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The, Er, Mission Statement Post

Did you realize that it’s almost 2016? I’m not sure if you did.  Because yesterday that news hit me like a ton of bricks. And I blame that stupid Timehop app.  Do you have that app? It’s like the “Oh Crap Where Did My Year Go” app. That’s what it should be called.

And then my mom, who I love dearly, is the master of “remember this” – always sending me pictures of the kids when they were wee ones… which just makes me slap myself in the forehead, scream WTF, and wonder if I am losing my memory (are they really 8 and almost 7 years old?).  Weren’t they just doing the Hot Dog Dance?  (And if you like kids, you should watch this Facebook link – because it’s my favorite Swim Bike Kids video EVER, people. EVER:  Sibling Reading )

We joke in our house that I don’t even remember Stella, our youngest, until she was three years old.  It’s sort of a joke. But not really.  James and Stella are 14 months apart – and I feel like a tribal woman who went out back, squatted, delivered Stella, and then came inside to feed James and load the dishwasher. Which is sort of how it happened, really… minus the backyard and squatting.

But anyway…  Time is FLYING, Mr. Jones.  Wow.

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I received my IRONMAN certified coaching certificate in the mail today, and that was like getting punched in the gut. In a good way.  Because, while I do LOVE coaching… that’s not what hit me.  The fact that over five years ago, I was terrified of this triathlon journey… and five years later?  Well, multiple races and 140.6 finishes?  Well, it’s just weird.

…Like I went out back in the yard, squatted and became a triathlete and a coach…and. Well, just weird.

Except… I have 2,000 blog entries that speak a different story.  A story of the journey and the tales and the heartbreak over the past five years. I remember A LOT of the journey; but some of it, I don’t.  Also, bizarre.  Could be my losing touch with reality and “our” journey.

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And the bigger “Swim Bike Mom” has gotten (the entity, not ME…. I am actually getting smaller for the first freaking time, in my life—-hooray!)… but the less that I am inclined to share the heartbreaks and the trials and the struggles…

And I don’t know why.

Maybe I am tired of being vulnerable all the time.

Maybe I just want to be vulnerable at home, in my jammies, with my cup of tea in front of the fireplace. Maybe I don’t want to talk about my PR half marathon last weekend, because I fear that it’s “braggy”–even though it was a great day, really, and I should tell about it (add it to the list!).

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Maybe I don’t want to talk about the fact that I am now alcohol free – and the fact that I don’t really intend to drink anymore–like ever again– because I don’t want to have the discussion: Oh, do you have a drinking problem? Well, why can you do moderation? Blah blah.  

(Answer:  No.  I’m tired of being fat from wine. Alcohol benefits my life and my goals in no way, no shape and no form.

And no, I can’t do moderation.  I have a nickname “Party Boy” for a reason.)

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See?  ^^^

And look! I still overshare, even when I don’t want to.  (But I have never worn a Twinkie like that in a crosswalk. That I would remember…)

After over five years of sharing lots and lots, I’m sort of at a loss of what to write about.  Like, ALL the time. Giant writer’s block.

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(Anything. Anything at all.)

Because the truth of the matter is, I could easily give you my “Top 5 Fitness Tips for 2016” or write about “5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Swim Stroke”

(Um… okay fine:  1) swim more (and then swim more); 2) pull harder / weight-training; 3) one-armed drill; 4) finish your stroke; and 5) high elbows.) …but that kind of post feels empty now.

Because people have expected the drama and the very personal sharings from me for several years.  [Like this post about pre-Ironman marriage disaster.  The one where the Expert wanted a divorce, appropriately titled: Marriage DNF.  Or when I lost my mind and threw the cupcakes.  Or all the posts about where I am told I am selfish or where I hate myselfhate my body… feel worthless.]

But now?

When I sit down to write about my feelings… Well, sometimes those are getting shit on, too.  And really, who wants to share and bare their soul and get pooped on?

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Or the people who are just like, “Eff Swim Bike Mom! I met her at a race in 2011, and then I saw her again last month and she didn’t remember me!” (I’m sorry. I usually have a steel trap memory. It’s not so great now. There’s a LOT going on now. Like Poltergeist level shit.)

I have also found it easier and more timely to navigate Instagram. I take a picture, say something short, and then I can move on.

So I’m sitting here thinking about what I want to say today.

I am thinking about what a struggle it is to even post once a week these days, about my feelings.  About “inspiring” things (okay so I was totally inspired by the fact that I ran AND weight trained today, and now I can’t walk. Does that work?).  I actually had a post queued up, but it doesn’t really fit my mood right now. I tend to have scraps and drafts of all sorts of things just floating around, slapping me in the face and reminding me, “You never finish anything.”

