What if I fall…

Oh my darling but what if you fly?

Fear of failure, it’s real. It keeps us inside our comfort zone or leads us to expand our comfort zone only with tiny little steps beyond its current limits. What happens when we stay in or near our comfort zone? Not much, probably. It’s safer, it’s a bit more of a sure thing. It’s also no way to live and certainly no way to grow.

Last weekend, our friend Austin joined us for an hour at the local skating rink. And he inspired me during that hour because… He had never been skating before. As children of the late 80s and early 90s, Justin and I spent a fair bit of time at the skate rink while growing up. Austin, from a younger generation with more entertainment options, had previously been denied this fun and humbling experience. Despite this, he didn’t hesitate when we invited him! Austin put on skates and embraced his fate. He fell and he fell but he also got better and better in just an hour! 

  Resting a bit in between songs at the skate rink.

Have you ever watched children at play? Learning a new skill? At the roller rink, I observed a number of young children on skates. What amazes me is their absolute lack of fear or hesitance. I mean, Austin fell while he was learning but these kids… They all out threw themselves into nose-dives without hesitation, then got back up, flailed a bit more and hit the floor again. And and… They had smiles on their faces!

We all know that those 4 and 5 year olds aren’t feeling the pain the next day quite like those of us over the age of 30 but is it that or is it our fear of the consequences of failure? Our experience that tells us we will be sore the next day? Oh and… A little bit of pride?

  Chilling while we watched little kids race around the rink.  If they wanted to race, they raced, even if they could barely move on skates!

More and more, I’m learning to step outside of my comfort zone. Coach Derek has helped push me outside of the training and racing comfort zone I had nestled into and though I often dread the changes, I have so far loved the results.

So, let’s all challenge each other to skate like a 5 year old! Let’s encourage one another to quit tip-toeing our way out of comfort zones and instead, leap with enthusiasm!

Swim, bike, run, smile!

A Fresh New Year

We said farewell to Howie yesterday afternoon after a NYE gorging on mostly healthy snacks, slightly less healthy beer (though there are some fine antioxidants in those stouts) and some definitively unhealthy homemade ice cream aaaaaaaand a NYD breakfast feast of homemade cinnamon rolls. Um… They were whole wheat at least…😁😳 I regret nothing.

Seriously, our Clover fell in love with Howie. She couldn’t get enough cuddles yesterday morning!

However, we also wanted to kick off the new year with some healthy behaviors as well as our celebratory feasting. Justin grabbed a quick, 20 min run and I did an easy 45 min spin on the trainer. We also had a very fresh dinner including my first try at homemade spring rolls! It was actually rather simple and I even made my own peanut dipping sauce (would have loved to have this meal while Howie was with us but due to his allergies, it would have killed him and that would have been lame). During my six mont of blog neglect, Justin and I decided separately and then together to live a meat-free lifestyle. While it was a bit tricky at first and can be inconvenient when you’re at a social event, I know that I think it’s one of the best decisions we have ever made together. I love animals too much to eat them… I just do. We still use animal products and have eaten some fish but we are working more and more toward a plant-based lifestyle. Two unexpected results: 1) We are both leaner without trying on a meat free diet and I did not expect this to happen because of our continued carb consumption, 2) Rather than reducing diversity in our diet this change has increased the diversity! We have experimented with new recipes and fruits and vegetables that we never would have bothered with before… These spring rolls are a perfect example. Plant-based eating has led us to more creativity in the kitchen and we are loving it! 

We celebrated the New Year with homemade spring rolls (rice paper, carrot, tofu, avocado), peanut butter dipping sauce (pb, garlic, ginger, water and red pepper flakes for a kick) and Mung bean noodle salad (mung bean noodles, shiitake mushrooms, carrot and shiitake mushroom salad dressing). Delicious and full of plant power!

I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start! Let’s make 2016 the best year yet.🙋🏼

New Year, New Opportunities!

​It’s been nearly 6 months since I’ve updated my blog. I’ve been asking myself why. I started this blog because I enjoy writing and I enjoy sharing my passion for an active and healthy lifestyle. I’ve also sought to challenge myself to be open and honest here so that others can see the real struggles of an amateur athlete and be inspired by knowing that we all struggle. J Despite all of these things, I just haven’t been interested in blogging. Why? Well, I didn’t like what I had to blog about.​My marathon attempt in June was very disappointing. I put so much into that training, especially on an emotional level, that I just felt drained when it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped and trained.  Though I was able to take the disappointment in stride, all of the buildup to a goal that was never attained left me feeling depleted and unmotivated. I took a few weeks off from any sort of structured training immediately following that race and then I began tri training with a new coach. That was also challenging. Putting my training in the hands of someone other that Coach Dai was not easy and I continued to question whether or not I had made the right choice in switching coaches, especially when I had Dai at my side in September supporting me through the ITU AG World Championship Sprint Triathlon. And then, of course, we flew back to San Diego and immediately set off on our drive across the country to relocate in Pensacola, FL. I was mentally exhausted and had fallen a bit out of love with triathlon.

​Now, months later, we’ve settled into life in Pensacola and after a little more than a month of off-season I’ve resumed training with a renewed passion. While it still makes me somewhat sad to not be coached by Dai, I can see that the change in coaching was what I needed at the time. Workouts are different and Coach Derek manages to challenge me in new ways. We’ve focused a lot on my swimming and I’ve actually learned to enjoy it, which is something I never would have imagined before working with Derek. I’ve found a great masters swim team at Pensacola State College and enjoy swimming with them three times a week… and I actually look forward to these workouts! Me… looking forward to swimming!

 After my 5900 yard NYE swim… I’m a mermaid…


Swimmy swim!

My biking and running are really just beginning to pick up and I’ve found several viable training partners at Gulf Coast Cycle and Tri, a local bike/triathlon shop that hosts Saturday morning rides. And this leads me to the next major change I’ll be making for 2016. I will no longer be racing for Betty Designs. I’ve met some truly incredible women and I am very thankful for the two years of support and sponsorship that I’ve received from Kristen Mayer. I will continue to wear many of her designs and enjoy the support of other current and former Team Betty members. In 2016, I will be racing for Gulf Coast Cycle and Tri as a member of their elite tri team and I look forward to creating a lot of tri memories with my energetic and supportive teammates. This is the right time for this change – I feel that I will benefit immensely from participating in a local team that can provide in-person training and emotional support and I feel honored to have been invited to join this team!

After my first group ride with my hubby!!

In related news, my husband, Mr. Elite Marathon Runner Justin, will be dabbling in triathlon in 2016! He has not lost his desire to pursue running specific goals but he and I and many others all agree that it’s time for him to take a break from focused, driven running training. I’m excited to have his company on group rides and even more excited to see him enjoy the world of triathlon and the challenging of pursuing three sports simultaneously. I truly believe that this will give him the physical and mental break that he needs in order to return to running, later, with a renewed passion.

Our friend, Howie, came to visit from Virginia Beach. It’s been fantastic to have him here! He had gone biking and running with Justin and he kept me company during my NYE swim by pulling me through some of the early intervals! Also, our normally shy and anxious dog has fallen in love with him.

Despite all the difficult changes in the past year, I’m overall very pleased with 2015. It has been an amazing year full of trials and blessings and I look forward to applying my lessons learned in 2015 to an even better 2016. I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year! Swim, Bike, Run, Smile!