I love that moment when I step onto the beach, moments before the starting horn sounds. That final few moments before you take your mark. I sink my feet deep into the sand and I just feel it. It’s something that a spreadsheet, power meter, heart rate monitor can’t give me. It’s something that has to bubble up from within.
I erroneously credit that to having grown up a swimmer, but I know other sports have it to. My background in both swimming and dance allowed me a unique skill set. That ability to feel. To get on the edge of my skis into the space where I am in control but about to lose it. Depending on the event and the distance that space can be vastly different. But it’s what I crave and what I was able to lean into more and more as the season went on.
This season has been amazing. It did end a little short, I was overly optimistic about my soleus injury, it turned out that it did sideline me from SOS. But I am back to running, I feel good, I would not be in this place had I forced it. At this stage of my career I don’t let things like that ruffle my feathers. We just pivot and move on.
I finished this season a bit smoked, a bit sick, and almost injured. I was haphazard about a lot if it (until I reconnected with my coach in the spring). But man I loved every second of it.
I loved that I got to sink my feet into the sand and let it literally ground me. I loved that I got to put these butterflies in formation and let them fly again. I loved finding the edge again. That can happen regardless of pace or speed by the way.
I especially loved that for the first time in a long time I am looking ahead with bigger dreams.
So much has happened through the past 2 years. A tremendous amount of pain and a whole lot of storm. As that dust has settled I realized that I was never alone. Family and friendship bonds grew more solid, while I severed ties of those that needed severed. I would not be here in this place right now, had it not been for the past two years.
My family faced down Cancer not once but twice, with vastly different outcomes and celebrations that turned quickly into heart shattering experiences. I think that while there is no right or wrong way to do all of this, you can walk out of these storms stronger. I am.
On this side of the past two years I feel my feet on the ground. I feel my feet in the sand. I feel my purpose, stronger than ever. I feel love, deeper than I have ever felt. I wish I could illustrate a five step process for how to navigate times like these, but the truth of the matter is, you have to walk through these storms as you are right now, and experience the lessons as they apply to you. It’s been insanely gut wrenching. You know. You traveled it with me. You never allowed me to feel anything but loved and supported and thankful, grateful, those words are too small to convey how I feel.
I love that feeling during the 60 seconds before it all starts. When your heartbeat is so strong and loud you wonder if that person next to you can hear it. It reminds me that I am alive. It reminds me that I care. It reminds me how much I love the thrill of the chase. The end result doesn’t matter as much as the feeling of having my feet on the ground, my dreams unfolding in front of me, the opportunity to let loose and see where today’s edge is.
Most of all, I love that feeling of putting those butterflies in formation, and letting them FLY.
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