UGH.

So, instead of a planned post, I decided that I would solidify my mission statement (which, by the way, is something that has been on my to-do list for over three years: a formal mission statement. For the love. As unconventional and un-mission-statement like as it may be.  So this helps with my list as well. Yay.)

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The Expert, seeing the creeping stress lately, along with a few others in my life, have recently asked me: Why are you even doing this?  (This, meaning, Swim Bike Mom and by default, I guess, also triathlon).

The Expert, who upon seeing the M-Dot ornament hanging on the tree, screeched, “Really, Mere?! An Ironman ornament?! Is nothing sacred anymore?”

(Shrugs. It’s an ornament. Shrugs. I love it. 🙂 )

So here goes. As unconventional a format as a Mission Statement may ever be, but here we go.

The Swim Bike Mom Mission Statement

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In 2010, when I came to this sport, out of shape and lost in my own body and world, I had no idea what a life-changer finding triathlon would be. Somehow, it was different than simply running or cycling–it was three sports–and three sports seemed too “impossible” to comprehend at that time in my busy life.  I came to love triathlon because it showed me three amazing things about myself.  These three things are inside the core of every person, whether he or she believes them right now:  1) I am relentless;  2) I am worthy; and 3) I am blessed.  Through triathlon, I am reminded constantly of these three things on a regular basis.

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I founded “Swim Bike Mom” which started out as a blog to just share my story–with one reader, my mom.  Little by little, it grew into a small forum. Then a larger group who wanted some t-shirts.  Next, a community. And, now, Swim Bike Mom has become what some inside the group have nicknamed an “Army” – that Swim Bike Mom has extended to a special Tri-Fecta group, which includes all sorts of women and even boys. I didn’t realize immediately that with such an Army comes many tanks full of responsibilities. There was a sudden sense of organized urgency to ‘lead the troops’ in the best way I knew or intuited how. I began to enlist other “Generals” to ensure that when someone clicks on SwimBikeMom.com that the readers not only have access to poop jokes and thoughts about The Queen, but that they have access to real resources and true direction about a real journey into the sport of triathlon. 

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Swim Bike Mom simply exists for the same reason as it started what feels like a million days ago:  to ensure that the “every woman” (and dude) knows that she or he, too, can become a triathlete.  The mantra, “Just Keep Moving Forward” is at the core of Swim Bike Mom, as it has been for over four years:  no matter what, we keep moving forward, doing the best we can with what we have.  Swim Bike Mom strives to be an all-inclusive place with heart and soul for the sport, encouragement for the athlete or want-to-be athlete of any level, age, shape and size, a place of laughter for the twisted, and a generous, caring community unlike any other out there in the triathlon world.  

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Thanks for reading.  Merry Holidays to you all.

jkmf

 

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Don’t forget about our next “Swim Bike Give” Virtual Race event!

17 Comments

  • Cynthia @ You Signed Up For WHAT?!

    December 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I’m digging this post, and I even liked your swim tips. So there. But this is why I’m in the “Army”: “an all-inclusive place with heart and soul for the sport, encouragement for the athlete or want-to-be athlete of any level, age, shape and size, a place of laughter for the twisted, and a generous, caring community unlike any other out there in the triathlon world.”. YES! Thanks for sharing it, and for the honesty before it.

    Reply
  • Meg

    December 22, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    If it makes you feel better, I do not remember the first few years of my younger child’s life. She was a newborn, I looked away for a minute, and she was suddenly 3. My kids are 18 mos apart.

    BTW, you’ve inspired me to *consider* an Ironman the year I turn 40 (2017). That, in itself, is amazing, since I said I never would. 🙂 Thanks for all your inspiration!

    Reply
  • Wendy C

    December 22, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Meredith, I truly enjoy reading about your Ironmans, your training, your PRs, and even your kids. Most of us do. The ones that don’t? Who whine, make little remarks, chastise you, etc? They’re just miserable people who want to spread their unhappiness on to YOU, to make YOU shine a little less, to make themselves feel like they have power over your joy and your life. And every time you feel like you have to address their faux concerns, their comments… they succeed. F**k them. This is YOUR house, YOUR happy place, YOUR place to encourage us and let us encourage you. Delete them, or even better appoint a moderator or two and let THEM approve comments.

    Reply
  • flybigd

    December 22, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for another great post. Writing and blogging is hard. Heck, life is hard, but as it says at Momastery, “we can do hard things.”

