35,000 feet.

Somewhere over the Pacific.

I’ll Command C then Command V this right into the blog when I’m online again, but here’s when I’m feeling it.  When writing is your therapy, your catharsis, as it is for me, you let the moment take you when it will, and this is my moment.

I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on the whole thing.  I’ve gone rafting with hubby, son and son’s lovely girl in one of the most beautiful places on earth; all of which worked on my psyche to help me get things into perspective.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. I am so very fortunate.  I have the most unbelievable family and friends.  The outpouring of support I received when I told my Ironman story has touched me to the core of my very soul (and if you know me at all, you know I don’t use expressions like that lightly).  Someone very dear to me suggested that I had all of my loved ones swimming with me that day in the lake, and it was no wonder that I struggled, but if that is the case, then I’ll happily never complete Ironman, because that weight is a privilege, a pleasure, and an honor.  I cannot begin to express my humility and gratitude for your words of support and encouragement and affirmation.

2.  I have enthusiastically capitulated to my grief.  I have cried (when my husband bought me the dress in the Sydney airport we picked out in November on our trip here and labelled it my Ironman dress).  I have laughed (when my son said he would never again wait at the water for me to exit from a race – and then at our good-bye hug said that nothing could keep him from it).  I have gotten drunk (keep those first- class vodka and cranberry juices coming).  I have planned (for we high-achievers, nothing assuages grief like a plan:  sprint Tri in June, Olympic in July, Half in August, Iron in September).

3.  I am ready to be home.  I’m ready, after a month, to see my dogs, my room, my farm, my horses, cows, donkeys, my work, friends, coworkers.  I have been dreading it, not because you are disappointed IN me, but because you are disappointed FOR me, and I don’t want to cause you pain.  I am OK.  I tried a mighty thing and didn’t get the result I wanted.  I’m going to try again.  And again.  How incredible to be healthy enough to make that statement.

4.  I have come away from this experience knowing that I am more than Ironman.  My focus will be different, my plan will be different.  You each have shown me, through your lovely words, that my value lies in who I am, not what I do.  My blog will reflect that.  I am ready to write about other things:  the remarkable people I know, books I’ve read, things I’ve done, places I’ve seen, experiences I’ve had, things I’ve learned.  I did not realize my focus had become so narrow, and I am grateful for the growing experience of this event to help me see that I had become only an Ironman-in-training, and not the multi-faceted person I really am, and love to be.

5.  Back to #1:  I am so lucky.  I don’t know how I’ve come up with the most supportive network of friends and family in the world, but I have.  How many people don’t know the joy of the hug of a friend, the whisper of encouragement, the kiss of good luck, the prayer of health, the intention of love, and I have known them all.

Here we go:  what a ride!  I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Come with me; take this journey, however it manifests for you, and tell me about it.  Thank you for your absolute generosity in giving to me – I just can’t find a way to express my gratitude.  I can’t wait to hear what your next adventure is – I draw strength from reading and hearing about what you do.

Life is so very, very good…

Thanks for reading.