The week before I leave town for my big race, work has gone nuts. Isn’t that how it goes? Still I managed to sneak away briefly yesterday to attend Capital City Toastmasters. And I’m so glad I did. Corky took us through a great meeting that consisted largely of table topics. He posed “simple” questions. Hot or cold? Wet or dry? Male or female? Big or small? My question? Backwards or forwards?
Kick me in the gut, why don’t you?
I want so much to go back in time. Back to college when I was rushing through in three years to become an adult. I would choose differently and spend time abroad for no reason except to spend time abroad. Back to my twenties when I was choosing people who never quite loved me. I would choose differently so as not to waste so much time and effort on those who did not reciprocate the feelings I had. Back to my early thirties when I had a fantastic group of friends from church that I pulled away from when our group grew and turned into what the church called the “singles” ministry. How I hated that term. I would choose to stay a part of it and not let a word and the awkwardness of people pairing off in that environment affect my friendships. Back to the last few years when I found someone I could really love who I believed could really love me. I wasn’t confident enough to dive in the way either of us needed me to. I would most certainly choose differently there.
I want to go backwards and fix these things. But that’s now how life works, is it? Forwards is my only option. So forwards I go.
But what does that mean? What’s ahead of me? I wish I knew. All I can do right now is focus on one thing at a time. Right now, that thing is Ironman Coeur d’Alene.
This time next week, Jeanie, Malinda and I will be in Coeur d’Alene. We’ll be settled into our rental homes. We’ll be preparing to drive the course and prep our gear bags. We’ll be going for bike rides and testing out the water temperature in our wetsuits. (I did finally get a new wetsuit.) We’ll be trying to stay calm in the days leading up to the race.
I don’t know what I would have done with myself these last six or eight months if I didn’t have Coeur d’Alene ahead of me. It’s given me something to focus on and work towards. It’s forced me out of bed and into my life even when that was sometimes the last thing I wanted. I’m grateful for the timing of this race. I’m grateful for my focused preparation. I’m grateful for the experience I’m about to have.
When I look forwards, I can only see to this race. I don’t know what comes after that, but I know I will continue to move forwards. “Striving for possibilities beyond Ironman” – that’s the subtitle of this blog. Those are my words. After this race, I’ll have to give some real thought to what those words mean to me now.
I look forward to finding the next thing, whatever that may be. But for now, I continue to focus on a successful taper, careful packing, and my adventure back to Coeur d’Alene.
It’s been five years since Jeanie, Erin, Malinda, Robin and I first did this race. I have looked back each year on the anniversary of the race with much joy. The first anniversary. The second anniversary. The third anniversary. The fourth anniversary. I’m curious what the fifth anniversary will hold for us. All good things, I hope. Smooth water for the swim. Minimal wind for the ride. Fresh legs for the run.
Forwards we go. Forwards I go. To Coeur d’Alene.