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.
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.
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!).
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.)
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.
(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 myself… hate my body… feel worthless.]
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?
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.”
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.)
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
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget about our next “Swim Bike Give” Virtual Race event!