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When Things Change

(Bear with me. This post might be a little scattered.)

First and foremost, thank you all for the amazing emails, comments and even flowers.  This fantastic SBM community has really reached out to me and my family during this time, and I am very thankful.

I was able to spend some precious time with my family and extended family over the weekend.

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I have found some really interesting perspectives in the comments and email–and appreciate them all.  From the loss of a family member to “there will be other Ironmans”–which is so true, and yet, both so hard to absorb at the same time.

On Saturday, my mom, dad and I were sitting around the quiet living room. The funeral was over, and my father and his siblings had said goodbye to their mother, and many of us to our grandmother.

She was very much the glue that held my paternal side of the family together–and the recognition of this was tangible to me during the service. That recognition was definitely a big theme throughout the process, and that is what seemed to hit everyone the hardest.

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I was very grateful to have stepped away from social media for a couple of days (stepped away in my terms – e.g., checking phone only 1-2 times day).

So when I sat down on Saturday night to scroll through the emails, texts and comments, I was overwhelmed with the support.

Well. With the exception of one incredibly stupid, asinine, poorly-timed, insensitive comment that I started to write about… and then I realized that the person wasn’t worth the energy. Summary:  I manufactured the injury to get out of the race. Otherwise, I would have gotten the MRI. And I should find a race and do it.

I skipped my MRI last week because I had a last chance Hail Mary with a PT–in an attempt to avoid the delay of the MRI results, to get back on the bike by the weekend for a key ride and to try and salvage Louisville.  Also, to take the time to wrap up things at work so I could travel to a funeral. By the morning, however, and after a conference via text with Coach Brett, Ironman Louisville was as clear as day to me.

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I decided to call the ball.

So yes, I received the insensitive message on Saturday night, when I could hardly lift my right leg to cross it.  When I had spent the day walking with a limp in flat shoes, at a visitation and funeral and a burial of a family member.  What incredible timing to get a “suck it up” email. I mean, really.  At a time, when it was so very clear to me that I made the only decision to pull out of Ironman Louisville.

The interesting thing about this sport–and life–is how quickly everything can change.

You can lose a family member.  A job.  Big things, small things. Life turns and turns. Something big. Something small.

You can be riding down the road on your bike, thinking of what to cook for dinner, and then you hear a police siren… try and pull over like a good cycling citizen of the world, hit uneven pavement–and find yourself on the ground and out of an Ironman.

Today, I am in more pain than I was on the day of the wreck. I am now enjoying a fantastically worse limp and the inability to move laterally without sharp pain. (And yes, I will be getting the MRI now, as soon as I can. Because I am not only hurt, but I fear that I might be very hurt.  Hurt enough where I tried to get on the trainer Friday, and I could not get my right leg over my bike without assisting my own leg in its efforts.)  

So this is the state of triathlon for me right now.  Upper body and core. Some swimming.  An MRI for sure.  SO that’s that.

Another interesting thing about life is how quickly you can meet a person and love them.

I have known for many years that I had a sister.

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But without letting unnecessary skeletons out of the closet… the short of it, is that I haven’t seen her since I was very young (and even then, I had only seen her once–in the picture above).  Fast forward thirty-two-ish years, and some fences have been mended and I have a sister in my life.  Interestingly, in 2013, she found me through the blog and contacted me… was incredible.  We have texted and emailed a many times over the past few years.

But I was able to, for all intents and purposes, “meet” her for the first time this weekend.

And I immediately thought of my grandmother, who had always been such glue for my dad’s side of the family.

In her death, she managed to give yet another gift… some extra glue to create and make new bonds.

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Immediately, I felt comfortable around her and immediately loved her.

We have the same sense of humor (demented 🙂 ), and many similar mannerisms. So bizarre. She brought so much comfort and joy to our family with her presence this weekend. I am truly blessed.

So in the midst of two losses, I gained a sister… and even still, yet another new perspective on triathlon.

Life is all about the lessons, love and always hoping for the best.

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Trying to pick myself up off the ground and move forward is the next, new challenge. Trying to keep my clean eating on target is another one.

But I have never been one to shy away from a challenge.

I will just keep moving forward. With an army of love behind me.  Thank you all, again.

#Blessed

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 

1 Corinthians 13:13

22 Comments

  • Laurie Bennett

    September 7, 2015 at 11:22 am

    You will just keep moving forward!
    You are strong and will get over this hump!!!!
    Nothing will keep you down long!
    Sending good thoughts your way!

    Reply
  • Beth E.

    September 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Meredith: you are such an amazing woman. Wishing you many blessings with your new-found sister and sending all the good vibes I have for your hip injury. And I know what kind of guts it takes to have to pull out of a race (even more than it takes to actually do it, I think), but I’m very proud of you for listening to your body and your self and doing what’s right for you. That negative person doesn’t have to live your life, and bravo for not wasting any time on him/her.
    <3

    Reply
  • Melanie

    September 7, 2015 at 11:32 am

    You are always an honest inspiration, Meredith. Thank you for sharing just how it is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family with your loss. And I am keeping you in my prayers with regard to the MRI and injury.

