It’s a quiet morning. Brisk enough to wear a couple layers soon to be shed. There is enough moonlight and streetlight that I don’t need my headlight, but have it anyways. I’m apprehensive to start this run. It is my first one post Ironman…on my own. I start my watch as my foot hits the grass. There; it was me, my thoughts and the path ahead of me for 10 miles.
I’ve spent the past month reflecting on my Ironman journey. I didn’t quite feel like myself after I finished. I didn’t know what to do with my time. I didn’t know what I wanted or where I wanted to go. I questioned the person I became. I needed direction.
I asked some friends and family to be open and honest about who I was before and during Ironman. They all said the same things: generous, thoughtful, happy, ambitious, values time with friends and family, dreamer, goal oriented, loving and more. My flaws, some beautiful and some not: spreading myself too thin, discontentment, restless, inclusive, struggles to set time aside for myself, sensitive to other’s opinions, lack of self-confidence.
I took these words and I sat on them. I thought about my actions and what validated what they were saying. What did I want to change, if anything? Then I thought what do I want now, the next 3 years or over a lifetime. It wasn’t until one night that it hit me. “You want to race Kona.” You want to see the potential you have in triathlons.
The greatest experience I had this year was completing Ironman and having support from my loved ones. I had built friendships with each person I saw out there that day and those friendships were built on those values they listed, good and bad. I don’t know the changes that will happen. I may not be the same Maria, but the qualities that my friends and family admire are the ones that I’ll try to hold true to and the other ones…well there’s always room for improvement.
So here I go. I’m on another journey and this one might take a little more time to complete, but I want to get to compete in Kona. First step to making dreams come true… write it down.