generally stab so close to my own heart. You are an amazingly witty, intelligent, determined, and positive person. Thank you so much for all you share and say and don’t say in front of the SBM Army and the Trifecta group. I WISH I COULD MEET YOU and you will be so CLOSE to my hometown on your tour- I would have loved to race the Tri Goddess Tri in my new SBM kit with you there!- but I have to follow my dream and goal of completing a 1/2 Iron this summer, and it happens to be that very same date. I know you’ll understand. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • KarenO

    December 31, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve signed up for my first, and second through fifth, triathlons this year because of you. I listened to your book this past spring, just in time to follow you during IM CDA. I haven’t done my first sprint yet but have signed up for a 70.3 in September because you’ve convinced me that this is not crazy. And because I try to do something at least once a year that redefines what’s possible in my life.

    Reply
  • Meaghan

    January 2, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I found you late in the year as I decided that I too would become a triathlete in 2014 and have found such inspiration in your book and posts. Thanks for being you.

    Reply

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