    On a happy note, I am glad you had time to really meet and get to know your sister this weekend. I have a sis 11 years my junior and I have found our bond to be nothing like anything I have ever experienced. She is witty and fun. Loving and empathetic. And she brings out the best in me.

    May we all encourage and being out the best in others. ❤️

    Reply
  • Linda Kingsbury

    September 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    So very sorry about your loss. Life has a plan for us and I am thinking of you and your family…be kind to yourself and hoping it is a bump in your path with this injury…please keep us updated…love from your army…

    Reply
  • Beryl LeBoeuf

    September 7, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I so needed to read this today. I am going through my entire house, of 23 years, to prepare to sell it. I have had to put triathlons on the back burner for now. This was my first year participating and I was only able to do 3 of the 5 that I had registered for. I know it will be hard to start back but after reading all that you have been through, especially recently, it gives me encouragement to know that I will be able to get back to it in the future. Life changes and this is temporary. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

    Reply
  • Margi

    September 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    A beautiful post from a beautiful woman – we love you Meredith and you have given us all so much. Lean on us for a bit because together we are a strong army full of love and we will carry you for as long as you need 🙂

    Reply
  • Anna Stedman

    September 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Praying for you during this time Meredith. I too know that feeling of change, my BRF and I were planning to do our first Triathlon together this year, 2015. but things changed, I am now moving to Philippines and my BRF having some major health challenges, possible cancer. Our dreams were dashed but we are moving forward together. =-) Anna in Coeur dalene ID

    Reply
  • Jana

    September 7, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    You are such an amazing woman. You inspire me to keep pushing forward, in spite of whatever it is that makes me want to screech to a halt and throw in the towel. Thank you for sharing your life and for being so real and honest. Praying for your family right now. And for your healing, both physical and emotional!!

    Reply
  • Wendy

    September 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Your family is in our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.
    I lost my Dad, the glue to our family a year ago .
    He never saw and race because of his health however I feel him with me every training session
    Loss is always a awaking for others and it reminds us that our life is precious and no one should tell you anything but amazing things.
    Meredith you open your life up to each of us and for our family we thank you.
    Remember to leave your Grandma’s legacy but teaching others about her strength and love.

    Reply
  • Jenny

    September 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    So so sorry for your loss! Not doing Louisville is the right thing even if you aren’t/weren’t hurt….or if hurt and no death….although ironman are big commitments …they really don’t matter in the long run like a person does….take care of yourself and loved ones.hope the leg gets better quickly!

    Reply
  • Lisa Serrano

    September 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Although you have had some rough times lately, you should also know that your army of friends kept moving forward because that’s what you would expect us to do. Be Brave. If you had not been in my head for an incredibly difficult swim in Oceanside today, I just don’t think I could have done it. I had double Mere’s with me today… with special PR pudding, just keep moving forward mantra, and BE BRAVE. So can I offer you the same special trifecta? eat PR pudding for extra energy, just keep moving forward and this pain will pass, and Be Brave. We love you more than you can even imagine. My heart goes out to you my friend.

    Reply
  • christina

    September 7, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Beautifully written.

    We recently lost my MIL and step father within months of each other – one sudden, the other a sad long death with dementia. My immediate family has grown so much closer. It still hurts and sucks.

    Reply
  • Cindy Smith

    September 7, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    What a touching post. All my best to you and your family as you get through this tough time. Good luck with the hip. You are stronger than you can imagine.

    Reply
  • Sarah L.

    September 8, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Wow, such great writing! Yes, love conquers all. Thanks for letting us come along on your journey.
    Get better, think of us who can get on the bike and don’t and complain about the silly and stupid things in life.

    Reply
  • Beth Vonau

    September 8, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    You have inspired my sister and I into action when our Mom was having bariatric surgery. Family is always complicated. But know this…you are the glue that holds a while community together. No reason your Grandmother didn’t leave that to you. Seek peace, experience joy, be healthy and be KIND to yourself. Don’t push it with an injury. The season is nearly over. Take the time to heal properly and just know that you and your words inspire people to be the change. You’re an attorney – so am I. Ignore the noise of nay Sayers. If you have found success in this field you have thick skin. Don’t let a moment of raw emotion and vulnerability allow some jerk to infultratevtoyr psyche. Peace!

    Reply
  • Amanda Remlinger

    September 11, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    First, I’m late to the party on catching up on blogs…so sorry about your grandmother. But amazing that you gained a sister. That’s so awesome. I hope you both enjoy catching up on lost time.
    Second, what the hell is wrong with people??? I’m sorry you had that negative nelly comment on your blog! That’s terrible. Even if you wanted to pull out of IM LOU because you felt like binge watching True Blood that weekend while eating donuts was a better idea….it’s none of their business WHY you did what you did. There will always be people like that on the Internet, don’t let them get to you.

    Reply
  • Crystal Riegel

    September 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve been hiding out so hadn’t heard about your Grandmother or the crash. I’m so very sorry for your loss. As for the “suck it up” person..maybe they meant well..some people are lousy at giving comfort. I hope you and the family are finding some peace.

    Reply

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