I've been a professional triathelte for the majority of my life but even before that I’ve always known what a triathlon is. For the first few years of my life I lived in the middle of no where in Grandisle, British Columbia; our neighbor did Ironman Canada every year. Triathlon was not a foreign word in our home. When I was a toddler my brothers competed in the Half Apple triathlon in Kelowna. When we moved to Ontario I finally did my first official triathlon when I was 11 years old; before that we did them as punishment around the house when we were badly behaved. My first dream when I was a young girl getting involved in the sport was to be the youngest female ever to do an Ironman. My goal was to complete Ironman Canada at 16 years of age. Once I was introduced to draft legal racing, those dreams were set aside, and buried deep within me, so deep I forget they were there.
For many year, I thought Iron distance racing was completely nuts and decided I would never do one. Then last year around this time all short-course non-draft racing disappeared. WTC cancelled the 51.50 series. Rev 3 no longer had a pro series. The last straw was when Lifetime Fitness decided to no longer continue their pro series in 2015. Suddenly I was a full time long course athlete. I dove head first into half Ironman training and had some good success last year, but something felt missing for me motivationally. I think in a way my hand was forced last year, I wanted to do half ironman’s for fun, and suddenly it was my full time job. My motivations for doing well were extraneous and many goals were focused around my outcomes. Did I really want to be racing half Ironman’s full time or is there something else out there that might make me happier? I decided to go to Kona as a spectator to see if this was the next step.
I didn’t fall in love with Kona in the way everyone told me I would. I was watching the event and thinking to myself, “This is completely insane.”. I watched the carnage that ensued on the run and I added an expletive to that previous sentence. The course and conditions broke down some of the toughest most seasoned athletes I know. Then the day after the race I went for a ride and I was on the road to Hawi; everything was very peaceful as I rode next to the ocean. The realization that doing an Ironman was my original goal in the sport hit me like a ton of bricks. The little girl in me, the one that believed that anything and everything was possible, believed I could this and that I could be good at it. To me, this is finally an opportunity to see if I can make that dream come true, for the 11-year-old dreamer in me. This really lit a fire in me, a blaze in fact. That type of motivation is so pure and raw and SIMPLE. I thrived on it and starting making a plan with my coach in November that will hopefully get me to the start line in Kona.
I think knowing why you’re doing something is so important, especially if that something is difficult. Therefore, knowing why you decided to do an Ironman is even more important. I imagine that there will be many times on the course in Texas where I will need to be very clear on what my motivation is for being out there. The quote, “Nothing worth doing is easy” has guided many of the decisions I’ve made in this sport and attempting my first Ironman on May 14th will be no exception. I know that it is going to challenge me in ways I can’t even comprehend right now; however, I believe in myself, my preparation and the team I’ve surrounded myself with that I will not only get to start line ready to race, I might even be ready to battle. More than anything though, I want to make that childhood dream come true and that’s not something you get to do every day.