"She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child". ~Barbara Alpert
I'm beyond excited that my sister has decided to give triathlon a go! You can read about it HERE but after mentioning that she might consider doing a sprint for over a year, she's finally dived in head first! I'm excited for her. Triathlon is more than a sport. I've written a ton of posts about how much triathlon has shaped me. The training, the life-work-time balance, the zen-like peace, the supportive friendships, the larger community you join at races and events, the courage and confidence you gain by taking on so many new challenges... Watching her find her footing in this new space of triathlon has brought back so many memories. I feel like we're both little kids at Christmas and I'm waiting for her to open all of her presents and discover even more new experiences.
We were always close growing up. Sometimes it was a forced closeness due to sharing the same house. Sometimes it was because she really wanted her back scratched and I wanted someone to talk to. Sometimes it was because we shared a room. We also spent a few years being close by trying to beat the living hell out of each other with hair brushes, hangers, flying girl-punches and lots of screaming. Most of the years we were close because we wanted to be, and as we went through junior high and high school and some of the roughest patches of our lives, we always had each other.
After some exceedingly rough times in both of our lives that tore both ourselves and our relationship apart, we began the process of rebuilding the bond between us. I had just started skydiving and was eager to drag my sister into it. She went on a tandem jump and hated it. I distinctly recall her telling me that I was "out of my f*&^ing mind". Which, to be fair, isn't that far off the mark. Later that night, she was asking me to borrow all of my AFF training stuff and began jumping at Skydive Elsinore. It was over countless weekends spent at the dropzone that we built our sisterhood into what it is now. Over skydives, mutual friends, sunset beers, failed romances, hilarious moments, and time we grew into a strong sisterhood. One in which childhood rivalry was set aside and there was room enough for us both to shine, to learn from each other and to admire each other's strengths.
As children, we alternated between conspiring together and tattling on each other. As adults we've grown more into supporting each other. We're among the first to hear of each other's dreams and the first to say, "You can do this!" So when she told me she was REALLY going to sign up for a race this year, I was all for it but hesitant to push her. Triathlon is a bit of a time commitment. Granted, you become really adept at time management skills, but it's something you have to really want in order to make the time for it. Then she sealed the deal by signing up for both OC Tri and Pacific Coast!
She just got her first road bike last weekend, and I'm eager to go out and ride with her this Saturday. Again I feel like a little kid who's hosting a sleepover and I want to show her ALL THE NEAT THINGS! One day we'll ride these hills! One day we'll run from Newport to Sunset Beach and back! One day we'll swim in the ocean together and marvel at the sheer joy of it! One day we'll ride our bikes so far it'll be nuts! One day [soon] we'll race together and I will holler at you as you go by and my heart will sing to see you happy because I know you will be having fun! One day you'll realize that a road bike is so much faster than your hybrid bike and that the sheer thrill is bigger than the fear of riding a road bike, which will diminish. One day we'll be at the end of hill repeats, gasping for air and dripping in summer sweat and we'll laugh and high five and you'll smile like the sunshine and you'll get what has been driving us for these few years! But you know, for now, I am trying to be low key ;)
I am looking forward to seeing how her journey develops and where it takes her. I reflect on this year and the incredible achievements that both our friends/teammates and ourselves have experienced and know that while she's just planning on "trying a tri" she'll find out she's got a lot more than just finishing in her sights! Most of all, I'm proud to have my sister, I'm proud of the relationship that we have forged, and I'm proud of her for embarking upon a new path!
I love you little buddy!