Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Found The Shirt

Well I just have to say, I've been super excited and pumped and jazzed and all GUNG HO all week since I made the decision to go to Texas this weekend!

I'm excited for a lot of reasons... you know, as much as I love my husband and daughter, the thought of a weekend all to myself is really quite luring. It brings me back to my single days. I was single for a long time (didn't get married until I was 34) and while I would not trade my current life for my old life, there are times when I look back with longing at the days when I had very little real responsibility.

You know that I made a list of things to pack and did not have diapers or wipes or sippy cups or etch-a-sketch on the list? I used to think that the list of things to pack to take to a race was long and there was so much to bring... Now I have a new perspective. Packing for triathlon is NOT hard when you're going alone.

But even more than that, I am excited to go do this particular race again. I've done it once before. In 1999.

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you know a bit of my health history. This is the race I did while I was going through chemo 11 years ago. The one I did to prove to myself that cancer was not going to get the best of me. The one I did to prove to myself that I could continue living my life. Loving my life. I would continue to be ME.

All week I've had flashbacks to racing the Lubbock course. If I remember correctly (and how could I possibly forget??), I was swearing, out loud, at the end of the bike. I think I was swearing at the wind. It was windy. It was hot. I remember hills. Like canyons that you would ride down into and then have to climb out the other side. And I don't remember much shade on the run course.

I found this picture of myself running in Lubbock in 1999. I know the quality of this picture is not good- it's an old photo and has moved a bunch of times with me over the last 11 years. It's one of the only race pictures of myself that I actually have out on a shelf at my house. This one just means a little more to me because of the circumstances under which I was running. It's a reminder that we can do anything we want to do. Truly. Anything.

Would you believe I *still* have that bathing suit? Yep. I do.

So this year the race is once again on June 27. I think it's just so cool that I get to go back and do it again. Under different circumstances this time. It'll still be hot. (Um, 101 degrees on race day? Holy hell.) It'll still be windy. And there will still be canyons to climb out of. But this time, I'm going in as a contender. You know, even if I don't walk away with a Kona spot, the fact that I believe the possibility is there, 11 years after doing this race while undergoing chemo, is a win in my book. Yes. I've already won.

And I dug out a cool shirt to wear on the plane trip over.

21 comments:

X-Country2 said...

What a wonderful story. Safe travels and KICK BUTT!

Kim said...

wow michelle, i have goosebumps. thank you for sharing your story - you are such a strong and inspiring woman. kick some butt down there in texas, will ya?!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I loved this post

TriGirl Kate O said...

This race is YOURS! Go get it. Travel safe and celebrate these past 11 years as you race.

Katie A. said...

Loved reading this - and I almost forgot your story - shame on me!
Can't wait to hear how you do! You are truly amazing! :)

endurancegirl said...

that is such a cool story, Michelle! Can't wait to track you and others that are racing. Good luck!!!

Running and living said...

Wow, how amazing! I truly hope you get the Kona slot. You deserve it! Thanks for sharing this inspiring story!

Kate Parker said...

Awesome, just awesome. Go freaking kill it out there!!!!

Rebecca DeWire said...

That story was really moving, thanks for sharing. Go get 'em!!!!!!

Megan said...

you are one of my favorite bloggers :) and this post is a good example of why. Good luck, race fast, happy travels.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Awesome! Do you have a spare outfit to take with you on the plane? You have a history of getting covered in stuff on flights to the mainland.

Regina said...

What a fantastic way to celebrate beating cancer! A kind of 'take that!' I forgot that this was the race you did at that time (having somewhat recently reread that post). Thank you for being my inspiration (I've also met the fundraising goal!)

Now go get your Kona slot!

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Beth said...

Oh my gosh Michelle - this is the coolest blog entry EVER!!! Amazing to think, 11 years later, how it's all come together. You are going to kick some serious butt, just like in 1999 when you finished the race while you were undergoing chemo for goodness sakes!! And you found the shirt!!! :)

PS I will never complain about packing for a triathlon again. Sorry. ;)

Kathy said...

Luv your 'heart' Michelle. You are a true champion AND this time in Texas you should celebrate the last 11 years. Cheers to you & it sounds like this race may qualify you for Kona? Hope so, you deserve to be there. Much love, Kath

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DR said...

have a great race michelle, but as everyone here would agree -- you're already a winner!

kerrie said...

i didn't realize that lubbock was the race you had done while undergoing chemo. that will be so cool coming back now 11 years later to do it...what a journey!
the forecast is now predicting that it is cooling off a little (booooo) but it'll still be plenty hot to make it a good, tough race.
see you soon!!

GoBigGreen said...

GOOD LUCK! I just read more of your health history and I am soooo inspired by you, and I must have Rich read this. He just did his first TT race post Cancer Rx this fall and early this year.
Michelle, go kick some butt:)! I wonder if the t shits have changed:) LOL.

Trisaratops said...

How on earth did I not know this?! I thought you were amazing before...man...I'm all teared up over here!

Forwarding your story onto my mother-in-law now. As of last month she is cancer-free (she was stage 4 in August). Miracles happen, and it's amazing to see how strong we really can be. Thanks for the reminder.

Oh yeah, and kick some ass this weekend. :)

Roz said...

Great post! Endearing, honest, simple, I love it. Shirt is great. The swim suit still lives? I thought it would have disintegrated by now.

I wish I was there. How fun to do another 1/2 Iron so quickly after Honu. I still haven't reassembled my bike I had that aspect handled in terms of travel (just not the expense!). I have temporary mainland envy though. To road trip to a 1/2 Iron would be great.

Love the capriciousness and good luck! Good vibes flowing from Hawaii for you to have a great race that you are happy with! ;)