We opted instead to spectate the triathlon instead of participate, as the cost to our bodies would be too great (especially since we're heading to Hawaii to race in 10 days). We were really excited to see my sister do her first Olympic distance triathlon and although she looked a bit nervous at the swim start, I knew she'd do just fine! It's one of the hardest Olympic courses around and she did amazing! I haven't spectated a lot of races as I'm usually on the other side of the fence racing. It's neat to watch her go through some of these initial experiences, to watch the layers of doubt peel away and watch her brave and strong self step through. As adults, many of us begin to tell ourselves a lot of lies each year. "I can't do this, I'm too old", "I couldn't train for that, I don't have time", "Riding that far is too crazy", "I'm more of a gym 3-days a week person", "I like to eat/drink/party/whatever too much!" We tell ourselves we can't workout, we can't change careers, we can't ask for more, we can't become someone entirely new, we can't find heaven on earth, we can't live wildly and passionately and fully and be who we are truly capable of being... Yet, with each step I watched my sister take I saw a million emotions flicker on her face - from pain, to exhaustion, to surprise as her body and mind continued to prove all those little voices wrong. Until the voice that says, "I can, I will, I am!" is stronger than all the little negative ones, and it was a glorious moment to watch her come down the finishers chute running with all she had, knowing she just did what was once completely impossible for her to do.
While we missed racing, it wound up being a really good call. We worked until 11:30pm that night and barely made our cut-offs. One of the many things I learned from my therapist years back was learning to be compassionate with myself. I'm quick to criticize my lack of recovery, to compare myself to where I was at athletically last year, to be bummed at missed workouts. Yet, that's not fair. In less than 365 days, we got married, raced 3 half-ironmans, one full ironman, 1 sprint, 1 hard olympic (Escape From Alcatraz), Adam lost his job while we were up in Mammoth training, we started a business (having NO idea what we were doing), we expanded rapidly while I was still working two jobs, we put in countless hours of back to back 12-15 hour days, I quit my career of 10+years to go full time with our company, we hired an employee, and now we're living one of our dreams! Every day I go to bed and lie awake for a little bit, trying to turn my brain off, and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. I think about each person who has been so instrumental along our path - lending us advice, a name of someone who can help us, a referral, a customer with kind words, a friend who understands we can't make their party, our parents who have been so supportive, our teammates, our coach, our neighbors, and even people who we just met who are excited about our story!
Our lives have changed tremendously, and one of the recurring lessons in mine is that it's always best to "let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us". We planned a lot of races out last year before BMK was anything other than a food blog + a hobby. I spent a long time forcing myself to go along a path that was not right for me. At every turn I was fighting the current to get where I was sure I needed to be even though it didn't feel right. Every goal, once achieved, felt inauthentic. I knew my two degrees weren't going to help me get where I wanted to go, but I forged that way instead. I knew that my "career" certainly wasn't going anywhere I cared about, and when my former boss asked me where I saw myself going in the company, I laughed and almost said, "Out the front door and not looking back!" Yet, I spent years trying to fit into a life I didn't want or need. In Mammoth, when Adam lost his job, we spent a few moments outside Whoa Nellie Deli, looking out at Mono Lake and felt an odd sense of calm and relief instead of panic. It was as though everything in the Universe was letting us know that this was the way to go.
I still try to fight sometimes, but it's easier to listen instead. We listen to people that we may want to work with - and they usually tell you who they are. Not so plainly, of course, but it's been pretty easy to go by feel on who's reliable, who's a good match and who's best to stay away from. We listen to what feels right - even though sometimes we are afraid or disappointed or tired. And while neither Adam nor I are a part of any organized religion, our lives right now have relied heavily on having an unbelievable amount of faith. Faith in what we are doing, faith in each other, faith in our path, faith in the good we want to share with others and faith in ourselves.
We're leaving for Hawaii in a week - to relax, to race and to celebrate our wedding anniversary and our first year in business! While closing BMK for a week is a little nerve-wracking, we know our customers will be there when we get back ready for another week's worth of healthy meals!