Category Archives: triathlon

The Hunt For My New Whip

I am a woman on a mission… It’s time for a new bike, it’s actually been time for quite a while. Unfortunately, this process is turning out to be much harder than the one I engaged in to buy a new car.

Maybe it’s because you know you’re going to spend a lot when you buy a car so you’re most likely prepared with a large down payment. Maybe it’s because cars are much easier to understand. Maybe it’s because when you find the car you like, you simply tell them what color you want and what bells and whistles to include…

Whatever the case may be, for me, this process has turned into a quite laborious one.

I decided, pre-Thanksgiving, that I would leave Miami with a new bike. The universe, on the other hand, had a different idea for me (as it quite often does). In test riding bikes, I fell in love. Like actual love… The kind where the tiny hearts float away from your head and pop in the air, your eyes get all googly, your heart flutters, and you want to devote every last minute to your new love. You know… That kinda love.

The problem? The hefty price tag.

Unfortunately, my new love was no cheap hooker… She was a high class, high price, fancy, classy escort. Maybe the kind you find out on some ranch in Vegas. A siren of sorts that whispers sweet nothings into your ear convincing you that you aren’t about to sail over a cliff to your impending death.

Her name? Specialized Venge Pro.

She is a fantastically neon orange. A full carbon aerodynamic frame. Shimano Dura-Ace components. Carbon wheel set. Lighter than a feather. A click click sound as you ride that could lull a colicky baby to sleep. A glittery, rainbowy, flying unicorn of sorts if you will.

This is when the mental wheeling and dealing begins. This is the problem with buying a car versus a bike. When I bought my car, I went in with an idea in my head with how much I wanted to spend and I did not veer away from my plan. I did the same when I set out to buy a bike but that idea quickly crumbled when I fell in love…

Love has a way of breaking the boundaries that you set for yourself and causing you to WANT to push your limit. Love truly is blind sometimes… Even to price tags.

Cycling is my passion, my one true love… I want to ride this bike into the sunset (probably because it looks like a fiery skied sunset) over and over and over again…

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So what did I do? I gave myself a reality check and decided that the girl for me was the intermediate, working her way towards that big money ranch, showgirl… Specialized Venge Elite.

Don’t get me wrong… She is a beauty in her own right with her carbon frame and Shimano 105 components but she will NEVER be the Venge Pro.

**SPOILER ALERT** This is where the universe comes in and kicks the bottom out from under me…

I got measured for size, smiling the whole time from ear to ear knowing that soon I would be united with my noble steed.

Wrong!

The words still cycle through my head in my nightmares while I sleep… “The color you want is on back order until March but this other color is only on back order until early December.”

Defeat.

I was already “settling” and leaving my love in my rearview mirror, could I settle yet again?

No.

I began a mission to call EVERY SINGLE authorized Specialized dealer in the ENTIRE state of Florida in hopes that SOMEONE may have the charcoal Venge Elite in a size 52 in stock.

Fail.

Fail. Over. And. Over. And. Over. Again.

Not one store in the ENTIRE state had the color/size combination that I was looking for, NOT ONE.

Now what? Do I go back to the drawing board? Do I I surrender to the siren and let her lead me off the cliff into the beautiful, fiery orange colored sunset?

What. Do. I. Do.

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To be continued…

Leaving My Comfort Zone Behind in My Rearview Mirror

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.”

I often talk to my clients about comfort being the enemy of change. I find myself reminding them that if they are comfortable in my office during therapy, they probably aren’t doing the hard work necessary to achieve the positive change they want.

It’s strange how the lessons we most often teach others are the ones we tend to forget when it comes to our own lives.

I wouldn’t say that I have been “comfortable” in my life by any means but I think it’s safe to say that I have found a place where the discomfort I feel has become routine and comfortable in its own right. I have definitely become complacent. I have found myself putting things off that I have dreamed of in order to keep living my “routine” life.

Life has a way of shaking things up, usually when you least expect it. I have found that when the universe decides to upend my life, I tend to make big decisions and big changes. Most people would probably steer clear of making big decisions during rough patches but I find that they bring me solace and a goal to work towards so that I don’t get swallowed up by whatever nonsense is going on.

Recently, I once again found myself at a crossroads in my life… Change or stay where it was “comfortable”

Most people that know me or have read my first couple blog posts know that my love of cycling was born from a disastrous break up and that the strength I had to persevere to the top of Mt. Mitchell came from the sudden death of someone very close to me. Now, at this tough juncture in my life, I have made yet another decision… To chase my Ironman dreams.

I found myself in bed for 24 hours on Labor Day, an emotional wreck. I could not even muster the strength to go ride which I knew was a very bad thing for me. The next day, I knew that I had to do something or the hole would just grow and end up swallowing me whole. I made a decision, a very scary decision for me…

I have dreamt of doing an Ironman from the first moment I learned of its existence. Back then I was not a cyclist, probably couldn’t have run around the block, and certainly wouldn’t be caught swimming with any type of “form” other than that which resembles how a dog would swim and, yet, I still vowed to one day cross that finish line and be announced as an Ironman. I made that promise to myself a long time ago when I had a much younger body…

I have since been living life while still holding that dream in the back of my head. Three years ago, I completed a sprint triathlon but came very close to drowning during it. I have an intense fear of drowning most of which I know is mental but is quite real to me nonetheless. My fear of drowning coupled with my complete disdain of running had made it very easy to avoid considering what it would take to be an Ironman finisher. Until September 8, 2015 that is…

I knew that I needed something big to move me, to motivate me, to lift me up…

I researched the Miami Half Ironman and reached out to a close friend who used to swim competitively as well as used to coach swimming. Every fiber in my body told me that it was time… I made the decision to actively begin training for the Miami Half Ironman in 2016.

Since I began actively training for this crazy big dream, I’ve become more comfortable swimming (I don’t panic as much) and I have become a better runner. I even registered myself for the Miami Half Marathon on January 24, 2016 to give me something to work towards in the meantime.

I can feel a change happening within me…

I can even honestly say that I have developed a love for running that I never would’ve thought would happen. I can’t say that I love swimming just yet but I do believe my biggest personal growth has come from becoming better at that discipline. It is quite an amazing thing to feel as if you are overcoming a fear, overcoming something that you never thought you would overcome, and actually feeling like you are kind of good at doing it.

My first love is and will always be cycling but I am learning that I have room in my life, and can make space for, other things too.

Even within my love of cycling there are areas of discomfort which I try to avoid such as riding in groups… I recently conquered this area of discomfort by stepping out of my comfort zone and venturing out to do a big ride without my coach. I finished my first century ride in which I didn’t have him (my friend, my lucky charm) by my side. I was terrified of not having him with me to coach me and lead me. I was able to conquer my fears and actually joined a few groups of strangers on the ride, I got dropped by the first group before ending up with the group that I stayed with to finish out the last 50 miles. I was even able to make a few friends on this journey and look forward to expanding my horizons even in the sport that I love so much.

Life really is full of twists and turns and sometimes you have no choice but to roll with the punches. But there are other times where change is necessary, you have to make yourself uncomfortable, and you have to punch life right back in the teeth.

Here’s to punching life in the teeth and becoming the Ironman that I know I am!!