    Have you ever read the book Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott? I’m sure you have but if not it is all about writing, the process, the agony, the endless first drafts…

    Merry Christmas to your family and kids. My 8 year old CANNOT WAIT for Christmas day.

    Reply
  • CarynW

    December 22, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    There are plenty of people who loved you and your blog before it became The Army. Do what you love, love what you do, and if it’s too much or you stop loving it…dial it back! We’re big girls (and guys), we’ll make it through if you have to go a few more days between posts.
    Merry Christmas, take care of yourself!

    Reply
  • Kerry @cookcleanrundream.blogspot.com

    December 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t comment pretty much ever. But you are one of very few blog feeds and I actually read from beginning to end when I see it pop up. I LOVE how real you are and that you just lay it out there. I’m so sorry that rude commenters have made you reluctant to speak your mind. Frankly I’m sure they’re just jealous of your success. Type on young lady!! Side note, you LOOK fabulous!! I would love more posts about what you’re eating and how the food is making you feel overall.

    Reply
  • Danielle

    December 22, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I am so sorry that you haven’t been having good experiences lately and people haven’t been kind. I am grateful for all of your sharing. Just listening to this post it sounds a little like you are burned out from blogging. Sort of like training burn out. I know that I go through periods where I don’t want to train at all because I am just burned out but after some time passes I get excited about it again. Maybe if you give yourself permission to stop blogging for a while (*please no one yell at me) the desire will come back and you will want to do it again. OR you could kick all the stupid people off OR remove the comment section and hire someone to check the email. 🙂 Hope things get better.

    Reply
  • Marjie

    December 23, 2015 at 5:23 am

    No more wine!!!??? That’s huge. How did you do that or are you doing that?
    Excellent process journey post. This too ( block perhaps) will pass.
    Ebb and flow.

    Reply
  • Tiffany

    December 23, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Thank you so much for all that you share. You have given so much to so many, and I am so thankful for the group you have built. There are so many of us watching and thinking, maybe me, too.

    Life seems to go in waves (and not just age groups). For me, I have something really hard happen in my life, and it becomes easier to narrowly focus on something in another area (e.g. husband blown up in Afghanistan and comes home with one less leg – I run 4 marathons in two years).

    Five years later, he is finding his spirit of adventure again, and I have lost my distance running focus. Do what is right for you and your family and let the rest of the world settle a bit. I’ve learned that, and I love the idea of a mission statement to give some structure that holds true. I’ll get my focus back, but for now, I can watch my husband climb mountains (literally) and ski and be in awe of what he has accomplished. My Ironman day will come, but not yet. I know I am not alone in my journey of go fast, pull back, go fast again.

    I just want you to know that you are inspirational no matter what you say or do. No one can be “on” for the rest of the world all of the time and stay true to themselves (in my opinion). Just know we think the world of you (especially us quiet ones).

    Reply
  • Mom

    December 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The time has come to give to- yourself. YOU ARE GIVE-OUT! Take care of you so you can take care of your little family. I can’t wait to see you, honey. And can’t wait to get baby suga. I mean, 8 y/o & almost 7 y/o suga!! <3 <3 <3 <3 P. S. It's going to be a great Christmas!! Love you.

    Reply
  • Amanda Remlinger

    December 27, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Love this post! So raw and honest. And that’s why I always come back to your blog. I thought about ditching my blog so many times this past year. I agree with you about Instagram, it really is a great social media platform. Cheers (sparkling Kevita which YOU got me hooked on) to 2016!

    Reply
  • Melanie Bocock

    December 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    You’re mission statement made me cry. Like you, I found myself through those three sports in 2010. Lost a ton of weight and found a confidence I never knew was possible. After a good run of training and PR’s, I changed careers after my first ironman in 2013. Almost immediately afterward actually…and the ironman had been on my 40th birthday so it was like 40 was this line in the sand where everything kinda turned upside down again. I’ve had one foot in the multi-sport world the past 2 years, half heartedly training. I’m carrying around 15 pounds and putting my heart and soul into making it in my new career in an absolutely brutal industry. I have vowed not to let myself slip back into the person I was 6 years ago. Your mission statement says everything I’m feeling and it just hit home.

    Reply
  • Alli

    December 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Meredith, I love your blog, your honesty and the ability to say/ write the things a lot of us only think! It is very comforting to know that one is not alone with feelings of struggling to keep going at times and just to put the head in the sand. Give yourself some time-out from the blog- your “army” will still be here 🙂
    You are a special person and I wish you only the best for whatever comes your way!
    Lots of love, Alli xxx

    Ps now I have to think about the “no wine” rule……;-)

    Reply

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